Tag Archives: Strassburg Sock

Another Doc, A New Idea

15 Mar

Hi!

So, my new routine goes a little something like this:  wake up at 5, leave house by 5:20, get on train at 5:30, get to Flywheel for 6 AM class, take said class, walk to work, do 15 minutes on TM (that involves 2 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of walking, for 15 minutes total) shower, and be at my desk by around 8:15.  This is neither convenient nor particularly fun, but I’ve gotten sort of used to it.

However, getting up routinely at 5 AM may just be killing me.  I am so tired.  So very tired.  All the livelong day.  A lot of my friends have been popping out babies lately and I simply cannot fathom that brand of tired.  I try and think of them when I am feeling very sorry for myself and wanting to nap under my desk a la George Costanza around 2 PM.

I'd rather not divulge how many times a day I consider following his lead....

Anyhow… I’ve had a few days this week where my foot pain was nil (which was exciting!) or very low.  However, just when I think the pain is gone, I get a little gnawing reminder of it.  It’s not incapacitating and never has been, actually, but at this point, I just want it to go away completely so I can feel 100% confident about running and not having the PF rear its ugly head and end my running days for good.  I’m trying very hard to be smart and cautious and I’m hoping it will pay off in the long run.  (“long run”– so punny.)  I’ve read some horror stories about runners who persisted in running while they had PF and I do not want that.

My PT has me working on strengthening my hips, ankles, and core.  My right ankle is a big part of the problem, as its range of motion is very low (but has gotten much better!)  My calves are and always have “the tightest calves ever.”  (quote from PT.)  I’m working to loosen them up.  I’m seeing some results (slowly.)  But the foot issue persists.  And I know that despite how little pain I am in currently, it would come raging back if I chose to do a run longer than 20 minutes or so.  I can just tell.

Since I’ve been going to PT so much and reading so much about PF, I’ve formed an opinion that the issue (at least in my case) is not so much with my FOOT,  as it is with my running mechanics– the aforementioned ankle weakness, calf tightness, etc.  By the way, I think my PT is awesome and if anyone is looking for a recommendation, please hit me up.  I like that he takes a holistic approach to it and wants to fix the mechanics issues, rather than just focusing on my foot.  Anyhow, this belief is why I have balked at the notion of expensive orthotics (which obviously focus on the foot) and cortisone injections (which, more times than not, it seems to me, ease the pain, but not the issue.)  I am not interested in easing any pain, since, as I’ve said before, it’s more than bearable right now.  I am interested in getting rid of the PF completely and never seeing it return.

Now that I’ve given this long and rambling introduction… I saw a new doctor yesterday.  I really liked him, as he sat down and asked me a bunch of questions, listened to me, and took a long look at my feet.  He acknowledged that I had been very good about doing pretty much everything they consider to be a conservative treatment– not running, PT, sleeping in the splint, etc.  He then explained that he was fairly certain I had progressed from plantar fasciitis to plantar fasciosis.  That basically means, from what I understand, that my plantar fascia have progressed (or regressed, I guess?) from a point of inflammation to one of degeneration.  No one wants to hear that something is “degenerating” on one’s body and he acknowledged that it sounded scary, but it was very common– especially in runners.  He then did an ultrasound where he confirmed that I was indeed dealing with a case of fasciosis.  He showed me where the tendons had started to degenerate.  Then he told me how he likes to deal with this problem…

He suggested giving me a PRP injection.  PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma.  Basically, he would draw blood from my arm, spin it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets, then inject the blood into my foot.  OK, I’m not a scientist, I don’t really get it.  Also, when I hear that he is going to be DRAWING BLOOD (eeeeek needles) and then INJECTING ME (eeeeeek more needles) I don’t really hear anything else.  Even though T and I love Intervention, I can no longer watch the ones about heroin because seeing needles gives me the willies.  One of my loved ones has to have blood drawn regularly and our family has come to refer to it as a “sparkle test” because too much talk of blood being drawn makes me ill.  (BTW, my code for anything icky or uncomfortable is sparkles and unicorns– picturing those things makes me happy ’cause I’m a girl and stuff.)

Oh hey! Look at that! It's a unicorn! This image has basically nothing to do with the subject matter, but I was getting a bit uncomfortable with all the blood talk, plus I've got a hella huge block of text going on here.

Anyhow, the doc said he had seen some really good results from this.  He said he saw me having a long running life ahead of me.  I asked him what his thoughts were on shockwave therapy and he said, “That’s a really good question.”  He seemed pretty impressed in general with my knowledge of PF and its treatment options and I kind of wanted to say, “Bro, I am OBSESSED with fixing this ish!”  Anyhow, he told me that shockwave therapy was the same idea as PRP in that it also re-injured the area in order to re-inflame it, (again, I’m paraphrasing and have basically no clue what I’m talking about) but that shockwave therapy was done in a series of sessions, where PRP is one injection, maybe two (nooooo), maybe three, (hail noooooo) and in the case of one runner he had done, four.  (For the love of G-d.)  Anyhow, he encouraged me to see another doc and look into it if that was something I was interested in, and I really appreciated his candor.

So, I found out that the injection is not covered by insurance.  And it is, um, expensive.  Not prohibitively expensive, but “Ouch, that’s more than I’d like to spend anywhere but Bloomingdales” expensive.  But I set up an appointment for next week.

Then I obsessively began reading about PRP.  I’m still obsessively reading about PRP.  If you’re curious, this is a good article about it.  It definitely clearly states the pros and cons and the research.  But it’s a year old, so I’m still looking for more research…

But I think I’m gonna do it.  I woke up Sunday morning and it was beautiful outside– warm and sunny and perfect.  I had the entire day stretching ahead of me and I was beside my sweetie.  Life was good.

And I cried.

Because ALL I WANTED TO DO in the entire world was run.  I knew it was ridiculous.  I laughed through my tears.  But I just felt so frustrated and tired of doing everything I’m supposed to do and not seeing results.

I woke up this morning, removed my Strassburg Sock (much easier to sleep in than the boot) and my foot didn’t hurt.  I felt encouraged and thought, “Maybe I won’t do this wack needle thing after all.”  But as the day progressed, the usual dull and irritating pain developed in my foot.  Same as usual.  The difference is that instead of immense, overpowering frustration, now I almost feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel with this option of PRP.

So I think I’m going to do it.

Thoughts and opinions are very welcome, and congratulations if you’ve made it through this ridiculously long and dry post.

*Oh and in case I don’t get another post in before–  I’m watching Lori and Cheryl run the NYC Half on Sunday and hoping I catch a glimpse of Josie, too!  Good luck to them, and everyone else running!  And GOOD LUCK to my buddy Sara, who is running her first half this weekend– the National Half in DC!!! :)*

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