From October 21st through December 21st, Ryan came with me to the city for my podiatrist appointment and/or physical therapy appointment. He'd pick me up from school promptly at 3pm, and we'd head to the city for my 4:30pm appointment (yep, it'd take us a good 80-90 minutes to drive from Buffalo Grove to Chicago, on a weekday). To say I'm lucky to have such a supportive husband is one of the biggest understatements I've written. Having Ryan with me at these appointments was so incredibly helpful as he asked great questions, and helped me get through the tough times where my emotions took over my brain.
The below timeline is probably more for my benefit (plus the benefit of anyone who has ever had plantar fasciitis), and I promise a more entertaining blog in the next few days, but here it goes...
September 7th: realization of plantar fasciitis. Stopped running.
October 10th: Competed in the Ironman World Championships (likely when interstitial tear + bursa developed)
October 21st: first podiatrist appointment.
- Pain level 9/10.
- X-ray confirms no stress fracture or break.
- Ultrasound confirms large bursa on center of heel (where plantar fascia connects to the heel)
- Cortisone shot administered to break up the bursa
- Crutches advised (and used for 2 days)
- Cycling okay. No swimming (injection could become infected)
- Taping instructions given to better support the foot
November 4th: second podiatrist appointment, first physical therapy appointment
- Pain level 6/10.
- Cleared to cycle and swim.
- Continue to tape.
- Physical Therapy: evaluated for approx. 2 hours. LOTS of new exercises learned (9) to strengthen hips
November 11th: physical therapy only
- Pain level 3/10
- 5 new exercises added
- Added in supplement Tumeric: all natural anti-inflammatory (Organic India brand for anyone interested)
November 18th: follow-up phone call "appointment"
- Pain level between 2-3/10.
- Discussed benefits of getting orthotics
November 25th: third podiatrist appointment, third physical therapy appointment
- Pain level upon arrival: 2-3/10
- Ran short distance at PT to evaluate my form when running. Caused instant pain.
- Learned 3 new PT exercises.
- Pain level after running: 8-9/10
- Ran 4 minutes on the treadmill at podiatrist appointment: hurt like ....
- Podiatrist and PT confirm slight hip imbalance to be further addressed by strengthening exercises
- Orthotics casted and ordered
- Topical medication given (not on the USADA banned substances list)....never felt improvement with it
December 8th: fourth podiatrist appointment
- Pain level: 7-8/10
- With 5.5 weeks post-Cortisone shot, it is likely that we are dealing with something besides just the bursa
- Ultrasound shows bursa has broken up, but is still present
- Options of Cortisone shot, PRP, or Amniofix discussed
- MRI ordered to further examine plantar fascia
December 10th: no doctor visits
- Pain level: 6-7/10
- MRI done on left foot
- Interstitial tear at insertion point of plantar fascia discovered
- Bursa still present, approximately half of the original size, but unfortunately lined up directly on top of interstitial tear
December 14th: fifth podiatrist appointment
- Pain level: 6/10
- Amniofix injection given. (amniotic tissue injection to provide a scaffolding that will promote ingrowth of new tissue to repair the interstitial tear)
- Pain pills given, planned to not use any
- Boot prescribed for 2-3 weeks. Decoration plans (for the boot) for Ugly Sweater contest in the works.
December 15th: first day post-injection
- Pain level: 10/10
- Have to crawl from bed to bathroom
- Actually took a pain pill....noticed the drowsy and nauseous side effects, decided the pain is easier to manage.
- Worst pain since running the marathon in Kona.
December 16th - 28th: monitoring the injection
- Pain level decreased as the days went on
- Won the Ugly Sweater contest...likely due to the sweet boot.
- Utilizing orthotics in the Saucony Mirage made legs be the same height!
- NO working out from December 15th - December 22nd was TOUGH
- December 22nd: cleared to bike and arm-bike
- Pain level: 2/10
- Ultrasound shows bursa is no longer present (!!!) and that the tear is not as big either
- Cleared to swim and aquajog and strength train (limited)
- Continue to wear boot for another week-ish until pain at a 0-1/10
- Start using night splint when sleeping to promote plantar fascia stabilization
- Cleared to (lightly) use R3 Roll Recovery (Orthopedic Foot Roller)
- Amniofix will take 30-40 days to fully heal the interstitial tear
- Follow-up phone call to discuss pain levels and progress
- Physical therapy/strength exercises to continue to fix imbalances so that the return to running is flawless :)
Comments on my positive attitude throughout this helps my emotions become stronger because they remind me that there are so many wonderful people rooting for me to make a comeback. I went into every podiatry appointment optimistic and left feeling defeated...until yesterday. Each time previously, I had gone in thinking, today's the day...I'm getting good news for sure and left mad at myself for thinking so positively. Yesterday, I went in with the excitement just to be able to swim again (crazy, I know) and hopeful that I would be able to resume physical therapy/strength to better my body for an injury free 2016.
Mentally, my mind is focused on preparing my body during this off time so that 2016 is an injury-free year (thus physical therapy and functional strength training). My mind has gone to many dark places since September 7th, but each time I have focused on finding ways to learn from this experience and hopefully prevent others from having it. (because, for real, plantar fasciitis is like the worst injury ever)
And spiritually... I am seeing that my prayers WILL be answered, but I have to finish learning all that I can from this process first. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, but in order to teach, you have to learn. I'm not sure how much longer my lesson will continue, but if I am able to help others learn from this experience along the way, I will gladly continue this lesson.
Words cannot even express how grateful I am for the support, texts, messages, comments, and "likes" I've received throughout the past 3.5 months. I honestly don't know if I could be as positive if it wasn't for all of the support and love I've felt. So thank you from the bottom of my heart :)
2015 Year in Review blog to come shortly...