Getting Rid of Plantar Fasciitis

I’m really sick of my feet hurting.

I recently stopped taking Meloxicam, which is an excellent NSAID that helped me get through walking in THREE 5k’s within a week of each other the beginning of September.  But I was having all sorts of weird gastro-intestinal issues, so I started phasing things out that weren’t needed in the hopes of getting my intestines and stomach back to reasonable performance. My gut has settled down quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, so maybe it was just a prescription drug cocktail problem (of my taking Meloxicam on top of Metformin everyday) and not the dreaded gluten allergy/celiacs issue. Jury is still out on that one, and I’ve done nothing yet to pursue testing that possibility.  One thing at a time, people.

Back to my current pains…last weekend, I was limping along after sitting down too long (joints get cold, stretch the inflamed fascia back out, pain ensues), and I mentioned my foot pain to a family member who’s in her 60s and has had foot problems as well. She said, “Oh, plantar fasciitis? Well, at least that will go away.”

I very quickly corrected her. I’ve had plantar fasciitis since 2005. Closing in on 9 years now. I’ve done a plethora of treatments – shoe orthotics, physical therapy, night splints, tens unit stimulation, cortisone shots, acupuncture, NSAIDs, pain creams, lost weight, never go barefoot, never wear shoes without arch support, and my wonderful husband gives me a foot massage almost every night. My. Feet. Still. Hurt. And hurt terribly 80-90% of the time. Even worse when I over-work them by walking a lot or being on my feet for too-long stretches.  I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. Is it because they always stay inflamed because I have such crappy circulation in my feet and they can never seem to heal? Is this one of those “stupid diabetes” things?

The sad thing is, I want to exercise more, and my favorite forms of exercise involve walking and hiking. I’d love to someday actually *run* some 5k’s instead of walking them. Sure, I know I could do an exercise bike, or go swimming, but they are just not my favorite, and it’s tough to get motivated to do something you really don’t enjoy, when that will take valuable time away that you could spend with your family, your friends, or doing 8,000,000 other things that you’d like to do.Stupid feet.

I’m still up in the air about subjecting my feet (and blood supply) to the questionable PRP – Platelets Rich Plasma treatment that my podiatrist has mentioned. But really, I’ve sort of run out of options. Staying on NSAIDs indefinitely is NOT feasible, even though my feet felt the best they have in years for the 2 months I was taking Meloxicam. Granted, I still had *some* pain, but it was on a scale of 2 or 3 instead of 8 or 9.  Having pain every-single-day, on top of dealing with diabetes crap, really wears me down (despite the demeanor of happiness and positivism that I try to keep up as a good front for the people around me. I don’t want to be a Debbie downer.)

I’ve taken the stance that no matter what, I just have to keep on going. But I would love to hear from other diabetics that have had issues with plantar fasciitis – and even moreso, would love to hear from those who have suffered with it for years but then finally found relief. Please, someone, tell me the secret!

Week in Pictures Roundup

I know it’s Wednesday, and might be kind of odd to do a “week in review” post (honestly, it’s more like a week-and-a-couple-days in review”), but that’s what you’re getting today. Kind of goes along with the “Wordless Wednesday” theme, although you know, I’m rarely “wordless.”

And this was the highest it was for most of the morning.

My blood sugar at the end of the Dance Dash 5k. After snarfing tons of carbs along the way, just to keep from falling out from running so low. Thank goodness my husband came along to feed me and watch our daughter.

She keeps me going, even when I feel like stopping

Recovering from the lows, and feeling good to be with my family. I need to work more on my strategies for managing blood sugars while exercising, obviously.

Loss is inevitable.

A somber trip to the mountains to say goodbye to my uncle who died of bone marrow cancer.
RIP Uncle Roger.

Just hanging around

Fun at the park for a 2 year old friend’s birthday party

Electric running (OK, walking) was the best!

My team who did the Electric Run 5k. OK, so most of us walked it. My sugar crashed of course (again) but I made it through. A night filled with friends, lights, and LED displays made the exercise worth it!

Mmmm, cupcakes

Morning after the Electric Run 5k, I walked the Cupcake Fun Run 5k. With cupcakes available, surely my blood sugars would survive?!! They did OK. But only because I ate 1 cupcake before, and 1 cupcake after. (No judging – I NEEDED those cupcakes!)

Whew, almost done!

Stopping for a photo op – thankfully, not a major crash during this 5k, but still a little tenuous for blood sugar management. Even with the cupcakes.

Mmmmm, cake!

We won Parents of the Year this day. Cupcakes in the morning for the 5k, and birthday cake that afternoon at a friend’s 1 year old’s party. Our daughter was on a sugar high, to be sure. Check out all the kids/vultures “helping” this little guy with his smash cake. Too cute.

Don't let the Quetzocoatalus get you!

After two 5ks over the weekend, it made sense that we should spend Sunday walking even more at the Zoo, right? Penny wanted to go see the Dinosaurs. She was terrified of the animatronic creatures last time, but assured us she would be fine this time. Never trust a 2.5 year old.

