Abracadabra ⭐️⭐️⭐️ plantar fasciitis be gone!

Oh it’s been so long since I’ve written here, but I’m hoping that is going to change starting now. 

I peeked at my Facebook today (my New Years resolution is to stay off FB and check in once a month, which so far I have accomplished). But I peeked today, looking only at my “memories” which, I might add,  I haven’t liked being reminded over the past year of how many miles I used to run. Those posts have become a sad, distant memory for me. Today’s memory was just poetic- I was reminded that I had a cortisone injection 3 years ago today in my left foot for plantar fasciitis. I think that was the second of a total of three injections over the past 5 plus years for said injury. 

As I write this, I’m laying supine on my bed, my wrapped and booted left foot propped up on a super thick pillow, cat tucked in for a nap. A giant sigh escapes my body. 


Two days ago I had a procedure -a PRP injection – done on my foot. After 5 plus years of on and off chronic plantar fasciitis I decided to try something that will hopefully (and let’s all say a positive prayer for me right now) and finally end this injury. 

I researched, about a year and a half ago when I had my last flare up, shock wave therapy and found a doctor who is local (SF Bay Area) who does that procedure and does house calls, but at the time didn’t pursue him because insurance doesn’t cover the procedure and I didn’t want to spend the money when I was already paying for health insurance. I went to my regular podiatrist and that is when I received my third cortisone shot and was back in my walking boot. That worked as far as no heel pain and I only ran very short distances, 3-5 miles, closer to the 3 mile range and with walk breaks. I was terrified my PF would return if I did anything more. 

Last year I managed to run three 5K’s (2 of which I placed 1st and 2nd) and one 10K trail run (Angwin to Anguish), in the rain, where I was squeaked out of 3rd and got 4th. The 3rd place lady bamboozled me- but I won’t go there. It’s a great race btw, very scenic and hilly. 

 

The last 5K was a Turkey Chase here in Napa Valley. The whole family participated.


That was the last time I ran, and since then I’ve been mostly walking on my treadmill. After work, I’d jump on my treadmill and binge watch Netflix getting in about 20 miles of walking in a week. 

I could feel a tinge of pain in my heel coming on, but ignored it until about a month ago. The pain was coming back and I couldn’t really continue walking like I was. 

Enter depression. On top of having to put down my sweet golden retriever of 15-1/2 years in mid January, something that still makes me sad,  the pain was back and I was feeling hopeless. I would sit and think, why? Why when I finally found something that made me super happy, that made me feel like a superhero, that inspired me to push myself and encourage others, that made me feel like my life had purpose, why was this taken from me? Yes, I was feeling very sorry for myself. 

I was interested in the shock wave therapy again and decided to see if I could get that done. I called my podiatrist and asked if I could do it. Typical doctors office response “we haven’t seen you in 15 months, so you need to come in first and have the doctor exam you.” Yes, so he can tell me the same thing and charge me more. This doctor too, advised me to stop running. This is just not an option. 

Enter Doc On The Run. I emailed him all that I have been through with the laundry list of therapies I’ve done to rid myself of PF. Nothing has permanently gotten it to go away. 

Doc On The Run isn’t your ordinary podiatrist. He’s an award winning foot surgeon who is himself an athlete, runner, cyclist, ironman. Who better to consult with than someone who can relate and is an expert in the field? I’d been on his email podcast list since I researched him a year and a half ago and because I am in between jobs this week, wanted to take advantage of this time off to fix my foot once and for all! Unlike my old podiatrist who couldn’t move quickly, Dr. Segler was on it. He called me right away and we talked about my options.  We set up a formal consultation for the next day (this was last Thursday before my week off) and he told me all the options I could choose from and recommended the PRP injection as my best treatment. Taking advantage of having this week to recover he arranged for the procedure to happen on Monday giving me the entire week to rest my foot before starting my new job. 

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Dr. Segler and his services. He is available 24/7 to answer questions. He responds within hours of any emails. He calls on the Weeknd. HE MAKES HOUSE CALLS! 

Doc On The Run check him out for yourself! He works worldwide.


The big day: Dr. Segler worked some magic to expedite getting the equipment and drove up to my home in Napa to perform the PRP injection. He was very professional and took the time to go over everything and answer all the questions I had. He set up a sterile area in my living room where I would be getting my injection. 

