Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Into Thin Air

Posted by john h on 9/06/01 at 19:05 (059287)

ok gang at noon today on the spur of the moment i decided to climb Pinnacle Mountain. The best advice i got was to take a walking stick. I used an aluminum adjustable extension rod for paint rollers. it worked well. the best advice i got and did not follow was to take plenty of water. I took a diet coke and a mars bar. you would think after attending jungle survival school in the Phillipines, artic survival in Nova Scotia, and desert survival in west texas i would know how to be prepared. I arrived at the base of the mountain and their were no Sherpas to be found just one guy sitting in the grass drinking a dr pepper. I taped my feet in Julie fashion with two strip of tape and wore my New Balance shoes with orthotics. I arrived at the base of the mountain at 12:03pm, temperature 91 degrees and humid. Here is my diary:

12:05 start my ascent with mars bar in pocket, pocket knife,cell phone,walking stick and a diet coke.

12:15: this looks like a piece of cake. sort of steep but in woods out of sun and marked trail.

12:25: arrive at base camp. drink my diet coke. it is a little hotter. get used to thin air.

12:30: where did the marked trail go? still hot and starting to see lots of rocks which you must walk across.

12:35: have entered an area of nothing but rocks. every step must be made from one rock to the other and you must keep your eyes on the ground. it is very very hot. sure wish i had not drank all the diet coke. climbing at a very steep angle.

12:38: meet a guy coming down who is moving across the rocks like a mountain goat. has no fat on him. has three canteens of water on his belt. i am to embarrassed to ask for any. says to me 'isn't this great'! sure!

12:40: i am burning up. it is supposed to cool off the higher you go. that is not happening. the trees have thinned out and i can now feel the sun and see into the valley below. decide to eat my mars bar. it has melted in my pocket. who cares as i am thirsty.

12:50: i summit the d--- mountain. great view but i don't care as i am to thirsty. if only it would rain! then how could i get across all those slippery rocks. start descent. thank goodness for the walking stick or i think i would just stay up here and wait for help.

1:00: meet the guy coming up that i met on the way when he was coming down. says he makes two trips each visit. tells me again how great this is. he takes a big swig of water!!!!! every step through the rock field is a jump from one rock to the next and must be carefully measured

1:15: wow is it hot and am i thirsty. who was that idiot poet that wandered around in the woods writing poetry (Emerson?). He must have been nuts. must be about half way down. i have not seen a creature of any sort although i can hear birds. probably vultures waiting for me to collapse.

1:25: i can see the bottom. thank god i will live! i have not even thought about my feet. all i want is water and some cool air.

1:45: i am at the base. there is a water fountain and it does not work. Mountain climbing sucks. It sure improves your balance or you die.

1:50: sure glad you guys talked me into this. maybe next time you can join me. This mountain sure did not look like the one in The Sound of Music

Will tell you how my feet feel tomorrow. I iced them down at club as soon as i could

Re: Into Thin Air

nancy s. on 9/06/01 at 20:08 (059304)

john, you poor poor dear, that was quite the trial you endured! but you learned a lot, didn't you? (for one thing, why on earth would you take a mars bar instead of reese's cups.) (for another thing, why didn't you trade your melted mars bar for one of that guy's canteens.)
ok, now i can say (right?) that i laughed my head off at your diary and i thank you for the hilarity. i must print this out on my new epson printer!
i sincerely hope your feet are ok tomorrow -- let us know.
i'm still laughing, john.
nancy

Re: Into Thin Air

JudyS on 9/06/01 at 21:21 (059311)

my best advice to you, John h, is - shoot the guy.

PS - congratulations on the big climb!

Re: Into Thin Air

wendyn on 9/06/01 at 22:21 (059325)

Glad you enjoyed your climb!?! I cannot believe that you took a diet coke and a Mars Bar!? What's up with that! Glad you took the stick though - you could have used it to beat up the other guy for some of his water.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/07/01 at 03:54 (059339)

You did it!

You are definitely the man, John. My hat's off to you (well, it would be if I had one).

Now it's tomorrow. I know you're still sleeping off your ordeal, but I can't wait to hear how your feet are, so post soonly.

(I notice it took precisely as long as you said it would: 45 minutes, 12.05 - 12.50. Now how did you know that?)

Re: Into Thin Air

john h on 9/07/01 at 10:56 (059365)

amazingly my feet are doing well this morning. must have been those two paralell strips of tape. seriously, there was some steep rock fields that i thought would surely screw my feet up. a walking stick is an almost must coming down through the rocks. i will do this again and soon only with water, sandwich, and an early morning start when it is cool. never thought i would climb a mountain of this nature.

