Heal my heel from hell

I am fortunate that The Husband gives me foot rubs on request, but back in January, I noticed that I had a pain deep within my heel when he’d press the area. I didn’t think too much of it until the day in February or March when I stepped out of bed one morning with pain in my right heel and I couldn’t walk on my foot. I hobbled straight to the computer and did a few Dr. Google searches and concluded quite quickly that I had plantar fasciitis. (The dead giveaway was the heel hurting and having trouble walking after getting out of bed.) I consulted a couple of friends who deal with this ailment professionally, and I read up on some tips on how to deal with it (stretching, Aleve, ice, etc.). I even managed to make it through our week at Disney with this heel pain, but let me just say that at several points it was pretty much torture. (Walking back to the car on the last day is probably one of my worst walking experiences ever.) So in early May I had had enough and finally broke down and called a podiatrist, but the earliest I could get in was early June because she was on vacation, then whenever she had availability, I wasn’t able to come in that day because of work or some other obligation.

Anyway, I finally had my appointment on Tuesday, and it proved worth the visit. X-rays and ultrasound show that I do indeed have plantar fasciitis (no surprise there, of course), likely caused by high arches (which I never realized I had) and tight, dense calf muscles. Apparently the heel arch shouldn’t be more than 20% and mine was closer to 24%. She did an ultrasound to look at the plantar fascia, and the thickness of it should be 5 mm, but mine was at 15 mm because it had so much inflammation. She said I needed a steroid shot, which I’d been warned about hurting, so I was dreading it, but at least I was prepared.

What I was not prepared for was the fact that she told me (after the fact) that it was the most difficult steroid shot she’s ever had to give, because she met so much resistance from all of the inflammation in there. It took probably a full 3 or 4 minutes to get it all in there, all the while I’m closing my eyes and breathing through the stinging pain. I kept telling myself, “I can birth a baby without medicine, surely I can do a little shot.” In hindsight, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, though I should note I was expecting it to be pretty bad.

In order to manage the high arches, I am having custom insoles made for my shoes. They are super-pricey, so they’d better work! I have a support brace I can wear during the day, I’m to continue doing stretches, ice, and Aleve, and I’ve also got a night splint to wear for an hour each evening. She said she expects I’ll feel about 50% better when I return to pick up my orthotic inserts in a couple of weeks. I took the rest of the day off on Tuesday so I could stay off my foot, and I had quite a bit of pain during most of that day, but about an hour before bed the pain eased a bit, and when I woke up the next morning, I still had some pain, but I wasn’t limping out of bed, which I don’t remember the last time that happened. Ever since then, my pain has been pretty minimal (while wearing the support). Previously, I’d say my pain ranged from a 4 out of 10 on a good day to an 8 or 9 out of 10 on a bad day, but all day Wednesday and Thursday I felt like I was at around 1 or 2, so significant improvement. I really, really hope that continues, because this has NOT been fun to deal with.

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