First he drew blood from my arm. I told him I bruise easy with blood draws and he said then I would probably have a bruise. But my bruise is very small and almost unoticeable which is great since I expected it to be huge. It’s not. Then he placed my blood in a centrifuge, where it spins my blood for 15 minutes. This separates my blood into 3 sections. The middle section holds the platelet rich plasma which is what will be injected back into my foot to promote healing. 


You can see my foot is all prepped. While my blood was spinning he injected my foot with lidocane, a numbing agent. This was the most painful part. I think I kicked him during one of the injections. Sorry doc. 

Now that my foot was numb and the PRP ready he quickly injected my foot on the spots he had marked on my foot prior. I didn’t feel a thing and afterwards he showed me the rather large needle. Yikes! I kept my eyes closed for all the injections as I was already nervous about it all. I kinda wished I had watched the plasma injections. When I had dared to open my eyes he was already done.

He then wrapped my foot and leg in a wet cast and a couple other layers of gauze or dry cast material. Not sure of the technicalities of it all. He finished it off with a sock.


And lastly, the full length walking boot.

I was given a folder of written instructions and a pain script, he made sure I was comfortable and had my TV remote. ☺️Number 1 instruction: stay off my foot for 48 hours, best… stay in bed. And so here I am. I have crutches if I need to get up, and am to use for the rest of the week. Followed by a week or two in the walking boot. I’m not thrilled to be in the boot for my new job, but at least I won’t be on the crutches and frankly, the more I can stay off my foot the better it will heal and I’m 100% behind that! 

Can I say, walking on crutches sucks! My armpits hurt!! 

Dr. Segler was here for about an hour and a  half. My foot was pretty numb afterwards and that lasted for a few hours. He called me before I went to bed to check on me. How many doctors do that? Um… none! The only pain I felt was during the night. The top of my foot was super achy. I called him at 5:30 am after being up every two hours. He told me to remove the top layer of coverings on my foot. That helped. Last night I still had some pain on the top of my foot. I don’t know why things have to hurt during the night. I think it hurts because my foot is in a flexed position and when I’m sleeping it doesn’t get much circulation. One thing I haven’t felt, heel pain. The only pain I feel is from hobbling around in crutches. All those muscles hurt and make me not want to get up. I guess that will keep me off my feet! Did I mention my armpits HURT! 

So the doc will check in again this week and I will take off the bandages maybe Friday while he is on the phone with me remotely. At that point I will just be in the walking boot for a week, maybe two, hopefully not three. It will just depend on how my body is healing. This has been chronic for so many years, it could take time. I’m hoping not so much time. 

For more information about PRP click this link.  PRP
Keep your fingers crossed for me, say a prayer, send me good positive vibes. I need to get better. I need to run again. I need to be my best self. I need to be me! Whole and healthy. 

Thank you!! I will keep you posted.

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Just Over An Inch

Here I go again. No running. Doctors orders this time. The time had come, after two months of unsuccessfully trying to self diagnose and treat my injuries via internet data, to break down and visit a real doctor.

It all started Thursday night after I wrote my excited post about my solo ‘go girl’ run. I got up from the computer (after about an hour of sitting) and once again—BAM!—heel pain (plantar fasciitis). This time in the other foot, my right. It prompted me to ice the bottoms of my feet before bed.

And wear this.

bedtime gear: compression sleeve + plantar fasciitis brace

The next morning I felt better, so what did I do? I went for my Friday morning run of course!

Friday is my favorite day to run because I’m off work and there is no rush. And it happened to be another gorgeous day. So off I went feeling great. That is until I was about an eighth of a mile from home, when my calf, yes, the same old one from two plus months ago (think pre-marathon) started getting that all too familiar tight feeling. I immediately switched to walking the rest of the way home.

getting ready to hit the streets--my favorite swagger skort and first run in the tinker tank... a keeper!

Enough is enough. I have reached the bottom of my rope. I did some research on local foot doctors and got some references and, sorry Andrew… I really wanted to go to the one you reccomended. I really did. He sounds perfect. But, after just shelling out over a grand to get surgery on my eleven year old dog to have a recurring and infected bursting lump on her leg removed, I just couldn’t sign up to see a doctor who doesn’t take insurance-especially when I’m paying for my own health insurance. Plus he was only available next week (and only 3 of the days) and I needed one NOW! The guy I ended up with is a sports podiatrist, a runner, knows biomechanics, took my insurance and most importantly, could see me that afternoon! Hooray!

