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**A walk in the wildflowers**

Posted by Necee on 4/09/03 at 00:15 (115740)

I wanted to share my weekend with ya'll. @};-
The Bluebonnets, and Indian Paintbrush are thick in the rolling hills on our ranch, and I couldn't resist taking a long walk among them last Sunday. The wind was brisk and the sun was shining brightly, it was the perfect setting for picture taking, so I set out towards the pasture with camera in hand. Strolling among the wildflowers I snapped several pictures, and before I knew it I was about a mile away from the cabin. I noticed my feet were begining to ache just a little....I didn't have my Birks on, so like an old work horse, I headed for home! Along my journey, I thought about my friends here, and wondered how your days were going, I thought about the soldiers in Iraq, and prayed for their safety, I thought about their families and what they must be going through, I thought about the NASA crew whos shuttle remains were located not far from our ranch, which by the way, there are about 200 volunteers still searching in this area alone, they found over 350 pieces of debris on Friday. I thought about how active and athletic I use to be, there were so many things I did not so very long ago that I can't do now, and it makes me very sad! I never in a million years thought that I'd be having foot trouble. Just before I reached the cabin, my feet were getting angry, and I was feeling the cloud of despair and depression come over me. I just wanted to sit down and cry.....but I didn't, I quickly got my mind off myself, and back on the thoughts that were on my mind while I was walking in the flowers, suddenly my pain didn't seem so bad.

Happy trails.....**==


Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Carole C in NOLA on 4/09/03 at 07:20 (115745)

If anybody reading this has never seen the Texas wildflowers in spring, especially the bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush, this is one of life's great experiences and you should go there and see them sometime if you can (and if you don't suffer from allergies). It is impossible to describe how vivid the colors are, and photos don't do it justice. The colors will bring tears of joy to your eyes and comfort to your soul. I will never forget them.

Necee, I can sure relate to what you are saying. It seems sometimes like these foot problems are wrenching years from our lives. Yesterday I felt a genuine, unmistakeable, PF pain in one foot for the first time since last year. I know what's happening. I'm riding my exercycle again (10-20 minutes/day) and this was what started my PF the first time.

But this is so infuriating... my knees have never felt better, due to the exercycle last week. I just don't understand why it continues to cause me these PF problems. Meanwhile I'm taking it easy and maybe I can figure it out. Maybe if I wear my custom orthotics while I ride, it might help.

The space shuttle tragedy is so sad. I have had nightmares about it but I think I have managed to finally let it go. Living right there, it must be even more depressing for you and harder to deal with. Yet life goes on. There are many sad things going on in the world over which we have no control, and we just have to let them go. We wish that those who perished could have enjoyed life longer, so now we must enjoy our lives for them.

Carole C

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

Bev on 4/09/03 at 09:09 (115750)

niece, Thankyou for the lovely picture of your fields, brings a joy to all our hearts ;) It is very upsetting we are unable to enjoy the outdoors more ,however we do the best we can under our limitations. I also 'crave' to go walking again - oh, so much , I love walking in the woods and along the water so very much, someday soon we all can hope. It is sad what you are going through in Texas, still finding debris,still puts such sadness in our hearts too. You keep enjoying those beautiful flowers for us northerners, okay, as we still have many feet of snow . Our snow is so pretty with the sun reflecting off of it, so we have beauty too here, just colder than yours. Have a lovely day, niece :) Bev

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

Suzanne D on 4/09/03 at 10:17 (115752)

Necee, thank you for sharing your experience and your thoughts. That was very moving. And I think we can all identify with your feelings!

Have you seen the children's book LEGEND OF THE INDIAN PAINTBRUSH retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola? I thought of it when reading your post. I haven't been very many places in this world, but I 'take' my children everywhere through books! I enjoy it as much as they do. I would very much like to visit Texas and walk through wildflowers as you described.

