Archive for April, 2016

I’ve mentioned before on here having problems with foot pain, but let me try to give a history of how things went.

It started out with some pain in both heels of my feet, I looked up info and decided it sounded like plantar fasciitis and started doing some stuff to help that I found online. I did stretching, massage, I got this thing that you can freeze and roll under your foot, and I used kinesiology tape, particularly when running. I can’t remember when this started but… come to think of it, it must have been about 2 years or longer ago I think.

For awhile this worked pretty well and I was still running and not having major issues due to the pain. But then it started getting worse in my left foot and none of what I was doing was helping. It continued to get worse until I couldn’t run anymore because I ended up limping when I was running. Then I started limping just trying to walk on it. This started happening even when walking short distances, like the distance from my car into my desk at work.

I realized I needed to see a doctor, but that realization came about during a period when I didn’t have health insurance.

Then I had insurance but I was working during the day when doctors are available. So I waited until after I was able to take time off from my job (90 days from when I started) to make an appointment to see a doctor.

I finally got in to see my PCP about it and she had an x-ray done and referred me to a podiatrist.

The x-ray showed a heel spur and also a small tumor on my foot. When I got in to see the podiatrist he told me that the tumor thingy was nothing to worry about and most likely was unrelated to my pain. He said the pain was plantar fasciitis and that the PF actually causes the heel spur. He recommended icing it, stretching, super expensive insoles (I had been using some that were like $10 from the store, he had me buy brand that was $50/pair -_-), told me to always wear shoes in my house (boo), and had me get a night splint to wear. He also prescribe naproxen to be taken twice a day, and told me he could give me a cortisone injection. He said that he is usually hesitant to give the injection because he doesn’t want patients to think that the shot takes away the  pain so that’s all they need, saying that the shot will wear off so you need to do the stretching and so on to resolve the underlying issue to keep it from coming back. However, since I had been doing stretching and all for months he said he would leave it up to me if I wanted to do the shot too. I said I did and he gave me a cortisone injection. He kept asking if I was ok throughout, because it takes awhile to slowly administer the whole dose, but I’m actually pretty good with needles and have a high pain tolerance. Didn’t bother me watching him do it either.

I chatted with him during it and told him about the last time I saw a podiatrist, years ago, for ingrown toenails. That doctor numbed my foot with a local anesthetic and started cutting into the flesh around my toenail and I could feel him cut into me. He gave me more anesthetic and asked if it hurt when I went to the dentist. Well, yeah, of course it hurts when I get stuff done at the dentist! Isn’t that why everyone hates going to the dentist? He informed me that actually I shouldn’t feel any actual pain after being administered a local anesthetic. Seriously blew my fucking mind!  I seriously thought that experiencing pain even after a local anesthetic was normal, I thought it reduced the pain but didn’t realize it was supposed to completely eliminate pain. I’ve become a lot more vocal at the dentist now if I feel pain asking for more anesthetic!

Anyways, he said it would take about a day to feel the effects of the cortisone injection and sure enough a day or 2 late the pain was massively reduced. I was a bit disappointed that pain didn’t go away completely, but it was reduced to the point where I didn’t limp when walking. I could feel pain when walking, but not enough to impact my walking. But after a few days even that wore off.

I kept up with stretching, bought the expensive insoles, try to wear shoes in my house, and tried to wear the night splint but would end up taking it off halfway through the night because my food would start going numb.

I was supposed to follow up in 2 weeks but put the appointment on my calendar on the wrong day and then just kept forgetting to make appointments so I didn’t get back in until just the other day. I told him how things hadn’t improved much and my experience with the cortisone injection. He said that sometimes it takes building up the cortisone injection so he gave me a stronger dose. He was telling me how most people complain about getting the shot but I couldn’t feel it at all. Even though he would inject some and then go deeper, inject more, go deeper, inject more, and so on and it looked creepy how far that needle went into my foot, but only once did I feel any pinching type feeling from it, otherwise I wouldn’t even know he was doing it if I hadn’t been watching.

He told me to continue stretching and he looked at the night splint. He adjusted the straps and made them much looser, and told me that should make it better. I had the straps tight because I was trying to get my heel as close to being against it as possible but according to him I guess it’s ok with my heel isn’t against the bottom of it, it’s still more flexed that it normally would be while resting.

He also recommended that I start physical therapy, so I’ll be doing that soon.

This time the stronger cortisone injection actually has taken away the pain! I’m 2 days now with no pain when walking and it’s amazing!

Would be great if it lasted but I’m not expecting it will.

This pain is particularly rough this time of year. It’s getting nice out and I really want to go running again, but haven’t been able to yet. I’m hoping that finally all this stuff will get me to where I can walk without pain and then start back to running again eventually. Not sure how long it will take though.

There is a very common belief that it is important for people to see their bodies as part of themselves, not something separate from you, not just a vehicle you are in, but an intrinsic part of you.

I think there is a lot of value in this, specifically when talking about body image and harmful “diets” (or eating disorders masquerading as diets), the idea of one’s body as separate, and an object to fight against is part of the harmful mentality encourage by these.

I also know that for myself one of the best feelings I get from fitness is a deep sense of connection with my body, and an appreciation for what it does.

On the other hand though, I just read something about loving yourself even if you are unhealthy. My initial thought to that intro sentiment is that I see no contradiction there because I am not my body. My body can be ill and difficult, without me seeing those as inherent to who I am.

When it comes to being chronically ill, my feelings toward my body are very divergent from the mentality often encouraged in body positive spaces. I do often see my body as the enemy. I also do not love my body most of the time (in terms of function, not appearance). I also do feel like this depersonalization of my body is a mentally healthy approach to chronic illness at times. When I can’t do as much as I want, not seeing my body as intrinsic to who I am is part of recognizing “this is because my body is ill, this is not a reflection of me being a failure, or me being a weak person”.

Thus my limitations reflect back on my illness and by extension my body, not on me as a person.

I feel a little bad about it, but it seems I can never go through a cultural competence seminar about LGBTQ folks without getting annoyed at some aspect of it that I feel the presenter has gotten wrong.

A major one is conflating gender identity with gender expression. So many times I’ve had these trainings teach that gender identity is how masculine or feminine one is, or how much a person fits social norms for being a man or a woman.

NO!!!

That’s gender expression. Someone female assigned at birth may be very masculine and always wear men’s clothing while still identifying as a woman. That woman’s gender identity is “woman” but her gender expression is masculine.

Another person female assigned at birth may be trans and identity as a man, his gender identity is “man”, yet he may still have a feminine gender expression.

Essentially, these two thing can come in all combinations.

Gender identity is really nothing more than the gender one identifies as. The end. There are no rules for it, no qualifications one must meet. There is no test that will tell you your correct identification based on clothing, characteristics, or sexual orientation.

For myself, I am a cis women, and tend to be slightly more to the feminine side in terms of gender expression, though I often feel very mixed in terms of it as in many ways I am. I have many characteristics deemed masculine by society, an many deemed feminine. In term of appearance I’m pretty femme though I still sometimes prefer more masculine looks.

When it comes to how I feel about my gender I actually have a lot in common with many gender queer friends who are faab (female assigned at birth). The big difference though is that they identify as gender queer because of the ways they have felt out of place in terms of social norms for women, and for me despite the ways I have felt out of place in terms of social norms for women, I still identify as a woman.

That’s how it works! Gender identity is personal and based simply on what gender(s) you feel describe you best according to your own feelings and preferences. Often this matches up with gender expression, but it does not always an does not need to.