Re: Into Thin Air

Tammie on 9/07/01 at 11:33 (059378)

Oh it is so good to read your triumph John!!!!! I might have chose the diet coke to as love that alot ! But maybe snuck a bottle of water also ! One for the way up and one for the way down lol.I am so happy that you are meeting your challenges, with good results! Gives us all lots of hope! I truly enjoyed reading about your journey and began to think of my own and wondering what it will be and what it will be like! Thanks for the adventure!

Re: Into Thin Air

ellen w on 9/07/01 at 11:48 (059382)

John --
Just remember, 2 sticks are better than 1. I found that out last summer when I tried to climb a trail at Lake Placid. Took me 4 hours to do what my friends plus dog could do in one.
ellen

Re: Into Thin Air

john h on 9/07/01 at 12:23 (059385)

what i would like to know ellen is where do you find a real old fashion walking stick? maybe nancy s knows the answer to this. we have an old Farmers Coop here that carries all sort of old things-maybe there. i guess i could just whittle one out of a limb but i am not into whittling these days. If someone had told me i would climb such a mountain 2 years ago i would have said no way jose. i have been plagued with this bilaterial pf for near 8 years so for me to do this is like some sort of miracle. there may come a point in our recovery process where we should do more than we think we can do? i am not suggesting that to anyone but it is just a thought. i was feeling better and dr z said walk a mile every day. i walked 2 then 3. i thought about climbing up a mountain when judy told me she had hiked up a mountain. some of you said do it so yesterday at 11:30 on the spur of the moment i just went out and did it. actuall my entire foot (feet) feel more loose andfree to move. moving up and down among the many rocks puts your feet at every possible angle and you surely are stretching you calf,hamstring,achilles (sorry julie i cannot remember those names). none of the muscles are sore and at the moment my feet are as good as before my climb. coming down you had to do a little jumping and i thought this will surely result in something bad but it has not. i do not know if there are any lessons to be learned here but i am just a bit more 'whole' as a person than i was before my climb. mary thought i was goofy when i told her what i had done. as forrest gump would say 'goofy is as goofy does'. oh yes! there is a lesson to be learned here and that is to not carry a mars bar on a mountain hike and do take some water. in my past life i was commander of an Air Rescue Squadron. I have pulled many people off of mountains, out of the ocean and out of the jungle and always thought how did these goofy people get themselves in this situation? Duh!!!

Re: Into Thin Air

ellen w on 9/07/01 at 13:00 (059390)

I wound up using 2 sticks that my friends found along the trail and gave to me. I believe that there are companies that make lightweight sticks that retract to different sizes -- but somehow I picture you almost like a Scotsman -- walking with a sweater and tam on your head, pipe in mouth and an elaborately carved handle. Maybe far from the truth, but it's a nice image nonetheless.

I did the urban version of a mountain hike last night. Went to the US tennis open to see Andy Rodick get beat, and had seats in the 'z' row -- the very top row, all the way in the corner. No elevator up to the cheap seats! Another one of those, do you live your life or pamper your feet, moments. Very stiff and swollen ankles this morning, but probably more from the sitting in one place for 6 hours than from the walking/climbing up stairs.

I am really happy to hear of your progress and hope it continues. One more thing -- you may want to invest in a camelback hydration system. They feel silly at first, this little tubie thing that you suck on, but they make it much easier to stay hydrated.
ellen
ellen

Re: Into Thin Air

wendyn on 9/07/01 at 13:20 (059391)

John - Amen to everything you say. It is amazing how something like this can do SO much for your emotional well being and your enjoyment of life.

Re: Into Thin Air

JudyS on 9/07/01 at 13:48 (059396)

John, I am so happy for you that you've climbed your mountain and even have no demanding after-effects today. Good for you and good for showing all of us that there can be life with PF!
Now, may I ask once again (I'm SO easy to bait.....) - who you callin' sissy, sissy? :)
My mountain was probably bigger than yours.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/07/01 at 17:09 (059411)

John, you are so right: there comes a point when we should do more than we think we can do. We get so fearful of taking more steps than we think we can! And we can hang back for too long through that fear. Of course we've got to know the point when it arrives, and that's difficult. All my real progress began when I started challenging myself, and doing things I didn't think I could do, but found I could. First in India, circumambulating the holy mountain Arunachala, then in Crete, doing all the hill walking I wanted to do, then in Paris, pounding the pavements all day long. All those things made me anxious before I did them; but doing them boosted my confidence and helped me back to 'normal life' (whatever that is). So I am thrilled for you, really thrilled.