Speaking of the shuttle tragedy, my class reads 4-page Scholastic News magazines each week. One that I haven't used yet has Laurel Clark and her six year old son on the cover with the title 'My Mom is an Astronaut'. I thought I would let some time go by after the tragedy before we read that one and also have saved it until we study space later this month. It hurts to see the picture of that little boy smiling as he hugs his mom, obviously very proud of her.

I hope your feet are feeling no ill effects today from your walk.

Suzanne :)

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Suzanne D on 4/09/03 at 10:23 (115754)

Carole, I am so sorry that your exercising has brought some pain back to your foot! I know how disappointing that must be. I think your idea of wearing your custom orthotics and SAS shoes while you ride is a very good one. Somehow as you pedal, your feet must be straining enough to give you problems. Hopefully the orthotics would take care of this and enable you to continue to exercise.

I've never experienced either place, but I imagine Hawaii and Texas to be two great places, and you have lived in both! I love reading on this board about other places!

I hope you have no more foot pain!

Suzanne :)

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

Suzanne D on 4/09/03 at 10:25 (115755)

Bev, we never keep snow for very long in Kentucky. I think it is quite beautiful and always feel like a child when I watch it snow! I love the poem by Robert Frost, STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING.

Have a nice day!
Suzanne :)

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

john h on 4/09/03 at 10:26 (115756)

Carole: I sure did not see any Texas wild flowers in Lubbock. I saw a lot of tumbleweed, dust, desert and sme4s.

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Carole C in NOLA on 4/09/03 at 10:48 (115758)

John, you have to time it just right so that you hit the peak of the wildflower blooming season.

When I lived in College Station, the interstate between there and Austin or between there and Houston was just covered with wildflowers for a few weeks each spring. I believe that the sowing of wildflower seeds on the freeway medians in central Texas is an effort that was started by LadyBird Johnson before her death and still continues.

I've never been to Lubbock. It sounds like I didn't miss much. LOL

Carole C

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Carole C in NOLA on 4/09/03 at 10:59 (115760)

Thanks for caring, Suzanne! I have been wearing my Fuldas while I cycle, and although they provide lots of suppose, maybe they flop around too much as my foot goes around with the pedal while I cycle. I just can't think of what else it could be, though I have thought and thought. I just don't want to give up trying and think that I can never cycle regularly again.

I am so discouraged and terribly angry. It's not like I am in constant pain, but it's there again and I could even feel that awful 'ripping' feeling once. When I stretch, things seem tight again. At least, this time I know what to do. And at least this time it's almost summer, so I can wear my Fuldas with socks to work and not look like I'm freezing.

I guess I'd better dig around in the closet and find my shower shoes. (sigh)

Carole C

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Bev on 4/09/03 at 11:10 (115761)

Carole, What about wearing NB while biking? I am hoping to be able to do just that if and when our snow decides to vacate. I hope to be able to do the bike path around our town (one block a day and work up to the 10 miles I hope- we live in a small town) in my NB. Since I can not walk, I hope I will be able to bike.I guess I will just have to try it and see what happens, right? I feel ssso bad for your feet, :( I hope you feel better really soon . Why do these things happen to our poor feet :-/ ? Take care and have a sunny day >:D<

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Carole C in NOLA on 4/09/03 at 12:06 (115763)

That's a good idea too, Bev. I have New Balance too, and I think you should be just fine riding with your NB if you feel your feet are ready for it. Just whatever you do, don't ride barefoot.

And yes, please don't be discouraged from biking by what's happening with me. Most people with PF don't have trouble with biking. I don't understand why I am having such trouble. When I first got PF, it was due to biking barefoot with the exercycle on its highest tension and the seat way too far back, which strained my Achilles tendons. So, it was basically my stupidity that did it.

This time, I was wearing my Fuldas. Maybe that was not good enough. The exercycle was on its lowest (zero) tension. The seat was not as far forward as I had it for some much shorter sessions of riding a while back, but not as far back as when I first got PF. My knees were always at least a little bent. I've been riding 10-20 minutes.