Here is my poor dog. Actually I think she is much happier sans the golf ball sized cyst.

frankenstein

So the foot doc listened to my tale of injury woes while he made some notes and checked out my feet measuring and such. I told him I work all day on my feet, on concrete floor and that my feet are killing me by the end of day. He said given the marathon training, the calf injury, the break from running and then resuming plus my job, it was the perfect recipe for plantar fasciitis.

As requested, I had brought him all the different shoes I’ve been wearing (for running and work). He dismissed most as unsuitable. During the tests he told me that I have one leg longer than the other. This of course is not uncommon. He said mine was 30 centimeters shorter (at least I think that’s what he said.) That’s just over an inch! Shit! He had me stand with my legs about 8 inches apart and asked me if I was comfortable. I said no. He asked ‘how do you stand?’ I shifted my weight to one leg (my left) and bent the other. I always stand like that. No wonder my lower back hurts me all the time when I stand too long!

My left leg. It’s the shorty. My left foot… it’s the problem child. It’s the foot all the blisters are on. It’s the one that is swollen. See the ball of my feet?

the ball of the foot is swollen and angry

It’s the one that started this whole plantar fasciitis nonesense. And now it makes sense. The doctor told me that I probably get the blisters because the leg is compensating for it’s… shortness, by reaching farther. (So sorry Shoe Guru, maybe I was a little harsh bitching you out the other day about my blistering foot.) But we will see. For now, he wants me to wear my running shoes to work, and luckily I can. He put some insole inserts in them. The left foot got a special one with a lift in the heel, which made me feel sort of… well… like a gimp. To be honest, I don’t really like how the inserts feel in my left shoe. The right one seems ok, but ouch! The left one feels so crappy! I am trying to let my foot get accustomed to the change. He told me that it should feel bad. I forgot to ask ‘for how long?’ I will be seeing him again next Friday, so hopefully the feet will be feeling better and I can get back to running!

I can’t believe I have to stop running again. I can’t even run with my run club Thursday night and had to pass the job on to my co worker, floor leader and friend, Alison who was planning to run this week with me.

I am bummed I can’t do it. But Doctor’s orders. He also game me a prescription for anti-inflamation pills that are a once a day pill, versus having to take 4-8 of the over the counter variety. And he said I should get some physical therapy and body work on my calves. I still need to set that up, but desperately want it!

So for now, it’s back to just strength training and the stationary bike. At least that is better than nothing. It’s actually a relief to have been told to stop running. I have been in agony and unhappy with running since the marathon.

A big shout out to my running buddies “coach” Sonja and “coach” Maili. Congrats you two on your RRCA completion!! Now, what’s your expert advice? 😉

The Shoe Guru

The Anatomy of A Shoe
Apparently, the bottoms of your running shoes can tell a story. That is what I learned today. I have been looking forward to today for over a couple months. It’s the day I get fitted (properly, I hope) for new running shoes. I wish I had gone to The Running Company and talked to Charles (the Shoe Guru) a few months back when my feet were bothering me. Back then it was just too close to my first marathon to make a shoe switch. (Yes, Sonja, I should have listened to you… and Shanna… and Maili, my running group buddies.) But here I am today, a um… wiser woman. Well, happier at least-I just bought some new running shoes.

I gave Charles, the Guru, the long winded version of how I switched running shoes last summer from my Brooks Adrenaline’s to the Brooks Trance, based on the running analysis that Sports Authority Elite performed. SAE said I over pronated, especially on my right side. Today, I brought in the old Adrenalines and the recent pair of Trance shoes. The Guru studied them while he (listened). I also had the Super Feet insoles in the Trance’s that a few months ago Fleet Feet in San Francisco recommended I wear for added support. I told the Guru that I could feel my feet landing on the outer edge when I ran today.