And if you want really good walking sticks, you will have to come to Crete, where they make beautiful ones for just the kind of terrain you were navigating yesterday. They're called 'bastouni'. All the shepherds have them.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/08/01 at 08:20 (059456)

John, thanks for the photo of the rocks that you e-mailed me - I replied, but like several other messages to you recently, this one was returned. This is what it said:

No, I did NOT think you were kidding. I know all about rocks, all the
walking and hill climbing I do in Crete is on rocks (Crete is a very stony
island). They're all different sizes of rocks, mostly smaller than these and
even harder on the feet - at least on big ones you can put your whole foot
down on one! The smallest are little gravelly pebbles, and they are the
worst - you can so easily slither on the downhill.

Congratulations on your feat, and on your feet. I have a feeling you're
going to find that your climb the other day was a real watershed. Now you
can be bolder, and reach out more for challenges, and with any luck you may
even be running again some day. I hope so!

Re: Into Thin Air

john h on 9/08/01 at 08:43 (059459)

today i am content to rest on my recent accomplishment. I will stick to walking this week and maybe walk my old neighborhood route which i have not done for three or more years. I am not ready for the Iron Man or the Boston Marathon level yet. I still am at a pain level of 1 which sometimes is less but after some trials by fire (for me) i am no worse so i am pleased with that. the interesting and most important question is why am i better after 7-8 years????????ESWT?????? I guess for me personally i can just enjoy it but for other people out there i wish i had something to point to and say 'This is the answer'! I have tried so many things. The birks helped me i know. Real improvement began 6 weeks after my 3rd ESWT treatment. I was at the same time using some other advice from the board and changing a few other things in my life.

Re: Into Thin Air

wendyn on 9/08/01 at 10:00 (059469)

John - even thought I haven't had surgery or ESWT - I also have to wonder why I am SO much better than I was 2 years ago. I have custom birks, new orthotics, have had lots of time - stopped the stair master and running...had acupuncture, B12, yoga. Did any ONE of them work - was is the combination? For me, in many ways if feels like nothing short of a miracle. I honestly believed at some points that I was never going to be able walk without pain again.

Don't get me wrong - I still have pain, I still have bad days...but it is so much better than it used to be. I remember days when bed sheets were unbearably painful.

Re: Into Thin Air/wendy n

john h on 9/08/01 at 11:37 (059486)

i echo your sentiments wendy. i was begining to wonder when or if it would ever end but i always had some hope and i think without the board i may not have had that hope. i think we all need a life preserver to grab on and hold on to. it may be the board! it may be knowing that i still do not know of anyone who has written they have had it forever. whatever you can grab hold of do it. hopefully our improvement will provide a life preserver for someone.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/08/01 at 12:01 (059489)

'Whatever you can grab hold of, do it' - a great slogan for Life, John. I believe it.

Re: Into Thin Air/wendy n

wendyn on 9/08/01 at 12:06 (059491)

John - I was going to make some wise crack about you having trouble dealing with exposed legs since back in the old days when you were a child women weren't even allowed to expose their ankles but I won't.

Re: Into Thin Air/John & Wendy

Barbara TX on 9/08/01 at 13:17 (059498)

You have both been such life preservers for me... with all your hiking and recent feats, you both give me a lot of hope. B.

Re: Into Thin Air

Mary De on 9/08/01 at 14:32 (059507)

John,

Thanks for the inspiration. I admit to naked envy. I cannot say how much I yearn to walk in nature again. (I realized the other day that my muscles are beginning to atrophy from lack of serious walking.)

Julie,

Any thoughts on when you knew you could push yourself a little harder to walk a *real* walk?

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/08/01 at 15:04 (059513)

Yes, Mary, it's easy to pin down. I was in India in January, staying in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi, and I wanted very much to to the circumabulation of Arunachala, the holy hill. It's a (level) round walk of about 8-9 miles miles. I had done it before, on my first two visits, and it was one of my main reasons for wanting to be there, although when I left England I was sure I wouldn't beable to do it, and was resigned to that. But I did it. It helped that my PF had suddenly improved dramatically from the day of my arrival, which I'm sure had to do with my being there, in that healing place. It wasn't so much a question of pushing myself as of being there and of wanting so much to do it, and of circumstances being right and my foot obliging me. (I wouldn't have done it had I been in the amount of pain I was in a week earlier.) Once I'd done it, with very little 'comeback' from my heel, which hurt that evening but was all right in the morning, I grew more confident. Then, when I went to Crete in April, I had no hesitation about doing all the walking I wanted to do. That was another confidence booster.

