From Where I Sit – The Cure

Six months later I’m still trying to get rid of my foot and heel pain. Losing one’s ability to freely move pain-free has huge lifestyle implications. It could impair my ability to work. It’s already impairing my ability to play. It’s forcing me to avoid walking any real distance outside or on the treadmill.

By way of a quick recap: last August walking became nearly impossible because of pain. An x-ray said heel spurs; a podiatrist said posterior tibial tendonitis dysfunction; a chiropractor said plantar fasciitis (’gone rogue’ said I. I’ve had PF for about twenty-five years).

Wearing an ankle brace brought temporary relief last September but can hardly be considered a long-term solution. Active release technique, as practiced by some specially trained chiropractors, is making a difference. The chiropractor uses massage and pressure from fingers and a curved steel tool (!) to break up scar tissue and release trapped nerves. Pain relief should result. While I’m definitely better I am not ’cured’ by any stretch of the imagination.

Self and professional massage are also helping with lengthening and strengthening the fascia. Yoga stretches aid flexibility. When rotating my ankles causes a gravelly, crunchy noise I think I need WD-40. Apparently osteoarthritis is the likely culprit. Great.

Having a massage and a chiro treatment a day apart resulted in tender painful areas and a discussion about the benefits of Diclofenac, a greasy, pharmacist concocted anti-inflammatory gel. So off to the doctor I went to get the prescription. I was willing to have pharmaceutical help working silently between treatments and perhaps hurrying along my eventual?God help me—recovery.

So I massage in the gooey stuff on the soles of my feet and back of my heels and put on little spa booties. My left shoulder is also beat up and has bruises so I work the gel into that area too. The label on the jar says apply up to four times a day as needed so I’m determined not to skimp. I hate taking medication so I usually err on the side of taking/using less of whatever is prescribed. That wasn’t going to happen this time.

After a total of three applications, I wonder about a pervasive headache and slight dizziness when I bend over. I Google Diclofenac. It is a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Severe allergic reactions; bloody or black, tarry stools; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; confusion; depression; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; mental or mood changes; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent irritation at the application site; severe or persistent stomach pain or nausea; severe vomiting or diarrhea; shortness of breath; unusual joint or muscle pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision or speech changes are some of the severe side effects listed. I sponged off the ointment and considered my next move. I hate it when the cure is worse than the disease, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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