Whew. I think I’ll go take a nap for the next 5 days now.

Don’t Mess with this Fairy

My husband is due home tonight after being away for 5 REALLY long days. (He went to GenCon. I couldn’t get away from work due to some big projects, and we weren’t quite sure we were ready to leave our daughter for that long with anyone else, so I took the hit for the team and stayed behind.  I am still very jealous, but happy he got to have some super fun and scope it all out to prepare us for our trip together next year – for sure, I’m going!!)

I’ve had plenty of challenges this week, and it’s times like these that make me totally respect and admire single moms and dads. Being solely responsible for a kid 24/7 is exhausting business. Add on the ups and downs of blood sugars, and it can sometimes be the perfect storm of fun-suck.
I have had a couple of crashes, and some stubborn lows the past few days – chasing around a very active 2 year old tends to mirror the effects of 90 minutes of aerobic exercise for me – but overall, I think we both came through it with flying colors. I mean, we’re both still alive, right?

And speaking of colors, we had an amazingly fun time yesterday at a friend’s birthday party – theme: Princess Dress-up. Our household isn’t really into princesses, especially not the damsel-in-distress kind, but we’re keeping an open mind, and will let our daughter find her own way in what she likes. So far, it’s been like pulling teeth whenever we *wanted* her to put on dressy outfits for pictures or for playtime, so I wasn’t sure how the party would go. After some stressful dress-picking (and her asking to put on a robot costume instead – the one she has at home of Optimus Prime) she got all dolled up and really had a fabulous time with all the other Princesses and Fairies. Here’s just a few pics that were so cute I had to share. Happy Sunday!

She won't sit still 2 seconds for me to clip her fingernails, yet she begs for a stranger to paint them?

She won’t sit still 2 seconds for me to clip her fingernails, yet she begs for a stranger to paint them?

Bad-ass Fairy with a Scimitar tattoo. Seriously, don't mess with her.

Bad-ass Fairy with a Scimitar tattoo.
Seriously, don’t mess with her.

Instead of walking the red carpet by herself in the final show, she wanted to run with the Wizard and Knight. Girl knows it's best to have a well-balanced adventuring party.

Instead of walking the red carpet by herself in the final show, she wanted to run with the Wizard and Knight. Girl knows it’s best to have a well-balanced adventuring party.

Newfound Love for JDRF

I’ve joined other people’s teams for the JDRF walk in the past, but this is my first year creating my own team – The Rowdies!! Was thrilled to receive a nice little packet in the mail about the Raleigh, NC walk on November 2nd today, complete with a hand-written note from the Development Manager of our local JDRF chapter. It included an invite to a free family team “rally” and movie at a local theater, as well as info on an upcoming luncheon and family picnic that will be taking place before the actual walk. Such a simple thing, and simple events, but I am so excited and encouraged by this little letter and communication, that I plan to *make* the time to go to one or more of these pre-walk events.Very nice note and packet. So impressed.

Maybe I just needed a Friday pick-me-up, or maybe I’m feeling particularly emotional this week, but I’m flabbergasted in the best possible way! I’ve volunteered with several non-profits over the years (and even co-founded a non-profit schnauzer rescue several years ago) so I know first-hand how hard it is to manage, cultivate, and retain good volunteers. It takes a certain mind-set of appreciation, work and effort, and not a lot of non-profits have the time, money, or charismatic leadership to do what it takes.

Now that I’m finally starting to focus philanthropic efforts on more diabetes-related organizations, I’m coming to realize that the JDRF is doing a stand-up job of making me feel wanted and included. Which is totally a surprise, because for many years, I sort of “ignored” the JDRF….I mean, it was for “juvenile” diabetics (right?), and I was diagnosed at age 21, so I sort of felt like I had already aged-out of the target market for the group. I’m beginning to see that my thoughts could not have been farther from the truth. I love the fact that they have family events – things I can take my daughter to and show her other people living normally (just like her Mama!) with diabetes. I love that they took the time to send me a hand-written note (who does THAT anymore?) I love that they are offering up events and meetings where I will have the opportunity to interact with other type 1 diabetics, young and old. I love that (at least, so far) all I have received from them is encouragement with no pressure. THAT makes volunteering all the more sweet and worthwhile for me. And the fact that I am volunteering and fundraising for an organization that may someday have a hand in helping find a cure this stupid disease?? BONUS!!

If you live anywhere near Raleigh, NC and need a walk team to join on November 2nd for the walk, please join The Rowdies!! I’d love to see you and hang out for a bit! (And probably get a little rowdy! Today is apparently exclamation point day!!!)

