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Now what's wrong with me!!

Posted by Rene on 9/06/01 at 14:46 (059249)

I used to do step aerobics regularly 5-6 days a week, 1 hour a day. About a year from when I first started, I began to feel pain in my heel. It got so bad that I finally went to the my primary care doctor about it. He told me that I had a spur and he showed me the x-ray. Ugly little thing!! The pain was tremendous, he then gave me a cortizone shot. Not too many problems after that!! About ten months later, the pain came back, well, I hated the cortizone shot so I waited to go until I couldn't even walk on the leg without limping. Finally got the shot. That one only lasted about eight months. Then the same thing all over again! Went for shot number three, that one lasted five months. During this time, my exercise decreased drastically, and I put on about ten pounds. Then, while I was walking, or should I say limping around waiting to get my primary to refer me to a foot doctor, I pushed off the foot and felt this unbelieveable pain and couldn't walk on the foot at all!! Went to foot doctor and he told me that I partially tore the ligament from the spur, which is what they do in the operation, and that I needed to get hard plastic inserts and do streching and the pain would go away after a few weeks of healing time. Well, after all that, I have to admit, I didn't work out much at all. I'm so afraid of hurting my foot. Total weight gained 15 pounds!! Very depressing!! Now, like and idiot, I decided to quit smoking. I did it, but I've since put 15 pounds on top of the 15 pounds that I already needed to loose. Very mad at myself and upset considering I used to be so fit!! Well, I've recently started walking for an hour a day. About 3 weeks into my walking, my foot began to tingle and go numb. Starts in the last two toes, into the arch, and then on up the calf if I don't slow down. When I slow the walk and pick the foot up a bit, it goes away, but as soon as I get into it again it starts. This normally occurs after I've been walking for about 1/2 hour 45 mins. I've been stretching before and during my walk, but my entire calf area continues to feel really, really tight and doesn't ever feel totally loose. Both calf muscles are really tight and the numbing is on the foot with the spur. Do I have Tarsel Tunnel now (my symptoms seem so?)???? Is it because of this darn spur??? Or, is it because of the weight gain? Does anyone have any advise for me on what this is and what I should do? I mean, I have to get some exercise or I'll be huge!! Please let me know what you think!!! Very afraid to seek out foot doctor at this point!!

Re: Now what's wrong with me!!

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/06/01 at 15:50 (059261)

It is hard to say, at this point without an exam. Unfortunatley, sounds like the mechanical difficulties leading up to this started a while back, before you first saw your family doctor. Cortisone, unto itself, can be a very good type of drug. The problem is when it is used to 'cover up' problems, allowing them to worsen. The thing to do at this point is to see your foot doctor, let him find out what needs to be done and TAKE ACTION.

Taking action can be therapeutic since you have a plan and have goals set. Inaction leads to feelings of despair and hopelessness which can generate depression.
Ed

Re: Now what's wrong with me!!

Rene on 9/06/01 at 16:21 (059272)

Thank you, I will.

Re: Don't despair......

CArmen H on 9/06/01 at 16:25 (059274)

You took the first most important step. You found heelspurs.com. Have you read the PF Book? What did your doctor tell you about maintenance of your feet while the cortizone was doing it's job? What else did you do to take care of your feet besides the shot? Rest? Ice? NSAIDS? Obviously the shot helped with the PAIN but did you find good shoes and never go barefoot? Did you continue to be cautious in your routine of exercise?
There are many things I am finding out (and you will too) that dr.'s don't tell us sometimes. We have to find out on our own. As far as your weight is concerned have you modified your eating? What type of diet do you have?
I have to say CONGRATULATIONS on quitting smoking!!!!!! You are NOT an idoit for that move. You deserve a BIG pat on the back for that one. It's hard. I KNOW. I smoked for 15 years and quit without help of nicotine patches or anything. It was a rough road but one I am happy I took. My life is ten times btter because that awful habit is not part of my life any longer. By quitting smoking you have proven you have the strength to beat this foot problem as well. 15 pounds is nothing compared to black lung and an oxygen tent.
Can you swim? What about upper body work and floor work?
It's frustrating when an active person ahs to stop the routine but that's a must in your current condition as it is for most of us on here. I am the same way...activities have ceased. I do the bare minimum. BUT modifying your eating habits is VERY important. There are some great stetches being discussed on the Treatment board you may want to look into. I do a lot of them and it helps my calves as well. If you are feeling the tightness in your calves you may want to consider PT as part of your treatment and I would ask the POD about it as well.
Sorry this is so long and unstructured. Try to take a deep breath and document your symptoms, treatments you have had, how long they worked or how long you tried them and they didn't work...etc. Print it out and take it with you, make an appt. with the doc and get to work conquering this. Don't be scared to seek a doctor....even if it takes awhile to find the right one.
Put the walking on the back burner until you find out your next step.
Stay active on here and try not to freak out...(I know it's hard..trust me). There are people on here who KNOW how you feel. Sometimes that is the BEST treatment you can get.