I am such an idiot when it comes to exercise. I'm not really athletic. Maybe I should 'Ask the Foot Doctors' on the other message board, and see if they have anything helpful to tell me.

Carole C

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Bev on 4/09/03 at 12:53 (115769)

What would we do without all of their help and support? Between the doctors and all of you , I have been able to get through this . We all have a LONG way to go as yet, but all of you are such a blessing to me I thank every doctor and every 'friend' on this board for their help and support. All of you are angels 0:) ;) Thankyou >:D<

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

Tammie on 4/09/03 at 13:59 (115777)

What a beauty filled thoughts here! With so much tragedy happening in life it seems it is hard to stop and see the beauty! Even the most simplest thing! I wish to all my friends to have a wonderful afternoon with lots of warm and sweet loving thoughts for all that you love and to all of our young men out there allow them to know we care and we are waiting for them to come home to there families safe and sound! Ok have smiles friends I am looking at my new bostons that came today but I am feeling a bit guilty about keeping them seeing as where they are coming from. take care!

Re: for Carole...

Suzanne D on 4/09/03 at 17:34 (115790)

Hi, Carole! I'm grabbing at straws here, but I have had you on my mind this afternoon concerning the biking and your foot hurting. I think I have an idea how important this is to you and how frustrating it is to feel pain after successfully beginning an exercise program once again.

My husband has a Cardio-glide machine on which you sit and rest your feet on pedals. But the pedals do not go around. You use your arms to push forward in a rowing motion. You then go from a knee bent - as in sitting -position to your legs stretched out straight, but your feet do not have as much motion as they would on a bike.

I know that what you have is a bike and that you like it, but if you find that you can't tolerate the pedaling part, I thought I would mention this machine. With it, you could still get the beneficial exercise (I would think that your knees would still benefit, too, since the legs go from a bent position to a straight one) without hurting your feet.

My husband ended up selling an exercise bike that he bought once and then never was successful in using. He then bought this machine that I have described.

It's just a thought, and I hope you don't think I'm trying to interfere. Perhaps wearing your orthotics will make enough difference that you will be able to continue with your bike. I sure do hope so, Carole! %%-

Good luck!
Suzanne :)

Re: Lubbock

Necee on 4/10/03 at 00:43 (115819)

You are so right John! My hubby is from Lubbock, and there isn't much to see there at all. It's so flat and dry, with hardly any trees, certainly not the best part of Texas.

Happy trails....**==


Re: To: Bev

Necee on 4/10/03 at 00:48 (115820)

You are a blessing to me too Bev, I enjoy reading your posts. When we reach out and help oneanother through words of encouragment, that is sometimes the best medicine.

Happy trails....**==

Re: for Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 4/10/03 at 02:13 (115821)

Thanks for the suggestion, Suzanne. I'll definitely take a look ate these cardio-glide machines. I don't have room for two pieces of exercise equipment in my house, but I suppose I could try to sell or give away my exercise bike if I just can't figure out how to ride it safely.

The aggravating part is that everyone seems to think an exercycle is perfectly safe for PF, and lots of people gaily report that they ride theirs all the time. Yet after being fully recovered for almost a year, it is causing my PF a second time less than two weeks after I started to ride it regularly. I don't understand why. Life is so unfair.

I was starting to feel all 'bouncy' when I walk, too, with muscles that work instead of just clump-clumping around. (sigh)

Carole C

Re: for Carole...

Kathy G on 4/10/03 at 08:17 (115832)


I'm so sorry to hear about your feet. Try not to get too discouraged. You know how much more quickly your feet will bounce back this time. As to the bicycle riding, it seems to be one of those things that some people can do and some can't. For me, when I ride my husband's stationary bike, it always makes my lower back ache. I tried the bike at PT and the same thing happened. After trying different settings, etc., I finally gave up. And yes, it killed my achilles tendonitis, too.

