Saturday, January 19, 2013

A New Kind of Torture

As they say on one wise website,, "If you’re smiling, your doing something right and if not, then stop, rest, and recollect."

My new kind of torture is the pain in the ball of my foot.  This pain is mostly in the left foot.  It comes with every step.  In mid-November, it was starting to bother me, so I started listening to my feet.

What did I do?  I switched from my Vibrams and Vivo Barefoots back to New Balance running shoes and Clarks some days.  I added padded insoles.  Removed a corn.  Rested as much as possible.  Which is hard to do when you teach elementary school, and trying to keep tabs on all 30 students for 6 hours.  I iced, I massaged, I soaked in the hot tub.

In early December, I decided I was rested enough to go on a hike.  Thinking this was just a 3 mile jaunt, I was optimistic, so wore my veebs but brought my running shoes just in case.  Ooh, man!  It turned out to be 6+ miles, and steep trails.  I cried the last half of the hike.  Haven't been able to go for a hike or even a walk since.

Luckily, I loooove to swim, so I'm still active a few times a week.  I also had two weeks off for the holidays, and cancelled the plans to walk around San Francisco and hike the hills.  Lots of movies, reading, and crafting.  Back at school this month, I use my rolling chair and my stool as much as possible.  I sit on desks, tables and counters whenever I can, reminding my students that only I can do this, because I'm an "old lady." 

But it's getting me down.  Yes, even sunny, optimistic me.  Pain can do that.  I've spent some sleepless nights, laying there wondering what I'm going to do for the next fifty years if I can't hike or walk.  At the end of a long day teaching, especially after a field trip, my temper tends to flare as the soles of my feet throb with every step.

What now? 
The torture continues. 

I've thought of going back to the podiatrist, but she was the one who told me there was no therapy, that I would have hammertoes, and eventually surgery.  She convinced me to order expensive custom orthotics that make my toes float in the shoe, so I can't avoid walking the old heel-strike way. Besides, they don't fit in any of my shoes.  I may consider talking to her again, but only after doing my own research. 

So today I dug out my old over-the-counter orthotics with the metatarsal bump that I bought at Footwear over a year ago.  Some relief.  Icing and resting more.  And doing some online research. 

Anybody out there have an answer?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Too Much of a Good Thing

It's true: too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

I've been wearing my veebs for a year, working, walking, hiking, and singing their praises.  Now I have a new problem: foot pad pain.  It feels like a bruise all over the ball of my foot.  The left foot hurts more than the right. 

I tried resting it for a few days, icing it off and on.  Tried walking again, and ouch!  Treated a few corns.  Even went back to my old, cushiony running shoes.  More rest and ice, then made the mistake of going on a hike with my husband.  It was way longer and way steeper than I was led to believe.  Now they hurt all the time.

I should probably go back to the podiatrist, but what is she going to tell me?  Those vibrams are bad for my feet?  I should wear the awful orthotics, which will require buying all new shoes?  Those vibrams made my hammertoe situation much better.  I do not like the orthotics.

So I'm trying a new thing.  Swimming 3 times a week, which gives me my cardio workout without stressing the feet.  No walking, just using the elliptical machine at my gym, so no more pounding.  And soaking these dogs once a week in a warm epsom salts or baking soda bath.  And yes, I am wearing my old-lady running shoes and my Clarks, with a gel insert I picked up at the drug store. 

The veebs are waiting patiently in the closet.  I hope to be ready for them by spring break.