Re: Don't despair......

Rene on 9/06/01 at 17:16 (059279)

I know what you're saying!! I wish when I had all the pain for three very long years that I had this site. When I first felt the pain was in 96. I then went through 3 cortizone shots from my primary care doctor. He would have just kept giving them to me had I not insisted that I needed to go to a foot specialist!!! I told him NO MORE CORTIZONE!! That I would not live like that and that I wanted a referral. Primary care's today are so reluctant to send you somewhere else. It's like they think they know it all!!! Anyway, I was in so much pain, partly my fault because I would wait until I literally could not walk before I'd get the shot!! It was a very depressing time for me. I was always active when I grew up, Ice Skater; Gymnastics; not to mention all the jobs I had that required standing all day -- florist; waitress -- it wasn't until I got a desk job and was doing step aerobics 6 days a week for about a year that I started feeling pain. I guess I got luck and my body pulled the ligament from the spur!! Otherwise, I would have probably had to receive surgery; however, I cannot even tell you the amount of pain I experienced surrounding that whole thing!! It took about a year for it to even feel normal. I do not have that much pain with the heel spur itself now. Only here and there I feel a throb and it will be a bit sore. It's the other leg I'm worried about. I haven't been very active because sometimes I feel like I have the starting symptoms on the other foot!!! So, 15 pounds later, I decided that I had to take a chance and begin to be active again. Not to mention that I've been depressed about my weight since I put on the 15 pounds. Then when I quit smoking, I thought if I really watched my eating I wouldn't gain any weight. NOT TRUE!! I don't believe in starving myself, did that when I was younger, and I don't believe in dieting!! I try to just watch what I'm putting in my mouth!! I quit smoking on the patch!! Every time I decreased the damn think I put on 5 pounds regardless of how healthy I was eating. I've just turned 34 and I come from a family of women who are all very 'big boned' and all have weight problems!! Short legs long middles!!! Worse combination ever!!! I've always fought like hell to stay thin!!! Now....I feel like a cow!!! My advise to everyone on here would be to please don't do what I did and not do any kind of activity. I do not own a car and there is nowhere for me to go swimming, or I would have probably done that. The numbing and tingling is something that has just recently started. I looked on the net, that's how I found this site, and I also read about Tarsal Tunnel and Compartment something --scared the living crap out of me!!!!! I hate needles and electronic shock also scares the living crap out of me!!! I thought it might be my shoes -- I where DMX Reeboks. They seemed so wonderful!! I have no heel pain!!! They're very cushy and I prefered these over the new balance when I got them!! But now, I'm thinking of going back to the new balance, see if maybe it's the shoes. I also where spenco 3/4 length hard plastic insoles; however, I work at home now and I have been walking around in bare feet much more than ever!!! I just read on the site NO BARE FEET!! My doctor never told me that!!!!!!!! I wonder if the numbness and tingling is because I'm not whereing my insoles enough??? The past few days I've been walking and have had no numbness, it's felt like it was on the verge of going numb, but it didnt. I've been walking at a slower pace and have been extremely careful about over extending my legs when I walk. I have a habit of doing that. I have been whereing my Reebok DMX. I will try whereing my insoles more, and the new balance shoes again. If I so much as get a tingle -- it's straight to the foot doctor for me. I'm also thinking of having insoles made for my, these spenco's are great, but I could probably have a permanent pair by now for what they cost!! My prayers are with everyone on this board. There's been nothing so depressing in my life!! To go from being built well to fat from fear and pain is a living hell!!! The only think that's kept me from pitying myself is the thought that others out there have problems much worse than mine, and that I should be lucky to even have my legs, arms, hearing, eye sight, etc. Thanks for everyone's help. I really appreciate it!!!!