It seems to be completely against everything we are told about PF but I still wonder if a pair of bicycle shoes wouldn't help you. They are very stiff but you'd only be wearing them to bike, not to walk. It would seem that they would keep your foot rigid and prevent it from bending which I would think might prevent foot pain. One of the doctors might know if this has worked for anyone. It's worth a try.

In the meantime, be kind to your feet but don't assume you'll go all the way back to the way you were. Hopefully this will be just a brief episode and will go away as fast as it came!

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

Kathy G on 4/10/03 at 08:30 (115833)

The first thing I thought was that because of Lady Bird Johnson, Texas must have some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the country. It was such a simple idea and yet it brings so much beauty.

NH is a little slow to catch on to new ideas so we've just started planting wildflowers on the grass divider strips on many of our highways. They are so delightful to see. One highway near here has something in bloom all summer and fall long.

Are you being plagued by Purple Loosestrife in Texas, Necee? It is threatening to take over all our open fields here in New England. Where I live, we have very few open fields compared to what we used to have because just about every inch of available land has been developed. When the Loosestrife first began to appear, I thought it was so pretty. Actually, I still think it is but it's choking out all our other wildflowers and it is tough to get rid of. As far as I know, its only known predator is a beetle which we have to import.

When I used to vacation in PEI, I was amazed at the Lupine that grew wild there. We don't have much of that in NH at all. But we do have daisies and black-eyed susans and assorted others. My yard has an abundance of white and purple violets and lilly-of-valley. I keep bouquets in my house while they are blooming. That won't be for quite a while yet but I'm looking forward to it.

Were I to have my way, I would have nothing but wildflowers on the hill down to my backyard but my husband kind of frowns when I mention it. I think he envisions a hill full of dandelions!

Today the sun is shining for only the second day in the past twelve, so it's wonderful! If we could just have some sunshine and some warmer temperatures, the 6' of snow on the ground would melt in no time. I must say that this last snow was beautiful. It was heavy and stuck to all the trees. I'm hoping to attempt a short walk later on so think of me and my feet. It's been such a long winter and I would so much like to walk outside. I figure that my feet seem to hurt all the time anyhow so a brief walk can't make them that much worse!

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

JudyS on 4/10/03 at 12:43 (115853)

Thanks, Necee, for taking us on that walk with you. It was perfect.**==

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

JudyS on 4/10/03 at 12:46 (115855)

Carole - don't despair! The difference between your exercise now and the exercise that brought on your original PF is that you know how to take care of it now. You know you can take preventative measures (such as your orthotics), and post-exercise measures to help insure that your PF won't become debilitating again. Don't ya'll be givin' up on me now, 'hear? :)

Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

JudyS on 4/10/03 at 12:48 (115856)

Suzanne - where the heck were YOU when I was in elementary school? You sound like the quintessentail teacher to me. Come to think of it though, I guess you were in third grade or so - same as me :)

Re: To:** Kathy G.**

Necee on 4/10/03 at 13:34 (115865)

Hi Kathy, in answer to your question about the Purple Loosestrife, is that the vine that was imported here from overseas years ago? Wasn't it suppose to control some sort of pasture weed or something? When we traveled to Georgia and the Carolinas several years ago we saw that stuff everywhere! It was choking out everything. Luckly, we don't have that problem here in Texas, at least not yet anyway.

I've always wanted to make a trip to your beautiful state in the Fall, maybe I'll have that chance this year.

Ladybird Johnson is admired and loved greatly here in Texas for her unending desire to make the highways and medians of Texas a beautiful sight. She has done a great service to the state of Texas, and for generations to come. Everytime I drive the roadways in the spring and see the bounty of trees and wildflowers, I think of her and appreciate her love of nature, and what she has given to us all. There is a Ladybird Johnson Nature Center in Austin Texas, it's a wonderful place to visit, with acres of native plants and trees.

