Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Balance Beam

For most of my adult life I have had low iron levels at one time or another.  Iron seems to be one of the things that my body struggles to hold onto properly - even as I've aged, which is a bit unusual.  What is interesting is that the fatigue and low energy that I suffer begin to feel normal and it's usually not until the doctor says that things are out of whack do I fully realize that oh yeah, I have been feeling tired and sluggish.

Prior to my thyroid diagnosis in 2005, I knew something 'had' to be wrong - the signs were there as I slowly gained weight while training for a half marathon.  Of course I didn't know exactly what it was but even as everything came tumbling down I soldiered on, thinking that maybe I was eating too many carbohydrates due to all the running I was doing.  What amazed the doctor was that I had managed to function as I did.  But again, even with the weight gain how I felt had become so ordinary I didn't imagine something somewhat serious could be wrong.

These days if I don't exercise, I pretty much feel terrible and achey all over.  It's not restful at all.  When I do exercise, my foot hurts.  Depending on what I do my foot may hurt a lot or hurt a little.  But pretty much, most days, it hurts all day long.  Some days I walk in the house and Mr. Helen asks me what happened at work because I look like I've been through the wringer.  The other day I told him not even to ask anymore - it's simply the effort of trying to function in pain all day that is making me look that way.

The simplest things, like getting up in the middle of  the night to get a drink of water, or getting dressed for work, take twice as long because my foot hurts.The constant pain also pushes so many other things out of balance:  at any given time I may or may not be eating properly, sleeping properly, or even emotionally proper.

It's a vicious cycle too because if I don't sleep well, I don't want to exercise which makes me feel bad both physically and emotionally.  Then the chances are that I will not eat properly because my brain is screaming for relief and it hasn't gotten it through exercise-induced endorphins.  When I don't eat properly I further feed the negative self talk that causes emotional and spiritual downward spirals.  See?  Vicious cycle.

This morning, I wanted to be outside which means I can't really run. I may get a jogging spurt or two in but the pavement is just too hard on my foot even with the special heel cup and orthotic insert I now have in my shoe. (When I want to actually run I have to stick with the treadmill.)  So, going outside means I make the choice to walk or wog.  That's fine because at least it's exercise.  But the minute my foot started throbbing, I found my thoughts diving downward as I mourned the loss of my favorite running season.  "Already it's dark the whole time I'm out and pretty soon it will be cold too and wow this just SUCKS.  Seems like everyone I know is getting to run and race and train and all I can do is limp along.  It SUCKS.  No, I suck.  I'm not what people think I am.  I'm a big faker.  A big fat faker.  It's no wonder people constantly look shocked when I say I run or do Muay Thai. Jeez.  I can't even really do Muay Thai properly right now either.  The timing on this could not be worse with my black belt testing coming up.  Sigh.  I DO suck. I should just give up, I should just say eff it all and quit everything..."

Then I get home and think that I just won't eat the spinach omelette I planned for breakfast, I'm going to have... what?  A donut.  (I don't even like donuts for crying out loud!)  A blueberry muffin and not a low fat one. A bagel with cream cheese and an egg and bacon!  Ay-yi-yi. See?  Vicious cycle.

So yeah, I'm very out of balance now and trying to figure out what to do and how to get back up and stay on that 4-inch beam of happiness.  I'm tired though.  Maybe I should get my iron levels checked.

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Winston Churchill 


P.S. As a side note, my insurance will not approve any more visits to the naturopathic sports doctor I was seeing.  I had already decided to get a second opinion (and maybe a cortisone shot?) so I'll be going to see my podiatrist on the 31st unless they have a cancellation and I can get in sooner.


23 comments:

  1. No, Helen, you are not a faker. Not by any means. Frustration is a terrible thing. You are brutally honest and that is refreshing to read! I admire the perseverance in you. You will get the answers and relief you are looking for.

    So stay away from those donuts and bagels! I'll have to send you my salsa recipe! Did you know it's fabulous on your sausage, sweet potato and spinach casserole!

    xo,
    Linda

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    1. Yes! Send me the recipe! I put salsa on my breakfast omelette often but have never tried it on the casserole.

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  2. Plantar fasciitis sucks. Maybe your podiatrist will have something new to help you heal faster.

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    1. It's not plantar fasciitis. It's heel pad syndrome which is worse. I've had both and this is definitely worse.

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  3. I have a magnet with that Churchill quote on my fridge, if that tells you anything ... right now I am taking baby steps to get back into my fitness routines. I totally relate to your post and hope you get relief soon.