Re: Don't despair......

Tammie on 9/06/01 at 20:07 (059303)

I am so sorry for your pain , what u have done is very courageous, you have taken many steps that were to giving you a more healthy life! Quitting smoking is a very hard thing to do, I have never smoked but my mother and father were chain smokers and my hubby also , he and my mom quit several years ago, and as I watched I seen how it was the ultimate test of there courage! They fight the urge to this day and has been maybe 10 years.There is always a battle in a persons life you took one on and you were the winner, now that you know you can do that pick your next one and work with it. Try not to get discouraged and take to many on at a time, you are doing wonderful and you should feel so very proud about what you have acomplished!!!! I am proud of you I think you are one brave person! Remember always faith it is a beautiful word, it pertains to you, have faith in your self as you are a winner! You will survive and find your rewards in what you have suceded in. You have made me think how lucky we are to have choices in our lives and to be able to do something to make life better for us. Hugs to you our friend and hope that you keep winning your battles, and remember tomorrow is another day and if the sun does not shine outside it is up to you to make it shine on the inside! Hugs to u and wishing you luck and courage!

Re: Don't despair......

Rene on 9/06/01 at 21:01 (059308)

Thank you!!!! That was very kind of you, and has made me feel very good!!! I started smoking when I was 17. I just turned 34 a few weeks ago. I started the patch and took it exactly the way the instructions stated. The first time I tried the patch I was doing what everyone else does taking it off and smoking!! I became extremely ill!!! This time, I took it the way it was meant to be taken and I took it for the full extent that you can take it. I was on it for six months. I've been off of it for I guess about three months now. I've heard that you will always want a cigarette and that it will be tempting. I have not had that problem. People have smoked in front of me and everything. I've once and a while felt like I might want one, but I'm so against smoking at this point. Nothing can get me smoke one -- it's not worth it to me anymore. I was sick of smelling like smoke and not feeling healthy because of it. My anger now stems from the fact that I've stopped and now I'm fat!!! I didn't quit smoking to die from a heart attack!!! So, yeah, sometimes I get frustrated, especially since I have these foot problems and cannot work out like I used to, but really, I do not even think about smoking. When I think that I used to smoke, it feels like a dream or something. Funny, the whole time I took the patch people were asking me how long it's been since I quit. I can't even tell you the day that I quit!!! I just started acting like I never smoked before and put the patch on, and went from there!! Thank you again for you kind comments they've given me a big smile!! Everyone here is so nice!!

Re: Quit date

wendyn on 9/06/01 at 22:22 (059326)

I quit June 3 1995. Best thing I ever did.

Re: Smoking

Julie on 9/07/01 at 03:40 (059338)

I quit in September 1969, when my mother had half of her cancerous right lung removed. There is NOTHING like your mother getting lung cancer to bring home the reality of smoking. I've never smoked since. But this was long before the research made the connection between smoking and cancer so clear, and my mother continued smoking. When I asked her if she was going to stop, she said 'the doctors never mentioned it'. (Sounds unbelievable now, doesn't it?) She resumed her pack-a-day-plus routine six weeks after she got out of hospital, lived a terribly restricted life for another 12 desperately uncomfortable years, and finally died of emphysema.

Rene, giving up smoking was the smartest thing you ever did. Congratulations! Those 15 pounds will come off with attention to diet, you will be able to exercise again, and you've proved, as the others have said, that you have the determination and commitment to your health to get better. Give yourself all the credit you're due for having given up the smoking habit. The chances are it has saved your life- and you'll certainly enjoy your life a lot more - yes, even if you do have painful feet and a bit of extra weight for a while .

Re: No way Julie!!!

Carmen H on 9/07/01 at 07:28 (059345)

There is no way you were even ABLE to smoke in 1969! Were you born yet?
You look so young!!!! I saw that date and couldn't believe it.

