Saturday, December 11, 2010

Foot fault

I thoroughly enjoyed my private tennis lesson with George on Wednesday, but my foot was not so happy.

I am afraid the crazy-making plantar fasciitis might be returning. This is an inflammation that leads to heel pain on an area about the size of a quarter. It hurts like crazy. When I had it after my first remission in 2003, I complained more about it than I ever complained about cancer.

People who have had it know what I mean. It is just infuriating and incredibly painful. A lot of runners get it, but others are not immune.

To treat it, I got cortisone shots, stretched a lot and rolled my bare foot over a tennis ball to stretch out the ligament. I went to a chiropractor. I took Advil. At night I wore an ungainly boot that keeps your foot flexed. I got several pairs of orthotics until I got the right kind from a physical therapist.

Before those orthotics straightened me out, I had to skip tennis and running for months.

Over the years I've felt a few twinges and panicked, but it never flared up. I'm hoping this will turn out to be one of those instances.

For starters, I probably need new orthotics. Mine, a soft kind, are worn down and chewed around the edges by a certain puppy. I hadn't thought about it much because I've been relatively inactive for so long.

On Thursday I had an appointment with my podiatrist, Walter Wolf, to check on the toenail surgery he had performed – not related to the plantar fasciitis. I told him my symptoms, and he pressed on the area in question. Yup. It hurt a lot.

Wally said I had an overuse injury. He said to stretch more, to ice after exercise, to wear the boot and to skip tennis on Friday.

Not the boot again! Not skipping tennis!

I whined about these terrible prospects.

As I asked in an earlier post when I had a similar response to some other inconvenience, "What am I, ten years old?"

Actually, since in transplant terms I am less than 2 years old, maybe that is my excuse for responding, and behaving, like a child.

I didn't wear the boot. I played tennis Friday morning, had a terrific time...and got another ace. Once I got moving, my foot felt fine.

My heel is killing me today.

I might have to behave for a few days.


Joanna Moore said...

We share the same addiction. I had plantar fasciitis and played through the whole thing. It is really bad when you feel like you have to tiptoe on the court but what are we to do? Eventually, I changed my tennis shoes to ones that seemed to give more support and then voila...the plantar fascitis was gone and then I got the cancer diagnosis. But no matter what, we can't let these inconveniences interfere with our addiction.

It sounds like this is a repeat experience. I was told to never go barefoot and to wrap my foot around a soup can in the morning. That helped a lot. I never got orthotics. I do play on clay quite often and that seems to help. Keep your eye on the ball and watch those foot faults!

Diane said...

I love that you only complain when you can't play tennis but that I never heard you complain through 4 bone marrow transplants. This is what keeps you going and it's a wonderful model for how to approach life and challenging situations. Congrats on the ace. Keep it up!

Paula said...

Doctors can advise.

It's up to the patient
to do what is best.

So glad you decided to play tennis!

Elayne said...

Ronni~ I have experienced the same thing PF as a runner. Yes, very painful. Slept with the boot and all the other therapies as well.
One that felt really good was freezing a water bottle and then rolling it under the foot. This iced and stretched it at the same time.
Good luck!