Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Foot fault

As I sit here writing, I'm rolling my foot on a golf ball. This supposedly loosens the ligaments under the feet, and tight ligaments are cause of plantar fasciitis.

I've been doing this on and off for a while, but maybe not hard enough, and before the golf ball (Donna's son's) I used a tennis ball, which apparently wasn't painful enough. Over the weekend I poked my head into a running store advertising cures for this infuriating pain, and a salesman said I had to roll my foot hard, until I could cry.

All right already, my eyes are tearing up like they would if I was peeling an onion. The two activities are just about the same amount of fun, come to think of it.

I thought I was finished with this. It went away in both feet, then came back a little in the left. I had my orthotics adjusted, and now the left is better and the right hurts. Also my right ankle feels like I sprained it. When I drive for more than five minutes, I could cry some more. (I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea).

I don't know what I did to it. I went to tennis last week, but I didn't push myself too hard...except for one little sprint to the net for a put-away. We were playing doubles at the time, and George, who was my partner, was up at the net and didn't expect me to get up there from the service line.

He grinned and asked, "How'd you do that?"

"I used my racquet as a cane," I joked.

OK, so maybe I hurt it then.

My foot doctor said there is nothing wrong with my orthotics or my new sneakers. He said to do all the usual things – stretching, icing, rolling the ball – and to see him if it's not better in two weeks. Also, no tennis or running. I am going to get a slip-on Ace bandage for my ankle in hopes that it will help me when I walk the dog.

So what's the big deal?

I know from experience that there are worse things. But on a basic level, it just feels bad to get shooting pains from your feet. And, as I've said before, possibly too many times already, I really want to get back to doing the things that make me feel like me.

I think runners who can't run will know exactly how I feel. When I walk Maddie and see runners go by, I sigh so loudly she sometimes looks up at me, possibly wondering what is wrong or possibly thinking, "Would you please stop that?"

I am signed up for a 10-mile race May 1 in Philadelphia with my friends Emily and Tami. I never intended to do the whole thing, but I thought I could probably run/walk for about five miles or so. Now I don't know.

My friend Jo, a personal trainer, had an interesting insight about the pain in my knees that might also apply to my ankle pain. Due to the prednisone, my quads have weakened, and I should be doing strength training, which I'm not. The pain is probably caused by not having the muscle strength for my legs to support the amount of exercise I'm doing.

Jo gave me some exercises and said to continue the ones that I had from physical therapy. I had been doing those but slacked off when I began to feel stronger. Bad idea.

For now I'm riding a bike at the Y, hoping that will build my endurance in case I decide I can run a little bit of the race.

Over the weekend, Katie and I had a mother-daughter outing. I picked her up at Brandeis and we went out to lunch, had our nails done, and took a walk along the Charles River. I hardly ever get my nails done. For some reason, it just seemed the thing to do. We both chose the same maroon color; it makes me feel very sophisticated.

I told Katie about my problems and she traced two lines in the air, representing a fact that she has reminded me of before: Progress doesn't happen in a straight upward line.

"Remember, it doesn't go like this," she said, tracing a line that went straight up an incline.

Then she showed the way it really goes: a line trending up with dips and ascents.

Her polished fingers looked nice. Mine look nice too. Maybe they will take my mind off my feet.


Unknown said...

Ronni, you will be fleet-footed again -- and as a sign, this is the third anniversary of my same-time foot and sinus surgery!

pace, pun intended, yourself...give yourself apace...xop

Kudos to Katie! not just a wonderful voice! and beauty! so insightful! and with a great imagination...

donna said...

Hmmmm....... Tennis racket as cane? Maybe there's a niche market and a new way to become a millionaire!

Ann said...

Your friend is right. My doctor told me the same thing when I had knee pain. She told me to exercise. I didn't believe her, but I exercised any way. It's been months since I've had a problem.