As my previous post mentioned, this tendonitis issue has been around since the summer of 2013. That June I took an amazing trip to Greece and after a very long hiking day on Kea I decided to abandon my muddied up Nikes. I wore flip flops for the rest of the trip and didn’t have a care in the world, as you can see from the picture below.
If I knew then what I know now…
Before I get into the emotions associated with chronic pain, which it looks like will have to be a post of its own, I’ve decided to include some pics from the past few months to document what my medical visits look like:
1. Ten weeks ago I put on the boot cast. Only this week can I say that I see a future without it (depending on how long the walk is.) My physical therapist suggested weaning myself off it by not wearing it in the house and that’s been working. I also found out last weekend that when I do go back into the boot for longer periods of time, my foot gets very annoyed.
2. This will be round 4 of Physical Therapy for me. The first three included strengthening exercises and iontophoresis patches, but now that I’ve reduced the inflammation thanks to the bootcast, we have to focus on returning to weight-bearing movements and building up the calf muscle I lost. I’ve been in the pool for aquatic therapy for the past 3 weeks, which has coincided nicely with the Mayo Clinic’s summer offering of Aqua Zumba. All the pool time has been great and, I have to say, having the time to do this over summer break has re-energized me. During the semester it was tough coordinating my teaching, administrative duties, service, and research with various doctor’s visits; hence, the #summerofhealing.
3. Custom orthotics are supposed to be the best for issues like mine and last longer than over-the-counter ones, even though they take some time to break in. Here’s a pic of the plaster fitting I had in May. Powersteps worked for me in the meantime, especially since my new doctor took one look at the first custom pair I had and remarked that other than cockroaches they would be the only things to survive a nuclear holocaust. (Again, booooooooo first doctor for recommending those rigid torture devices!)
I received the softer and gentler finished product in the mail last week and just wore them for a few hours today. So far, so good.
So what’s the prognosis? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m doing all the right things. I’m resting whenever possible, which means saying “no” to lots of social things, and doing all my exercises religiously. I hope and pray to return to campus in September walking normally and not having to explain why I take the stairs sideways (ala an old Hollywood musical) or one at a time.
The best outcome would be for me to be able to say in a few years, “Remember that time my tendons hated me and I couldn’t walk? God, that sucked. Thank goodness I don’t have to deal with that anymore!”
I’m cautiously optimistic about that, but a girl can dream…