Usually about the beginning of March I start getting “Spring Fever” something awful! I just want to go walking, rain or shine, with my dog Brownie.
I live on a state fish hatchery in California so springtime is the best time of the year for walking. Once the summer is here, I would have to get out at sunrise to beat the heat! So that’s what I’ve been doing for years. Until last year. Slowly, my right foot developed a bunion. That wasn’t too bad once I purchased bigger shoes. But over time it also developed a very painful bone spur on the top of my right big toe joint. So if I decided to go walking, I was icing it afterwards. Eventually, it became too painful to walk any more. I went to a few foot doctors for different opinions. One said to try different shoes. So I did. Several kinds in fact. But that didn’t work. Some suggested surgery, but I didn’t want to rush into that until I found it was absolutely necessary.
The foot doctor I decided to go to suggested Cortisone shots for the pain. I said “I’ll try it! Anything to get rid of the pain so I can keep walking.” The shot was painful, but after a day of resting it, my pain magically disappeared. I could walk again! It was great. But it only lasted a few months. I had to keep doing it every few months. About nine months later, I began having the same pain in my left foot also. That meant getting shots in both feet to live pain free. But it is pretty pricey, and I didn’t want to keep spending money on shots. Finally, I decided to start riding my stationary bike instead. Pushing pedals is much easier on my feet than walking. But that meant I was stuck inside all the time. No more enjoying the fresh air, no more getting my dog out for the exercise she needs, no more seeing all the nature around me. My bike is by a window, but I can’t see much from there. I opted to listen to music instead of songbirds, wind and all the other sounds of nature. But it helped keep me in shape. By November of 2012, though, it was getting too painful for me to just walk normally even just for shopping! I made a hard decision. I went for the surgery on my right foot. He took care of the bone spur, but it left me with weeks of recovery. The worst part was the only December appointment they had was on my birthday, a little over a week before Christmas. But the pain killers they gave me got me through it, plus the wonderful help of my husband and two children.
By February I was getting cabin fever worse than I’ve ever had it! When I got the go ahead from my doctor that I could start walking again, I set out one day with my dog and my son. He went with me just in case I lost my balance or anything. I could only go down the street and back, but it just felt good to be outside again!
Now it is the middle of May. I was walking again almost every day since February. But a month ago the pain was back. What the heck? My doctor took x-rays, said everything looked fine. It’s just arthritis in my feet. He had mentioned that before the surgery when I was getting the shots last year, but I sure didn’t think it would begin hurting again so soon. So a couple of months after a painful surgery I got Cortisone shot in my right foot. Needless to say, I am discouraged about it all.
How do I get the exercise I need without pain? How do I enjoy the outdoors without pain? I have a lot of thinking to do these days to come up with creative and healthy ways to get these needs met.
I would appreciate any input from anyone. Have a great day!