For me, it feels significant that all my 'leaps forward' were when I was away from home and away from my daily routine, and that all the things I wanted to do were things I didn't think I was ready to do - but I was, as it turned out. I'm not suggesting this would be true for anyone else: it's just how it worked out with me. I do think it's important not to plunge into too much too soon, but always to keep in contact with our feet and let them tell us what they can do. And listen to what they tell us after we've tested them.

I think it may be just a matter of testing the waters occasionally, and gradually overcoming the psychological barriers that build up over time due to physical pain and the necessity of limiting ourselves. And trying not to succumb to the 'I am an invalid' mentality. Even when the pain is very bad, the focus should be - at least some of the time, as much as possible - on what we can do, whatever that is, more than on what we can't.

Re: Into Thin Air/wendy n

john h on 9/09/01 at 14:01 (059640)

hey wendy: i was just looking in lands end and it seems the new style is dresses and skirts down to the ankles. you wait long enough and it all comes back. my wife pranced out in one of those down to the ankle new dresses yesterday so they must be back or she would not wear it.

Re: Into Thin Air

Mary De on 9/10/01 at 15:17 (059748)

Thanks, Julie, that's quite helpful.

Re: Into Thin Air

nancy s. on 9/06/01 at 20:08 (059304)

john, you poor poor dear, that was quite the trial you endured! but you learned a lot, didn't you? (for one thing, why on earth would you take a mars bar instead of reese's cups.) (for another thing, why didn't you trade your melted mars bar for one of that guy's canteens.)
ok, now i can say (right?) that i laughed my head off at your diary and i thank you for the hilarity. i must print this out on my new epson printer!
i sincerely hope your feet are ok tomorrow -- let us know.
i'm still laughing, john.
nancy

Re: Into Thin Air

JudyS on 9/06/01 at 21:21 (059311)

my best advice to you, John h, is - shoot the guy.

PS - congratulations on the big climb!

Re: Into Thin Air

wendyn on 9/06/01 at 22:21 (059325)

Glad you enjoyed your climb!?! I cannot believe that you took a diet coke and a Mars Bar!? What's up with that! Glad you took the stick though - you could have used it to beat up the other guy for some of his water.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/07/01 at 03:54 (059339)

You did it!

You are definitely the man, John. My hat's off to you (well, it would be if I had one).

Now it's tomorrow. I know you're still sleeping off your ordeal, but I can't wait to hear how your feet are, so post soonly.

(I notice it took precisely as long as you said it would: 45 minutes, 12.05 - 12.50. Now how did you know that?)

Re: Into Thin Air

john h on 9/07/01 at 10:56 (059365)

amazingly my feet are doing well this morning. must have been those two paralell strips of tape. seriously, there was some steep rock fields that i thought would surely screw my feet up. a walking stick is an almost must coming down through the rocks. i will do this again and soon only with water, sandwich, and an early morning start when it is cool. never thought i would climb a mountain of this nature.

Re: Into Thin Air

Tammie on 9/07/01 at 11:33 (059378)

Oh it is so good to read your triumph John!!!!! I might have chose the diet coke to as love that alot ! But maybe snuck a bottle of water also ! One for the way up and one for the way down lol.I am so happy that you are meeting your challenges, with good results! Gives us all lots of hope! I truly enjoyed reading about your journey and began to think of my own and wondering what it will be and what it will be like! Thanks for the adventure!

Re: Into Thin Air

ellen w on 9/07/01 at 11:48 (059382)

John --
Just remember, 2 sticks are better than 1. I found that out last summer when I tried to climb a trail at Lake Placid. Took me 4 hours to do what my friends plus dog could do in one.
ellen