Re: Smoking

Rene on 9/07/01 at 08:20 (059349)

Thank you very much for the kind words!!! Sorry to hear about your Mom.

Re: Smoking

Julie on 9/08/01 at 09:31 (059465)

Thanks, Rene. It was a long, long time ago, but I do appreciate your thought.

Re: Don't despair......

JeanB on 9/10/01 at 19:19 (059789)

I, too, wore Reebok DMX for about six months. I have recently switched to NIKE lite cross trainer with a TRIAD arch support (over the counter at Walgreens). I find this much more comfortable than the Reebox. I have a boxful of inserts--custom, spencos, Dr. Scholls, etc. This combo is the best to date. As far as exercise goes, get out your bike--stay on flat ground and ride in fresh air. You'll feel much better. Hang in there...this is a depressing condition for those of us who enjoyed an active lifestyle previously.

Re: JEAN

Carmen on 9/11/01 at 11:50 (059876)

Jean be careful with Nikes. I have heard MANY horror stories of PF getting worse from them and also have experienced it first hand.
Nikes will never get on my feet again.

Re: Now what's wrong with me!!

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/06/01 at 15:50 (059261)

It is hard to say, at this point without an exam. Unfortunatley, sounds like the mechanical difficulties leading up to this started a while back, before you first saw your family doctor. Cortisone, unto itself, can be a very good type of drug. The problem is when it is used to 'cover up' problems, allowing them to worsen. The thing to do at this point is to see your foot doctor, let him find out what needs to be done and TAKE ACTION.

Taking action can be therapeutic since you have a plan and have goals set. Inaction leads to feelings of despair and hopelessness which can generate depression.
Ed

Re: Now what's wrong with me!!

Rene on 9/06/01 at 16:21 (059272)

Thank you, I will.

Re: Don't despair......

CArmen H on 9/06/01 at 16:25 (059274)

You took the first most important step. You found heelspurs.com. Have you read the PF Book? What did your doctor tell you about maintenance of your feet while the cortizone was doing it's job? What else did you do to take care of your feet besides the shot? Rest? Ice? NSAIDS? Obviously the shot helped with the PAIN but did you find good shoes and never go barefoot? Did you continue to be cautious in your routine of exercise?
There are many things I am finding out (and you will too) that dr.'s don't tell us sometimes. We have to find out on our own. As far as your weight is concerned have you modified your eating? What type of diet do you have?
I have to say CONGRATULATIONS on quitting smoking!!!!!! You are NOT an idoit for that move. You deserve a BIG pat on the back for that one. It's hard. I KNOW. I smoked for 15 years and quit without help of nicotine patches or anything. It was a rough road but one I am happy I took. My life is ten times btter because that awful habit is not part of my life any longer. By quitting smoking you have proven you have the strength to beat this foot problem as well. 15 pounds is nothing compared to black lung and an oxygen tent.
Can you swim? What about upper body work and floor work?
It's frustrating when an active person ahs to stop the routine but that's a must in your current condition as it is for most of us on here. I am the same way...activities have ceased. I do the bare minimum. BUT modifying your eating habits is VERY important. There are some great stetches being discussed on the Treatment board you may want to look into. I do a lot of them and it helps my calves as well. If you are feeling the tightness in your calves you may want to consider PT as part of your treatment and I would ask the POD about it as well.
Sorry this is so long and unstructured. Try to take a deep breath and document your symptoms, treatments you have had, how long they worked or how long you tried them and they didn't work...etc. Print it out and take it with you, make an appt. with the doc and get to work conquering this. Don't be scared to seek a doctor....even if it takes awhile to find the right one.
Put the walking on the back burner until you find out your next step.
Stay active on here and try not to freak out...(I know it's hard..trust me). There are people on here who KNOW how you feel. Sometimes that is the BEST treatment you can get.

Re: Don't despair......