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  4. Girl...
    I have been in a very similiar place before. In fact, I am recovering from a broken big toe. Sounds simple, but it really rocked by ability to do anything...especially exercise. Hang in there!!! Do what you can. Remember...giving up is not an option!! YOU ARE NOT A QUITTER!!!

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    1. Sorry about your toe Corletta! Frustrating!

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  5. OK. Get to your primary care doctor. You probably have more things out of whack than you realize, and they are all contributing to the overwhelming sense of despair. Don't let this go any longer...yes, you have a sucky foot injury, but the rest can be salvaged, and you need to get someone who is in your corner (and I know your PCP is) to get you feeling like yourself again. Big hugs...I know this sucks.

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    1. I agree with Shelley, Helen. I went through this last year with my shoulder/arm/wrist injury, and it was primary care that got me on track again. These things can really bring us down, especially when we lose precious time in our lves. Good for you still walking and making the effort to move. Some people would have quit, but you are still working at it. Riding out this kind of stuff is pretty tough, Helen, so I'm thinking of you, but I still agree with Shelley--go to your PCP. A new perspective may help.

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    2. I know you know Shelley after what you went through with your ankle!

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  6. It is hard to stay on the balance beam of happiness, isn't it? I am kind of in the same funk. Not able to exercise because of my bronchitis, feeling jiggly, wondering how we are going to pay for the cars we bought, etc. I am desperately trying not to emotionally eat, and for the most part, doing okay, but not anywhere near where I want to be.

    Take a deep breath, this too shall pass, and sending you huge hugs!!

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  7. ((HUGS)) Hang in there girl. Maybe get your hormones checked out?

    How about a bike ride? Would that hurt your foot? Or swimming? At least it's exercise and will be easy on the foot.
    Just realize that all of this is temporary. Do what you can and it will get better.

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    1. Don't own a bike and no swimming pools around here - since we live on the ocean they are far less common than they are other places. I can't swim anyway, but don't tell anyone ;)

      I do realize this too shall pass - hoping for sooner than later!

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  8. I thought about bike riding too. I realize we need weight bearing exercise but the bike should give your heel a rest.

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  9. Helen - get to a different orthopedic specialist stat. No matter how much you might like your current doc, there is no reason to not get at least some reasonable pain control. Do it right now. Chronic pain is really one of the biggest spirit killers out there (as you already know).

    Hugs.

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    1. I can't go back to that doctor anyway unless I pay full price which I'm not willing to do since I pay dearly for insurance. I am going to see the podiatrist I used in 2006 to deal with my (then) PF and Morton's neuroma. Unfortunately, he's gotten so popular he now has two offices and is only in the office I go to a couple times a week. So I'm hoping he has a cancellation before the 31st otherwise I just have to wait it out.

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  10. Hi Helen, I hope the podiatrist is able to help. Chronic pain can zap the joy out of life. Even small tasks seem HUGE don't they?? Hang in there, help is out there, and HUGS are here for you from me!

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  11. I'm so sorry that damn foot pain is still active. Good that you're getting another opinion. And get that blood work done. The person who suggested checking hormones was right - and the fact that you're at that happy place of the PAUSE...that refreshes, eventually. But it can be a bear at times. Hugs to you Helen.

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  12. I think you already have gotten lots of good advice and mine would be a bit the same as Shelley's so I'm not going to repeat this.

    But I do feel sorry for you that you're not feeling well, mentally and physically. You know it will pass but in the meantime it sucks feeling this way.

    And you're not a faker, if you are, I would be too.

    As for the daily pain in your foot, I have no experience with that but my husband has. He has had an accident over 5 years ago and broke his foot and hasn't been a day painfree since. Some days are worse than others. He can get an operation but it's not guaranteed that will fix it, he definitely will lose some ability in his foot if he does the surgery. For now he can live with it and we'll see how it goes the next years.

    Take care Helen, if I didn't live that far away I would come over and give you a big hug.

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  13. BIG BIG BIG HUGS.
    It's not plantar here but back pain and the lack of sleep? COLORS EVERYTHING.

    I get this.

    xoxo


    Miz.

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  14. I know I don't have to right words, but I just want you to know that I feel for what you're going through. There are so many fakers out there, believe me I spend my nights with a number of them at work. Without even knowing you personally I know you would give anything to feel better and be back to your normal level of activity. I am sending healing thoughts and prayers your way in hopes that you recuperate as soon as possible.

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    1. Thank you. I'll take all the prayers I can get.

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  15. I meant to say above, I know I don't have "the" right words. Sorry.

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