Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sorry for disappearing

That wasn't meant to happen.

I am having a few weeks with no coursework to do, and this seems to mean that I don't turn the computer on nearly so much in the evenings. So I haven't been blogging. You would think I'd be capable of coming upstairs and pushing a button, but... no.

There are several posts in my head which I meant to get up during Blogiversary Week, but some of them required illustrations, and my camera has died, and...

And I've been feeling really boring lately, somehow.

Life has not been totally without occurrences; I had a cold (another one) and then we went to see my in-laws, and while we were there we went to the theatre, and work has been busy, and I've been knitting and reading a lot and watching Doctor Who and doing the garden... no. I really am boring. I'm not unhappy, but I'm slightly discontented with myself at the moment; I look in the mirror and see a sort of harried scruffy mouse-ish person. This is probably the mood in which other people get exciting new haircuts that they later regret. I'll just have to resist the temptation to buy lots of new clothes, and also resist the temptation to eat chocolate, which is only a short-term mood lifter.

There is little to report on the fitness front, except that I'm still biking to work - and indeed I go somewhere on the bike most other days as well, so I probably rack up about 40 miles per week. Probably I should do more; the weather's getting nicer, and I'm not so tired in the evenings as I am during the winter (that said, I came home from work on Friday and fell asleep on the sofa at 9pm). I still can't walk more than a few miles, or go running, because I'm still having problems with my feet. Warning: even more boring bit coming up.

Remember my feet? I've had long-term problems with arch pain, blistering under the arches, and aching feet when I get out of bed in the morning. Last September I went to the doctor about this - I thought I had flat feet, and he agreed, told me to avoid doing anything that set it off (like walking long distances or running) and referred me to the podiatry clinic. When my appointment came up in December, the podiatrist decided that I had plantar fasciitis, for which he gave me exercises. Although he agreed my feet were a bit flat, he thought it wasn't that bad. He also picked up that I'm slightly hypermobile (double-jointed) which can cause joint problems, so referred me on to the orthopaedic clinic for assessment. In the meantime, he told me I shouldn't go running, although doing weights and cycling would be OK.

The appointment for that has just come through - I'll be going on the 6th of May. While I'd be the first to admit that my sore feet are not exactly an urgent or life-threatening condition, I'm not overjoyed that it's taken so long from start to finish. When I got the appointment in December, I naively thought I'd be getting measured for orthotics there and then, and would be able to get back to what I consider normal activity pretty soon after. I've been doing the exercises I was given - possibly not quite as often as I should - but haven't really noticed any improvement: just as before, my feet don't hurt if I don't run or walk on them much, and if I wear either Doc Martens, Clarks' flat mary janes or the increasingly battered black Skechers I wear to work. School shoes, in other words. (This is something of a grief to me. I have lots of interesting and decorative shoes, and I've not worn most of them for months. It's not even as if I am a diehard fan of high heels - most of them are flat and sensible, just not quite supportive enough.) I took trainers down south with me the other week, walked into town in them, and bingo - arch pain and rubbed areas on my insteps.

In the meantime, I think I've discovered something else wrong with my feet: Morton's Neuroma or possibly Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Which is just a scary-sounding way of saying that I get pins and needles in my toes when I exercise, which is caused by trapped nerves. This has also been going on for years, but I didn't know there was a name for it; I often get numb toes in the later stages of a longish bike ride, and I always used to get them on the cross-trainer (another thing I haven't done for ages). Apparently these conditions are associated with flat feet, and tarsal tunnel syndrome is brought on by exercise in that way. It may be possible to sort it with orthotics, or I may just have to put up with it.

The weight is still hovering around 180. I have a horrible feeling that the doctor at the clinic is going to tell me that I have sore feet because I am asking them to carry 180 pounds, and that they'd get better if I lost weight, and that there's nothing else to be done about it. Maybe I'm being paranoid. I hope I'm being paranoid. Not that I wouldn't like to lose more weight, but in the past I've only managed to do so through running several times a week... which is exactly what I've been told not to do at the moment.


old_black said...

I can relate to your post very well.

First, I discovered that I had Morton's way back when I was about your age (and I'm now your mother's age, which despite what she says is on the slippery slope of 'beyond middle age'!). It has been annoying me on and off ever since. Interestingly, what initiated the symptoms at the time was that I was doing a lot of cycling between home and uni, and so I bought some fancy (narrow) italian shoes with cleats on them to make the shoe lock onto the pedal (back in the days before they had fancy pedals!). It turned out that the narrowness of the shoes was compressing the neuroma and giving me symptoms. Ever since then it's been ok as long as I wear shoes with lots of spare width.

Second...You think your foot problems have been being looked into for ages...I also have been having investigations into my propensity to fracture bones for months! The process of consultation, referral, tests, re-consultation, more test etc etc, takes for ever. What's more, at the end (or near the end) of the long process the experts just say they don't know what causes it and are not sure if anything they do will help! Soooo depressing....

Rosemary Grace said...

I get the numb toes thing too! I always thought I was bad at picking athletic shoes, or lacing them up wrong.

The NHS waits sound very frustrating, my mum's getting the same runaround for a trapped nerve in her hand.

Loth said...

Having had a little bout of PF, I can sympathise a little. Ouch. And annoying that it stops you doing stuff that you enjoy and that make you feel better. Hope you have a good experience on the 6th.

K said...

old_black: that's interesting. I'm aware that narrow shoes wouldn't help, though I'm not sure I can find shoes with roomier toe-boxes than my Docs, and I still get the numbness when I'm wearing those. My trainers have masses of room in them - in fact, I think they're a size too big if anything. (I had them fitted by a running consultant, so it's not my fault if they are...)

Actually, I wouldn't be totally unhappy if I had medical dispensation to wear the Docs to work :)

I'm not exactly unhappy that the process of investigating my feet has taken so long: it's that I've had to wait so long for anyone to look at them at all. I mean, the total time taken during my two appointments is only about half an hour...

I know, I should be grateful that we have free healthcare at all. I shouldn't moan. And my achy feet are not exactly in the same league as your broken ribs!

Loth and RG: thanks, and fingers crossed...

Stomper Girl said...

Happy 3rd blog-versary. I hope you do find a solution for your aching feet although I would consider being told not to run a good thing (I just loathe running). Obviously would be very upset if told not to dance though.

Tanya Brown said...

I meant to comment on this sooner. I fear I'm turning into a lurker, darting in and looking at people's entries and then scooting away when my child screams.

It sounds like you had a touch of the blahs a couple of weeks ago, something which affects us all now and then. They're annoying, aren't they? Sometimes I wake up and feel as though I'm in the wrong skin. Thank goodness neither of us are the type to, say, run out and get a tattoo when we're in mood like that. Compared to that, getting an outrageous haircut is relatively mild.

Your fitness efforts are impressive, and I predict that you're going to reap great benefits in the cardiovascular department. So sorry to hear about the arch pain and numb toes, though. I can relate. I weigh a similar amount, and I do find that my joints and body in general feel better when I weigh less. However, while weight may exacerbate the situation, I doubt it's the primary issue. I think you're wise to pursue orthotics.

By the way; thank you for your comment on the Billy bookcases a couple of weeks back! It was very helpful, and did much to help me feel comfortable in purchasing a batch of them.