Foot Flashback

So this is new…















Yep. That’s my left foot. Except no, it’s not new. Not really…because this has happened before. Because my feet hate me. Or I have sucky DNA. Probably both.

I was 13 years old the first time I heard the word “podiatrist”. Dr. Russell. He was kind of cute for an “old” guy (he was probably 35). I had been walking around Sea World all day with my family, wearing a pair of super cute sandals with daisies on them, and by the time we were ready to leave for the day my two older sisters had to carry me to the car. It wasn’t the first time I was hurt by fashion, but it was the first time I was hurt bad.

I was diagnosed with tendonitis – which is really interesting because you don’t have any tendons in your arches, but whatever. I would later learn that I had plantar fasciitis, which is very common but still altogether painful and extremely unpleasant.

Hunky Dr. Russell explained that my tootsie woes were due to the fact that I was a growing teenager and a dancer. He would slap some stretchy athletic tape up on my arch and send me on my way, so that’s what I learned to do. My dance bag was never without a roll of that tape. Every time I had foot pain, I slapped that tape up on my arch and kept on going. I had arch supports in all my shoes. Later, I had special inserts made that were molded to my foot. Still no relief…and I only weighed 125 pounds back then.

By the time I was in my late twenties, I was getting steroid injections in my heels. Yes, it’s as painful as it sounds. First, because cortisone stings like a mother…and second, because there’s an effing needle in your foot – but at that point, I had run the gamut from tape to inserts to physical therapy…and none of it was working anymore. So I would wait until the pain got so bad I couldn’t take it anymore and then I’d go in for injections. Thank God I had a good doctor with a sense of humor who never openly made fun of the fact that I started crying as soon as he walked in the room.

When you have plantar fasciitis, the mornings are the worst. It was nothing for me to roll out of bed and crawl to the bathroom to pee in the morning. It hurts like hell to flatten out your feet or put any weight on your heels. After you stretch out the ligament, normalcy returns except for the occasional jab. If you’re using your head and listening to your doctor, you should wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive, which is fashion code for “1970’s spinster librarian clod-hoppers.”

I was not a good listener. Besides, black leather lace-up grandma shoes with crepe soles just don’t go with a Dooney & Bourke handbag.

After a while, I’d had enough. One afternoon as my podiatrist was stabbing me in the heels with more cortisone and I was biting my wallet to stifle the screaming, I looked longingly into his eyes and said “Give me the surgery, doc. Give me the damn surgery.” And he did. And it was goooooood. Except for one really, really embarrassing moment – but that’s a blog post unto itself, so it’ll have to keep for now.

After surgery, I was joyously pain free…until I got my first stress fracture. I was training with a group at work because we were going to walk one of those breast cancer 3 day walks. I ignored the pain at first, but eventually I was limping all the time. Everything hurt.

Imagine my chagrin when I went to my regular doctor and he told me there was nothing wrong with my foot. What?

See, I didn’t think I needed a podiatrist anymore because I’d had the surgery to relieve my plantar fasciitis. Bwahahahahaha!  Wrong!

I went to see my podiatrist. He walks in, squeezes my foot in just the right place and sends me through the roof in pain, then he smiles and says “Yeah, well…stress fractures don’t show up on xrays until they start healing. That’s why you’re supposed to come to me.”


Since then, I’ve had quite a few…and always in my left foot. In fact, I expect my left foot to just fall off by the time I’m 80. It’s always had a sucky attitude. It just can’t hang with the rest of my body.

So here I sit with my foot in this damn soft cast. Stress fracture #6. For the next four weeks, I’ll be lurching around Texas like a giant fat Frankenstein. Awesome.

The Buffalo Boogie 5K is in two weeks. I did ask my podiatrist if that was even feasible. Of course, he said no. From my own experience, I know he’s probably right – because you have to stay off your feet for these to heal. I would have argued…or at least asked more questions…but this particular podiatrist is a creep. I only went to see him today because he was the last one I saw and he had an available appointment this afternoon – but every time I go and see him I end up feeling like I need a long hot shower. You know, the kind in Silkwood or The Crying Game.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the 5K yet. This has all just happened and I need time to think logically. Right now, I’m too busy cursing my DNA/weak feet genes to make any real decisions.

Ironically, this brings to light the discussion I’ve been having with Hot Mess Hubby over the past several weeks about joining a gym again. I’ve been having foot pain (now we know why) and trying to figure out a way to get access to an elliptical trainer. We just can’t afford to buy one and I’ve been considering a venture back into gym membership for a few weeks. Elliptical is much lower impact than a treadmill.

Sometimes you have to dance with the devil even when you don’t want to. Maybe it’s time for me to join a gym. It’s either that or take water aerobics. I’d rather face the muscle-bound fitness dicks than let anyone see my in a bathing suit. Ever.

Do you belong to a gym? Which one…and what do you like/dislike about it? Help me work this out, peeps.

And don’t worry: I may be temporarily knocked down, but I’m most definitely not out.

16 thoughts on “Foot Flashback

  1. I use to belong to 24-hour fitness until I had to cut my budget. I really liked it there. Their staff (at the facility we went to) was great. The only bad part was some guys think its a “pick up bar”. The trainers would stop and guide you if it looked like you were lost, even other patrons were helpful. But each location will have its own pro’s and con’s.

    1. Valerie, I agree with you. 24 Hour Fitness is kind of a muscle-bound singles bar…however, I love their hours and the sheer volume of their clubs. I’ve belonged to them before as well…they’re on the short list of those I’m considering again.

  2. Every now and then, I’ll join a gym. Go twice. Be too self conscious and never go back. I hate them. They’re full of judgy bitches.