Rene on 9/06/01 at 17:16 (059279)

I know what you're saying!! I wish when I had all the pain for three very long years that I had this site. When I first felt the pain was in 96. I then went through 3 cortizone shots from my primary care doctor. He would have just kept giving them to me had I not insisted that I needed to go to a foot specialist!!! I told him NO MORE CORTIZONE!! That I would not live like that and that I wanted a referral. Primary care's today are so reluctant to send you somewhere else. It's like they think they know it all!!! Anyway, I was in so much pain, partly my fault because I would wait until I literally could not walk before I'd get the shot!! It was a very depressing time for me. I was always active when I grew up, Ice Skater; Gymnastics; not to mention all the jobs I had that required standing all day -- florist; waitress -- it wasn't until I got a desk job and was doing step aerobics 6 days a week for about a year that I started feeling pain. I guess I got luck and my body pulled the ligament from the spur!! Otherwise, I would have probably had to receive surgery; however, I cannot even tell you the amount of pain I experienced surrounding that whole thing!! It took about a year for it to even feel normal. I do not have that much pain with the heel spur itself now. Only here and there I feel a throb and it will be a bit sore. It's the other leg I'm worried about. I haven't been very active because sometimes I feel like I have the starting symptoms on the other foot!!! So, 15 pounds later, I decided that I had to take a chance and begin to be active again. Not to mention that I've been depressed about my weight since I put on the 15 pounds. Then when I quit smoking, I thought if I really watched my eating I wouldn't gain any weight. NOT TRUE!! I don't believe in starving myself, did that when I was younger, and I don't believe in dieting!! I try to just watch what I'm putting in my mouth!! I quit smoking on the patch!! Every time I decreased the damn think I put on 5 pounds regardless of how healthy I was eating. I've just turned 34 and I come from a family of women who are all very 'big boned' and all have weight problems!! Short legs long middles!!! Worse combination ever!!! I've always fought like hell to stay thin!!! Now....I feel like a cow!!! My advise to everyone on here would be to please don't do what I did and not do any kind of activity. I do not own a car and there is nowhere for me to go swimming, or I would have probably done that. The numbing and tingling is something that has just recently started. I looked on the net, that's how I found this site, and I also read about Tarsal Tunnel and Compartment something --scared the living crap out of me!!!!! I hate needles and electronic shock also scares the living crap out of me!!! I thought it might be my shoes -- I where DMX Reeboks. They seemed so wonderful!! I have no heel pain!!! They're very cushy and I prefered these over the new balance when I got them!! But now, I'm thinking of going back to the new balance, see if maybe it's the shoes. I also where spenco 3/4 length hard plastic insoles; however, I work at home now and I have been walking around in bare feet much more than ever!!! I just read on the site NO BARE FEET!! My doctor never told me that!!!!!!!! I wonder if the numbness and tingling is because I'm not whereing my insoles enough??? The past few days I've been walking and have had no numbness, it's felt like it was on the verge of going numb, but it didnt. I've been walking at a slower pace and have been extremely careful about over extending my legs when I walk. I have a habit of doing that. I have been whereing my Reebok DMX. I will try whereing my insoles more, and the new balance shoes again. If I so much as get a tingle -- it's straight to the foot doctor for me. I'm also thinking of having insoles made for my, these spenco's are great, but I could probably have a permanent pair by now for what they cost!! My prayers are with everyone on this board. There's been nothing so depressing in my life!! To go from being built well to fat from fear and pain is a living hell!!! The only think that's kept me from pitying myself is the thought that others out there have problems much worse than mine, and that I should be lucky to even have my legs, arms, hearing, eye sight, etc. Thanks for everyone's help. I really appreciate it!!!!

Re: Don't despair......

Tammie on 9/06/01 at 20:07 (059303)

I am so sorry for your pain , what u have done is very courageous, you have taken many steps that were to giving you a more healthy life! Quitting smoking is a very hard thing to do, I have never smoked but my mother and father were chain smokers and my hubby also , he and my mom quit several years ago, and as I watched I seen how it was the ultimate test of there courage! They fight the urge to this day and has been maybe 10 years.There is always a battle in a persons life you took one on and you were the winner, now that you know you can do that pick your next one and work with it. Try not to get discouraged and take to many on at a time, you are doing wonderful and you should feel so very proud about what you have acomplished!!!! I am proud of you I think you are one brave person! Remember always faith it is a beautiful word, it pertains to you, have faith in your self as you are a winner! You will survive and find your rewards in what you have suceded in. You have made me think how lucky we are to have choices in our lives and to be able to do something to make life better for us. Hugs to you our friend and hope that you keep winning your battles, and remember tomorrow is another day and if the sun does not shine outside it is up to you to make it shine on the inside! Hugs to u and wishing you luck and courage!