I hope the snow is melting quickly there Kathy, and soon you will be able to enjoy all the scenic sights your lovely state has to offer.

Happy trails...@};-


Re: **A walk in the wildflowers**

marie on 4/10/03 at 13:48 (115867)

Oh ya'll make me so anxious for spring. Old man winter played an April Fools Joke on us a dropped snow and ice last Monday. We did get a day off from school.

Thanks Necee...We have all had those quiet moments of despair. It is frustrating. I miss playing frisbee the most. Just can't jump.
But I can walk.

Better times for our country are ahead. I can feel it. I hope peace will soon be at hand for the folks in Iraq. They have suffered more than anyone.


Re: Necee

Kathy G on 4/10/03 at 19:23 (115909)

Necee, you'd like to come to NH and I'd like to come to Texas. Maybe we'll be able to do that some day! NH is a beautiful state and I try not to take it for granted. I remember when I was a little girl, my father used to wonder at the people who would go up to the White Mountains on Columbus Day weekend. There would always be huge traffic jams and large crowds. He used to say, 'Just look out the back door. We have some of the most beautiful trees in the world right in our own backyard!' And they truly were! That's not to say we never went to the White Mountains in the Fall, but I can assure you we never went on Columbus Day weekend!

I have read about the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower center and would love to visit it. And the absolute vastness of Texas would probably totally overwhelm me. And it's so much flatter than New England. I can look out my back door and see a mountain that's about 20 minutes away. It's a small mountain but it's a mountain nonetheless. In New England, we have hills and trees everywhere.

Oh, and yes, we're talking about the same flower, Purple Loosestrife. You're so fortunate that it hasn't come into your state yet. Hopefully, it won't. It's become a huge problem here.

We had sun today and lots of our snow melted! It was wonderful! And it got up to about 44 degrees. I wore only a sweater to go to the store. Tomorrow we're supposed to get rain but that will hopefully wash away some more of the snow. Spring is coming! I can feel it!

Re: for Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 4/10/03 at 21:03 (115915)

Thanks for the suggestions, Kathy. It seems to me that Elliott recommended bicycle shoes for me too about a year ago, and I guess they clip onto the pedals or else you can buy clips or something. At the time, I didn't really see why he was recommending them. But now, well, what you are saying makes a lot of sense to me, and maybe there is some truth to this. It couldn't hurt to try.

I consider this recent exercycle disaster as 'try 2', since I got my original PF on 'try 1'. 'try 3' will be my custom orthotics, and if it doesn't work once my feet have healed again, then I won't come unglued... because I will let my feet heal yet again and then I have a plan for 'try 4', bike shoes that are somehow clipped to the pedals!

I really want to ride this fool bike! I think after 'try 4' I will just give it to charity, though, and think of something else.

Thanks again...

Carole C

Re: bluebonnets and the blues

Carole C in NOLA on 4/10/03 at 21:15 (115917)

OK, 'Mom'... (grin) I promise I won't give up, though I sure felt despairing yesterday. I think I have a 'PF phobia' or something. That PF pain practically caused me to have a panic attack. Or, maybe it did! whew.

The first time I got PF, I continued to ride my exercycle for two months after symptoms showed up because I didn't know that my exercycle was causing them. I ended up with a really intense version of 'PF H*ll'. This time I have not continued to ride it even one day after symptoms showed up. I am really only at a level 2 today which isn't bad for right after feeling that RI-I-I-IPPPPPP ripping feeling in my PF, however briefly, the other day. Boy, was that a nightmare or what.

I feel like I should probably wait until I'm more healed again, and then I'll try cycling with my orthotics and pre- and post-exercise gentle stretching. Maybe I'll tape too, which I've never done, but it sounds like it would hold my foot even more firmly than orthotics.

Thanks, Judy.

Carole C