Re: Into Thin Air

john h on 9/07/01 at 12:23 (059385)

what i would like to know ellen is where do you find a real old fashion walking stick? maybe nancy s knows the answer to this. we have an old Farmers Coop here that carries all sort of old things-maybe there. i guess i could just whittle one out of a limb but i am not into whittling these days. If someone had told me i would climb such a mountain 2 years ago i would have said no way jose. i have been plagued with this bilaterial pf for near 8 years so for me to do this is like some sort of miracle. there may come a point in our recovery process where we should do more than we think we can do? i am not suggesting that to anyone but it is just a thought. i was feeling better and dr z said walk a mile every day. i walked 2 then 3. i thought about climbing up a mountain when judy told me she had hiked up a mountain. some of you said do it so yesterday at 11:30 on the spur of the moment i just went out and did it. actuall my entire foot (feet) feel more loose andfree to move. moving up and down among the many rocks puts your feet at every possible angle and you surely are stretching you calf,hamstring,achilles (sorry julie i cannot remember those names). none of the muscles are sore and at the moment my feet are as good as before my climb. coming down you had to do a little jumping and i thought this will surely result in something bad but it has not. i do not know if there are any lessons to be learned here but i am just a bit more 'whole' as a person than i was before my climb. mary thought i was goofy when i told her what i had done. as forrest gump would say 'goofy is as goofy does'. oh yes! there is a lesson to be learned here and that is to not carry a mars bar on a mountain hike and do take some water. in my past life i was commander of an Air Rescue Squadron. I have pulled many people off of mountains, out of the ocean and out of the jungle and always thought how did these goofy people get themselves in this situation? Duh!!!

Re: Into Thin Air

ellen w on 9/07/01 at 13:00 (059390)

I wound up using 2 sticks that my friends found along the trail and gave to me. I believe that there are companies that make lightweight sticks that retract to different sizes -- but somehow I picture you almost like a Scotsman -- walking with a sweater and tam on your head, pipe in mouth and an elaborately carved handle. Maybe far from the truth, but it's a nice image nonetheless.

I did the urban version of a mountain hike last night. Went to the US tennis open to see Andy Rodick get beat, and had seats in the 'z' row -- the very top row, all the way in the corner. No elevator up to the cheap seats! Another one of those, do you live your life or pamper your feet, moments. Very stiff and swollen ankles this morning, but probably more from the sitting in one place for 6 hours than from the walking/climbing up stairs.

I am really happy to hear of your progress and hope it continues. One more thing -- you may want to invest in a camelback hydration system. They feel silly at first, this little tubie thing that you suck on, but they make it much easier to stay hydrated.
ellen
ellen

Re: Into Thin Air

wendyn on 9/07/01 at 13:20 (059391)

John - Amen to everything you say. It is amazing how something like this can do SO much for your emotional well being and your enjoyment of life.

Re: Into Thin Air

JudyS on 9/07/01 at 13:48 (059396)

John, I am so happy for you that you've climbed your mountain and even have no demanding after-effects today. Good for you and good for showing all of us that there can be life with PF!
Now, may I ask once again (I'm SO easy to bait.....) - who you callin' sissy, sissy? :)
My mountain was probably bigger than yours.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/07/01 at 17:09 (059411)

John, you are so right: there comes a point when we should do more than we think we can do. We get so fearful of taking more steps than we think we can! And we can hang back for too long through that fear. Of course we've got to know the point when it arrives, and that's difficult. All my real progress began when I started challenging myself, and doing things I didn't think I could do, but found I could. First in India, circumambulating the holy mountain Arunachala, then in Crete, doing all the hill walking I wanted to do, then in Paris, pounding the pavements all day long. All those things made me anxious before I did them; but doing them boosted my confidence and helped me back to 'normal life' (whatever that is). So I am thrilled for you, really thrilled.

And if you want really good walking sticks, you will have to come to Crete, where they make beautiful ones for just the kind of terrain you were navigating yesterday. They're called 'bastouni'. All the shepherds have them.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/08/01 at 08:20 (059456)

John, thanks for the photo of the rocks that you e-mailed me - I replied, but like several other messages to you recently, this one was returned. This is what it said:

No, I did NOT think you were kidding. I know all about rocks, all the
walking and hill climbing I do in Crete is on rocks (Crete is a very stony
island). They're all different sizes of rocks, mostly smaller than these and
even harder on the feet - at least on big ones you can put your whole foot
down on one! The smallest are little gravelly pebbles, and they are the
worst - you can so easily slither on the downhill.

Congratulations on your feat, and on your feet. I have a feeling you're
going to find that your climb the other day was a real watershed. Now you
can be bolder, and reach out more for challenges, and with any luck you may
even be running again some day. I hope so!

Re: Into Thin Air

john h on 9/08/01 at 08:43 (059459)

today i am content to rest on my recent accomplishment. I will stick to walking this week and maybe walk my old neighborhood route which i have not done for three or more years. I am not ready for the Iron Man or the Boston Marathon level yet. I still am at a pain level of 1 which sometimes is less but after some trials by fire (for me) i am no worse so i am pleased with that. the interesting and most important question is why am i better after 7-8 years????????ESWT?????? I guess for me personally i can just enjoy it but for other people out there i wish i had something to point to and say 'This is the answer'! I have tried so many things. The birks helped me i know. Real improvement began 6 weeks after my 3rd ESWT treatment. I was at the same time using some other advice from the board and changing a few other things in my life.