Re: Don't despair......

Rene on 9/06/01 at 21:01 (059308)

Thank you!!!! That was very kind of you, and has made me feel very good!!! I started smoking when I was 17. I just turned 34 a few weeks ago. I started the patch and took it exactly the way the instructions stated. The first time I tried the patch I was doing what everyone else does taking it off and smoking!! I became extremely ill!!! This time, I took it the way it was meant to be taken and I took it for the full extent that you can take it. I was on it for six months. I've been off of it for I guess about three months now. I've heard that you will always want a cigarette and that it will be tempting. I have not had that problem. People have smoked in front of me and everything. I've once and a while felt like I might want one, but I'm so against smoking at this point. Nothing can get me smoke one -- it's not worth it to me anymore. I was sick of smelling like smoke and not feeling healthy because of it. My anger now stems from the fact that I've stopped and now I'm fat!!! I didn't quit smoking to die from a heart attack!!! So, yeah, sometimes I get frustrated, especially since I have these foot problems and cannot work out like I used to, but really, I do not even think about smoking. When I think that I used to smoke, it feels like a dream or something. Funny, the whole time I took the patch people were asking me how long it's been since I quit. I can't even tell you the day that I quit!!! I just started acting like I never smoked before and put the patch on, and went from there!! Thank you again for you kind comments they've given me a big smile!! Everyone here is so nice!!

Re: Quit date

wendyn on 9/06/01 at 22:22 (059326)

I quit June 3 1995. Best thing I ever did.

Re: Smoking

Julie on 9/07/01 at 03:40 (059338)

I quit in September 1969, when my mother had half of her cancerous right lung removed. There is NOTHING like your mother getting lung cancer to bring home the reality of smoking. I've never smoked since. But this was long before the research made the connection between smoking and cancer so clear, and my mother continued smoking. When I asked her if she was going to stop, she said 'the doctors never mentioned it'. (Sounds unbelievable now, doesn't it?) She resumed her pack-a-day-plus routine six weeks after she got out of hospital, lived a terribly restricted life for another 12 desperately uncomfortable years, and finally died of emphysema.

Rene, giving up smoking was the smartest thing you ever did. Congratulations! Those 15 pounds will come off with attention to diet, you will be able to exercise again, and you've proved, as the others have said, that you have the determination and commitment to your health to get better. Give yourself all the credit you're due for having given up the smoking habit. The chances are it has saved your life- and you'll certainly enjoy your life a lot more - yes, even if you do have painful feet and a bit of extra weight for a while .

Re: No way Julie!!!

Carmen H on 9/07/01 at 07:28 (059345)

There is no way you were even ABLE to smoke in 1969! Were you born yet?
You look so young!!!! I saw that date and couldn't believe it.

Re: Smoking

Rene on 9/07/01 at 08:20 (059349)

Thank you very much for the kind words!!! Sorry to hear about your Mom.

Re: Smoking

Julie on 9/08/01 at 09:31 (059465)

Thanks, Rene. It was a long, long time ago, but I do appreciate your thought.

Re: Don't despair......

JeanB on 9/10/01 at 19:19 (059789)

I, too, wore Reebok DMX for about six months. I have recently switched to NIKE lite cross trainer with a TRIAD arch support (over the counter at Walgreens). I find this much more comfortable than the Reebox. I have a boxful of inserts--custom, spencos, Dr. Scholls, etc. This combo is the best to date. As far as exercise goes, get out your bike--stay on flat ground and ride in fresh air. You'll feel much better. Hang in there...this is a depressing condition for those of us who enjoyed an active lifestyle previously.

Re: JEAN

Carmen on 9/11/01 at 11:50 (059876)

Jean be careful with Nikes. I have heard MANY horror stories of PF getting worse from them and also have experienced it first hand.
Nikes will never get on my feet again.