Monday, September 17, 2018

I Can't Put My Foot Down


My feet have been a longtime source of pain for me. I have had flat feet since I was a child. I was lucky enough to work for a podiatrist for a short time when I was 19. He x-rayed my feet and noticed there were some extra bone chips in there. He asked "Were you dropped as a baby?" That certainly would explain more than my foot problems! 

He fitted me for orthotics and I was on my way to pain-free living, it was a Godsend. Over the years I didn't keep up with taking care of my feet and my trusty orthotics are long gone. I would periodically have plantar fascitis, but it would always feel better the more I walked.  

Almost 2 years ago I called in to Denise Linn's Hay House radio show to ask her about foot pain and if it could tie into a past life. She told me she could see me from the knee down hundreds of years ago. I was in Poland or Russia. I was a refugee, but what was odd to her was that I was all alone, I wasn't traveling with anyone. She saw me barefoot walking in the cold dirt and snow. I have wondered since if the chips in my foot were a remnant from that life so long ago. And I also wonder what the lesson is that I need to learn that caused these symptoms to appear in this lifetime. 

The last several months, my right foot has given me tremendous pain. So much so that after a short time on my feet, I was literally dragging that foot along, because any weight on it was excruciating. I had gained quite a bit of weight before the pain, so I assumed it was from that. I wanted to lose the weight before seeing a doctor, how could he help if that was the issue? Also, to be quite honest, going to a doctor while believing that my fat was causing this, was humiliating, I couldn't bring myself to it. I imagine that there are other overweight people that also deny themselves help because they don't want to be seen. I have felt that way often. Even though I wouldn't judge anyone for being overweight, I judge myself harshly, and I hide.

I even reached out to a remote healer. She took a look at my foot (over the phone) and told me she was removing the inflammation. She said I just needed one chiropractic adjustment and I would be fine. For three days after talking to her, I was completely pain free.  I didn't see a chiropractor, because honestly it was the fat issue again. I'm embarrassed to admit that, but it's the truth.

In desperation I went to the Good Feet Store to get some orthotics. I didn't realize walking in that they weren't custom. They are a manufactured orthotic that the salesperson pulled from the back room. I also didn't realize I'd be hobbling out of the store $1,000 poorer. But as I mentioned, I was desperate. They did help a little, but I knew there was still something seriously wrong.

Finally I realized that I needed to swallow my pride and see a podiatrist. I often passed a foot and ankle clinic when I was out shopping at a local shopping center. I Googled it, found good reviews and made an appointment. 

The appointment felt like an ambush. I'm being a bit dramatic with that description, but it was odd and overwhelming.  The podiatrist came sweeping into the room with his latest associate to the practice. After asking for a brief synopsis of my injury he began examining my foot with a pen. He pushed with his hand on parts of my foot asking for my rate of pain, scribbling the number on my foot and relaying the proper medical name for his diagnosis to the associate. This went on for several minutes.  He concluded that I needed 6 different surgical procedures.  He asked his new associate for his opinion, to which he commented that he didn't agree on one of the procedures. He said the practice he worked at previously didn't have much success with it. The main doctor kept trying to be witty and how horrible my feet were (even the one not hurting), but it all just didn't feel right.  I mean, seriously, I just expected a steroid injection and some ice packs. 

He told me all of the names of the procedures but not the diagnosis. He said I pulled a tendon that stretches from the calf to my arch. I later Googled it and it appears to be Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. It looks like it can cause your arch to collapse. But my arches have always been collapsed. The doctor told me that a bone inside my foot wasn't being supported, it was essentially rolling around in there. He pulled up the x-rays they took of both my feet to show a gap between that particular bone and another on top of it The gap was supposed to show why I was in pain. When he zoomed in and compared both feet, the gap looked exactly the same in both pictures. He even commented so. 

I told him I wanted to be more conservative, so he gave me a boot to wear and told me to consider getting a knee scooter to keep weight completely off my right foot.  He downplayed the effectiveness of orthotics even thought he insisted I use them, even in the boot. He was going to give me some nitroglycerin cream to put on my foot, but he mentioned not to use if it I had high blood pressure. I didn't want to take a chance with it, but I did buy the tendon strengthening vitamins he suggested. He wants to see me back in 3 weeks. I am glad I went to see him, because I thought I might have somehow broken or fractured something. It is good to know what is causing the pain.

I continued to Google like a lunatic and found exercises to heal the tendon, instructions to use Motrin and ice, and to give it rest. It could take 6 weeks to heal, and using my foot again too soon could undo any rest I've given it. I also read a blog on someone who had the foot surgery and it sounds quite painful, could take a year to heal, and even my doctor said I still might not be able to walk as I had before after it.

I also had a wonderful call with the incredibly kind and uber talented Gary Ramsey (if you haven't read his book Bliss: One Hero's Journey, you need to get it!). He works with clients employing the Alexander Technique and provided me with healing visualizations (which have worked every time I have pain!), taught me how to walk properly, gave me additional tips to sooth the pain, how to sleep, taught me how important it is to strengthen my calf muscles, and more. I'm very, very grateful to Gary for his help.

So this is what's happening, 6 weeks off my feet. But it is more than that. Our outer circumstances reflect something inward, and that is what I will be discovering over these weeks. I will also be letting go of all of the things I "have to" do and take care of myself. I have to ask for help and allow others to be there for me. Much as that past life described, I tend to do it all alone, I don't want to bother anyone else, I don't like to ask for help. This is a journey of not moving, but nonetheless, I know I'm headed somewhere to heal something that has been neglected for a long time. I am going to take this time to meditate, pray, write, create, reflect, eat healthier, and exercise (just not on the foot!). This is a time for reflection and transformation and I'm looking forward to sharing it all with you.  



In Gratitude & Love

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com






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