Re: Into Thin Air

wendyn on 9/08/01 at 10:00 (059469)

John - even thought I haven't had surgery or ESWT - I also have to wonder why I am SO much better than I was 2 years ago. I have custom birks, new orthotics, have had lots of time - stopped the stair master and running...had acupuncture, B12, yoga. Did any ONE of them work - was is the combination? For me, in many ways if feels like nothing short of a miracle. I honestly believed at some points that I was never going to be able walk without pain again.

Don't get me wrong - I still have pain, I still have bad days...but it is so much better than it used to be. I remember days when bed sheets were unbearably painful.

Re: Into Thin Air/wendy n

john h on 9/08/01 at 11:37 (059486)

i echo your sentiments wendy. i was begining to wonder when or if it would ever end but i always had some hope and i think without the board i may not have had that hope. i think we all need a life preserver to grab on and hold on to. it may be the board! it may be knowing that i still do not know of anyone who has written they have had it forever. whatever you can grab hold of do it. hopefully our improvement will provide a life preserver for someone.

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/08/01 at 12:01 (059489)

'Whatever you can grab hold of, do it' - a great slogan for Life, John. I believe it.

Re: Into Thin Air/wendy n

wendyn on 9/08/01 at 12:06 (059491)

John - I was going to make some wise crack about you having trouble dealing with exposed legs since back in the old days when you were a child women weren't even allowed to expose their ankles but I won't.

Re: Into Thin Air/John & Wendy

Barbara TX on 9/08/01 at 13:17 (059498)

You have both been such life preservers for me... with all your hiking and recent feats, you both give me a lot of hope. B.

Re: Into Thin Air

Mary De on 9/08/01 at 14:32 (059507)

John,

Thanks for the inspiration. I admit to naked envy. I cannot say how much I yearn to walk in nature again. (I realized the other day that my muscles are beginning to atrophy from lack of serious walking.)

Julie,

Any thoughts on when you knew you could push yourself a little harder to walk a *real* walk?

Re: Into Thin Air

Julie on 9/08/01 at 15:04 (059513)

Yes, Mary, it's easy to pin down. I was in India in January, staying in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi, and I wanted very much to to the circumabulation of Arunachala, the holy hill. It's a (level) round walk of about 8-9 miles miles. I had done it before, on my first two visits, and it was one of my main reasons for wanting to be there, although when I left England I was sure I wouldn't beable to do it, and was resigned to that. But I did it. It helped that my PF had suddenly improved dramatically from the day of my arrival, which I'm sure had to do with my being there, in that healing place. It wasn't so much a question of pushing myself as of being there and of wanting so much to do it, and of circumstances being right and my foot obliging me. (I wouldn't have done it had I been in the amount of pain I was in a week earlier.) Once I'd done it, with very little 'comeback' from my heel, which hurt that evening but was all right in the morning, I grew more confident. Then, when I went to Crete in April, I had no hesitation about doing all the walking I wanted to do. That was another confidence booster.

For me, it feels significant that all my 'leaps forward' were when I was away from home and away from my daily routine, and that all the things I wanted to do were things I didn't think I was ready to do - but I was, as it turned out. I'm not suggesting this would be true for anyone else: it's just how it worked out with me. I do think it's important not to plunge into too much too soon, but always to keep in contact with our feet and let them tell us what they can do. And listen to what they tell us after we've tested them.

I think it may be just a matter of testing the waters occasionally, and gradually overcoming the psychological barriers that build up over time due to physical pain and the necessity of limiting ourselves. And trying not to succumb to the 'I am an invalid' mentality. Even when the pain is very bad, the focus should be - at least some of the time, as much as possible - on what we can do, whatever that is, more than on what we can't.

Re: Into Thin Air/wendy n

john h on 9/09/01 at 14:01 (059640)

hey wendy: i was just looking in lands end and it seems the new style is dresses and skirts down to the ankles. you wait long enough and it all comes back. my wife pranced out in one of those down to the ankle new dresses yesterday so they must be back or she would not wear it.

Re: Into Thin Air

Mary De on 9/10/01 at 15:17 (059748)

Thanks, Julie, that's quite helpful.