As I write this I am propped up on the couch with my right foot elevated and ice pack underneath my heel on Monday morning at 8:18 am. A pair of extremely sad eyes are fixed on me as Sage wills me to get up and fetch the leash for his morning walk. It is hard to endure his disappointment at my immobility but I am hardening my heart and trying to ignore his silent plea.
About 8 months ago, I started running on the treadmill. I had never run in my life, I started something new. I felt amazingly alive after a run. I increased my distance gradually, bragged about it to my family and basked in their adulation. Slowly, imperceptibly, I started to feel a pain in my heel, especially, when I woke up. I ignored it because it was just a niggling pain. At work, a couple of friends and I were running up and down the stairs for cardio exercise between our shifts, with inappropriate footwear. The pain in the morning increased enough for me to take notice. But as I got on the treadmill, it went away so I continued running. The pain got to a point where I felt it at every step, not terrible but enough for me to notice and wonder. While describing it to a friend at work, I said I must have hurt myself while running. She mentioned planter fasciitis. Even though I could hardly pronounce it, I jumped on the internet to get more information and bingo….every symptom matched mine.
I mentioned it to my doctor. She prescribed Aleve and no exercise for a month. Of course I did not listen. But I did give up running. I walked instead, wincing at every step.
The pain worsened. I went to a podiatrist. He put me on steroids that sky rocketed my blood pressure. I bought different kinds of orthotics, started using a night sling, became regular with stretches, ice packs, rolling tennis ball under my feet but one thing I did not stop doing was being a martyr.
My work involves a fair amount of being on my feet but at home, I persisted through pain. Taking the dog for walks, albeit shorter, running up and down doing laundry, usual household chores, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring. Every step is increasingly painful, and as I winced, I promised I will put my feet up after this chore. But after that chore, something else came up which needed my attention.
Now I have pain snaking up to my hip and although I try to maintain my smile, I feel very discouraged inside.
I have made a decision last night as my feet throbbed and I felt the familiar sense of hopelessness, I will stop being a martyr. It will be hard but I will stop my walks, stop making elaborate meals, stop worrying about neatness in the house and focus on eliminating the pain.
So here I am, propped up on my couch, venting in my blog because I hope one day when the pain is gone, I read this blog and remember to pay heed to the message that my body is trying to send. And also remember to stop being a martyr.