Let’s back up for a sec. I ran for the first time since the marathon two days ago!! WOO HOO!!  Finally! Just two easy miles. Boy oh boy, where my lower legs, from the calf down sore the next day!! I couldn’t believe it. What happened to all my built up mileage from just a month ago? Had my muscles deteriorated that quickly? I rested yesterday (but rode the bike) and then ran 4 miles today, plus 45 minutes on the bike because now that I’ve been on the bike so much, I’m actually starting to like it, as well as I’m not feeling all numb down there anymore. I am so happy to be running again, I can’t even tell you. I had forgotten just how good running makes me feel. The best part is, aside from the muscle soreness, I don’t feel any pain from the calf strain injury, so hopefully that is better.

worn-out outer edges ~ click pic to enlarge

The Guru was great! He flipped my shoes over and studied the bottom soles. This is what he saw. The Trance shoe soles, which are just two months old, were worn only on the outer edges. He told me that because I already had a stabilizing shoe, that the added Super Feet were making me over compensate for the pronation and that is why my feet are hurting me. Check out the outer edge of the soles of these shoes. That is the only section of the shoe that is worn down! He then showed me my old Adrenalines and we could see that the wear and tear was right where it should be, in the forefoot of the shoe. He told me that I would need to go back to a shoe similar to the Adrenalines. He also told me that he doesn’t carry Brooks shoes anymore because he doesn’t like the way they have changed their shoes.

my new boyfriends er... shoes, the pro grids

The next step was finding the right shoe. First he had me run on the treadmill in my Trance shoes. “No wonder SAE made you get the Trance instead of just replacing your Adrenalines,” he said. “They probably took one look at your right foot/leg and saw how much you were over pronating and the young teenager helping you wanted to make sure you were in a stablilizing shoe!” In the slow motion breakdown, we could see that my right leg from the calf down to the ankle moved back and forth between each foot strike! And the angle that my leg was on was far from being upright. This could be why my poor calf decided to give up just prior to the marathon last month. Next I ran in my old Adrenalines. He said it was better, but remember, he doesn’t sell Brooks. So, he had me try a new shoe, the Gel Asics (which were what I wore prior to the Brooks Adrenaline when I first started running.) He saw more improvement, but I was still was feeling some pain in my arches. The next shoe was the Saucony Kinvara 2. This shoe is lightweight and I thought kinda cool looking. I really liked them. I told the Guru they felt good and he said to come and look at my video. “You are the Miss America of running in those shoes,” he declared. With a few clicks of the mouse, he showed me how nice and straight my foot strike was. He then had me try one more shoe. Another Saucony, the Pro Grid Glide 5. These too worked nicely for me. The Guru recommended that what would really be best for me would be to have two shoes to rotate. One for long runs, easy mileage, or days when I’m tired (the Pro Grids) and the other for faster runs, intervals, speedwork, shorter mileage, easy trails (like Phoenix Lake.) So of course I got them both.

and the kinvara

One of the other types of shoes we discussed were the minimalist shoes-Newtons to be exact, which my active release therapist recommended. A different type of minimalist shoe is what I imagined I would be walking out the door with today. Sadly, the Guru told me I was not ready for such a shoe, although he thought the Newtons would be a great shoe for me later this year. He told me that I needed to get my calf fully healed and that by mid-late summer I should be back in proper running form and ready to make that sort of switch. The Guru had me try on his pair of Newtons and they were pretty cool how they are built with the plugs in the forefoot of the shoe. I’m looking forward to his store hopefully carrying them later this summer… Did you hear that Newton? We want your shoes at The Running Company in Northern California!!!

He also told me to NOT do any more half marathons until after summer. “But but but… I wanted to do one at the beginning of June,” I cried! He said, “I’m not telling you what you should do, but you are a SMART gal and you want to run your next marathon in December strong and injury free, right?” Meekly I answered yes. “Do a 10K instead,” he said. “There is a local one on Memorial Day. That would be perfect for you.” This really bummed me out. I really wanted to have a few half marathons under my belt this year.

((((Major league sigh))))

So it’s back to sqaure one I guess. I am on a new running path so to speak. I need my feet to feel happy and love the shoes that they are going to spend all this new time with. I told the Guru today that I “hated” the Brooks Trance. But that is because they weren’t being good to me in the end. I think they are good shoes, just not for me anymore. Hmmm… this sounds sort of like a boyfriend. Anyhow… change is good. The Guru told me to come back in a month so he could see how I’m doing with my running. I really had a great experience with Charles, the Guru, (thank you, thank you) at his store. He really seems to know what he is talking about, and wasn’t just trying to sell me mulitple shoes. Afterall, I am a SMART gal, if not stubborn (yeah, I’m still thinking of the early June half marathon.)

I am so excited to run in my new shoes. I will have to wait until Sunday though, which will make it all the better with the built up anticipation. Hmm… again, sounding like a boyfriend. LOL… ok, I think I’m losing it tonight. Stay tuned for future updates with the Guru.