    I wasn’t kidding about the wheel chair. I’ll push you. You’ve got to stay off of it but you can still do the 5K. 🙂

    1. Crystal, I hear you. I’ve been talking to the hubs about this for weeks and weeks. If it wasn’t for the fact that we can’t afford to buy an elliptical any time in the foreseeable future, I wouldn’t be considering it…but I’ve been humbled by my budget. 🙂

      A year ago, I wouldn’t even have thought about joining a gym ever again. And I totally get what you’re saying about the judgy bitches (the singles bar stud mentality as well). Hubby and I specifically talked about that part. I honestly feel like that’s not enough to keep me away from it.

      Why would I let other people keep me from my fitness goal? Who the hell are they? They’re no more important than me. A year ago, they would have made me feel unworthy in some way. Now, when I think of joining a gym again and dealing with them, it’s like they don’t factor into the equation at all. They don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that I find a way to exercise that won’t break my feet. 🙂

      Speaking of that, I want to hug you for offering to push me in a wheelchair at the 5K (and you’re crazy…because 3.5 butts puts a lot of weight in a wheelchair). I love you for that.

      I haven’t made up my mind about what I’m doing to do about the 5K yet…but I will either walk it on my own two feet or I won’t do it at all. Being pushing by someone else is not a victory – I’m sure you can understand that. It would be more humbling than being loaded into an ambulance at the end. 🙂

      If I don’t do it, I will reimburse all the Hot Mess fans for their entry fees or find another way to make it up to you. I’ll think of that later if I don’t do the 5K. Jury’s still out!

      1. I have at least 8 of those black boots. Whenever I had to wear one, I’d drag out my wheelchair and just keep on truckin’. Sometimes now, when I’m slogging through Costco on foot, I wish I had my wheelchair. Get a wheelchair and a pair of gloves and do the run in that. Don’t have someone else push you. It’s actually really good exercise.

  3. I belonged to Planet Fitness. I like the fact that it is a bare bones gym…no trendy classes, so no 105lb princesses prancing around in full makeup before their Zumba class, and none of the big, Buffy guys looking for those princesses. I feel very comfortable there.

    1. Stephanie, I looked up Planet Fitness because a lot of Hot Mess fans mentioned it on Facebook. The closest one is 12 miles away from me…and as much as I want to believe that I’d drive that far for a gym, I have my doubts. It looks like a decent place, though, and I haven’t crossed them off my list.

  4. YMCA and I absolutely love it. I’ve never felt judged or stared at, I’ve encountered friendly helpful staff and people that are genuinely there to get healthy. Honestly it’s a lot of older folks too…which really helps!

    1. Allison, I love that idea. They’re not too close to me either, though, and just as expensive as joining the gym that’s right down the street. I have a lot to think about.

  5. Hi there! So sorry about your foot. But I must say, even in a big ol’ boot, you are rockin’ the fuzzy pink socks! So Hot Mess Cute!!!

    I am with Allison above; my husband and I belong to our local Y. There are a very few ‘bodybuilder’ grunty guys, but mostly – when I go at least – the Y is overrun with the Silver Sneakers. The older folks basically run our Y – it is their hang out so to speak. They are like the ‘cool kids’ at school – sometimes they get cocky and block the indoor track 4 abreast walking like turtles on parade. Then they whisper about you when you pass – in a grandmotherly way. Kinda cute (sometimes).

    The atmosphere is pretty friendly and our facility is very clean. I know that all Y’s can’t be like this, but maybe you could try? The cost is less than $60/month and there was a $75 joining fee. We live in southwestern PA, so maybe Y’s vary according to location regarding fees, etc.

    That’s my 2 cents. I hope that your foot heals quickly and I am so sorry that your foot continues its open rebellion. Best – Nicole

  6. So sorry to hear about your foot messing with you (again!) Heal Baby, Heal!

    If I was living in the states I would definitely go for this deal. At Costco you can purchase a 2 year membership to 24 Hour Fitness for $349.99. It is sold as a gift card, so if you don’t have a membership and friend can purchase it for you. That is the price for the regular clubs (and is good at all the regular clubs) There is another card for the “Super” clubs – which is $599.99 – but I know you are not in to all the “extras” offered at the “Super” clubs. The best things about this (apart from having to come up with the money up front) $175 a year, no credit card contract, No initiation fee (adds up to less then $15 a month) I know it’s a lot for up front…but the price ends up being great.
    You can look at it on-line at Costco (under Gift Cards/Gym memberships)

    I, personally, am terrified of the “Contract”. I have a history of trying to cancel those things, which is not pretty (similar to the Friends episode with Chandler and Ross) I actually cancelled a credit card, because I could not get a response from the the Corporate headquarters of the club (and they could not do it on the premises).

    Hugs and best wishes for a speedy healing time.

  7. What were your main symptoms with PF? I have always had horrible feet as well. I have chronic ankle instability in my right and constant pain in my left and develop blisters on the bottoms of my feet. I was told the other day by an ER Doc that he thought I had PF. I thought I had broken something because I felt like something was rubbing together. He took xrays and said everything seemed fine, but I’m just not sure. I’m having a lot of pain under my left ankle and over the top of my left foot. Bleh! I have an appointment at my podiatrist, but I’m afraid they’re going to tell me the same thing they told me last time – that they don’t see anything wrong. It’s SO frustrating!!!

    1. Jana, my main symptom with PF was arch pain and BAD heel pain – especially first thing in the morning.

      I’m no doctor (shocker!), but my advice to you is not to ignore your gut instinct. If you feel pain and you feel something is wrong, don’t give up. Get a second opinion…or a 3rd… I know that’s not always the easiest thing when it comes to medical insurance (especially if you have NONE), but pain is a sign that something’s wrong.

      I hope you get it figured out soon, girl. Hugs!!

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