Swimming with Diabetes

I have loved swimming since I was close to my daughter’s age now. I always feel so free in the pool – weightless and enveloped in such voluminous amounts of water.  Ahhhhhh…amazing and relaxing.  It is really the perfect type of exercise for me because I have bad feet and knees, and it totally removes any issues with those pains.  I prefer indoor swimming because it doesn’t allow that bright-shiny-burning-thing-in-the-sky to turn me into a lobster on contact. Luckily,  I have access to several pools that are pretty shady (in the good way, not the crime-ridden way) so sunburn hasn’t really been an issue.Selfie in the pool

However, swimming is not a lot of fun for me anymore. Due to diabetes and all it’s accoutrements, I have to plan and pack for a nuclear holocaust anytime I want to just have a quick dip in the pool.

My usual checklist includes (I’m sure I’ll still forget something, I always do):

  • Basic pocketbook stuff like keys, ID, cash & cards
  • Cooler bag with water and ice packs
  • Snacks, snacks, snacks
  • Glucose meter case, that includes syringes and a bottle of insulin
  • Tons of sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Dry place/container to put the meter case, pump & CGM receiver
  • Pump site cover
  • Clean clothes
  • Towel
  • Monsterous-sized bag to hold above items

And that list doesn’t even include anything for my daughter, which pretty much triples everything except the diabetes stuff, and adds on swim diapers, pool toys and water floatees.  I need a Mack truck to cart all this stuff to the pool.

On top of all that is the “site consideration” decision tree I have to go through to decide if it’s worth getting my CGM sensor site and my pump infusion site wet/soaked in water, and potentially having to change one or both of them out sooner than I would have if I *didn’t* go swimming. (Or is it worth destroying a Dexcom? Having my insulin go skunky from getting too hot if I hook back up while drying off beside the pool?)  Sometimes I just say forget it, and don’t go swimming because it’s way too much of a hassle.

But the times I actually suck it up and make the effort to go swimming….still amazing. (And I do get some great pictures with my waterproof camera.)2013-07-23_SwimmingDiabetes42013-07-23_SwimmingDiabetes32013-07-23_SwimmingDiabetes2

How I Finally Started Wearing My Dexcom G4

Took my daughter to an aquatic center, thinking I’d only just wade in, so I wore my pump and Dexcom Seven+ in the bra area of my suit. We’d been to other pools several times this summer, and this set-up worked OK so far.

Booby TrapNote the buckets at the top of this picture. It was a spinning gauntlet of drenching-water-booby-trap. It got me. Got me good.

The unintentional soaking left my Dexcom Seven+ receiver giving me the “out of range” symbol for the rest of the day, even though it was always within 5 feet of the sensor on my thigh. And check out the obvious-looking water-leakage line in this next picture.

I think it's dead, Jim. So, even though I’d been stretching out my remaining Dexcom Seven+ supplies for as long as I could before switching over, this meant I had to break open the box of my new Dexcom G4 and start learning to use it. So, here goes!!!

New. Fancy. (I like to keep it in my pocket, and wanted some sort of protective cover regardless, so I had already bought this sassy yellow neoprene one from a few weeks ago.)

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

I thought maybe if I said it 3 times, it would somehow endow me with magical exercising abilities? I feel like I talk a lot about exercise, but don’t really DO enough exercise. I need to work on that. Ironically, I will now proceed to talk about the exercise I know I have planned to do in the near future that involves very worthy causes!

  • Saturday, August 10, 2013 in Cary, NC – I’m volunteering at a charity 5k to benefit SIDS research. Check out my info/fundraising page at CJ Foundation Bella Rose Strides for Babies. OK, so technically this isn’t “exercise” since I’m not actually running in the 5k, but let me tell you, a few hours of helping people register, using brainpower, and walking around making sure things are running smoothly WILL affect my blood sugars just as if I were exercising!
  • Friday, September 13, 2013 – I WILL be participating in the Electric Run in Raleigh, NC. How cool is this….a night-time, non-timed 5k event where you can run, walk, dance, push a stroller – whatever – all while enjoying a light show with music, and the proceeds will benefit a local charity. I like the non-competitive nature of this 5k, and hope to have several friends join me in the wonderment of it! (If you’d like to join our team and hang out that night, shoot me an email to fifteenwaitfifteen at Gmail  (you know how to set up the email address) and I’ll send you the info on how to sign up and make sure you are on our team!!
  • Saturday, November 2, 2013 – Yay, the JDRF walk  is in Raleigh, and I’m heading up a team, of course! Would love to have you join my team (just click on the links in this paragraph for more info), but even if you can’t, I’m fundraising and donations are always welcome! I’m hoping by the time this walk rolls around, I’ll be in better shape from other summer events, swimming, etc. I feel sooooo out of shape right now, and the heat of summer makes me want to curl up and just melt into a puddle.

Well, that is all on the agenda for now! As a side note also related to exercise, please take a minute to go view this video by our DOC friend Scott Johnson of Scott’s Diabetes.  He made it to the semi-finals of the Insulindependence Athletic Achievement awards! Let’s help him WIN! All you have to do is view his video:

(…..and now that I’ve talked about doing exercise, I think it’s time to go ride the stationary bike for at least 30 minutes. I think I can, I think I can!)