The last several weeks have been difficult. Very difficult. I live with several chronic health conditions in addition to Type 1 diabetes (more info. can be found in my first article (seen to right) titled, How I've Used Integrative Medicine to Live Well with Diabetes).
One way I cope with everything this means for me and all of the ways my health affects me is through daily (or almost daily) exercise. As I have lived with a frozen shoulder for quite some time now, the ways I am able to be active have been greatly restricted.
Walks are my balm
Walks on my treadmill during Minnesota winters and walks around my neighborhood and the lakes with my dog Jonah are part of my life most days of the week. If I start thinking negative, hopeless or just downright sad, I realize what is going on and hop either on my treadmill or a walk outside to experience a shift in this downward spiral.
Within 30 minutes of exercise, my mind clears, more hope arises in my heart and mind and I start feeling positive again like, "I can do this! I can do this thing, this life with diabetes another day."
The start of my foot pain
Well, a few months ago my right foot starting hurting. Underneath in the center, just to the right of my
arch. I didn't notice the pain much unless I happened to touch the bottom of my foot so I kept walking on it.
Then, during a shiatsu appointment, as my Shiatsu massage therapist pressed along my kidney meridian (which is along the bottom center of one's feet), I yelped out in pain. I felt concerned, but progressed on with my daily walks.
After all, as a Type 1, walks are not an "optional" part of my life. They are something I depend on daily to bring me not only emotional health but great stability in my blood sugars and much better insulin sensitivity to counteract the insulin resistance I experience from living with Type 1 diabetes for 26 years.
Two and a half weeks ago, while chatting on my cell phone with a good friend on my walk I noticed for the first time ever, pain as I took each step. Distracted by our conversation, I kept walking. I had to finish my 4 mile walk!
It was a mistake, but I didn't realize it at the time. Within a few hours of returning home, it hurt to walk. I was actually limping in pain. As with most other pains or health concerns in my life, I went to bed assuming I'd wake up the next day fine.
I woke up the next day in pain. Yet, I wasn't too worried. I took the day off from my walk assuming that would do the trick!
Wrong. I woke up Saturday STILL in pain! By this point, I grew concerned. "What have I done?" I asked myself.
Searching for answers
With this concern, I turned toward a resource that has become a valuable tool in my life over the last year and a half. I was hopeful I might get an answer quickly and resolve this...
I turned to the diabetes online community (DOC). Specifically, the Facebook community that has formed around the blog I started in December of 2011, Diabetes Light: My Holistic Journey to Health. I was sure that someone would have experienced something similar and offer insight that would get me back on my feet again.
Within minutes of posting my personal story and question about the pain I was experiencing, comments started pouring in. I was relieved and thankful.
The one that struck me most came from a dear woman in Canada who happens to work in the foot care field--- for a Podiatrist! (a doctor who specializes in "feet"). She advised me to be seen at once by an actual Podiatrist and not just my family doctor. She was confident this would have me feeling better again soon with the tools, equipment and special knowledge these specialists have of the feet.
I felt confused though. For several years I ordered all of my athletic shoes at a running store. Not a department store which is what I used to do back in the day which did not always turn out so well (think: bruised toenail once that actually ended up partially falling off - Eww!).
Going to specialty running stores, I had gone the extra mile with trained store associates having them watch me when I walk and squat, etc to be able to recommend to me shoes I needed with the proper support. I even bought fancy expensive inserts for further added protection!
How could I, someone who takes such good care to wear all high quality shoes in addition to my athletic shoes (many of which are approved by the National Podiatric Medical Association) be experiencing problems?
Reaching out for help
I had to wait until Monday to make my phone calls when clinics would be open again. Monday morning I started by calling my medical insurance provider to see where a Podiatrist was even located and if I would need a referral first to see such a specialist.
I was pleasantly surprised that there were a few clinics just a mile from my house! The first clinic had no openings until the following week. Not wanting to wait that long, I called another office on my list.
Opening tomorrow! Yahooo!! I was ecstatic on a holiday week (4th of July) that I could get in so soon.
In my post next week (Part 2):
I will be writing about my very first appointment with a Podiatrist. What happened at the visit, his diagnosis and what his recommendations have been for me. Through all of my questions for him (I really like to ask a LOT of questions!), I have learned a great deal. I will share what I learned to help you should you experience an injury. Stay tuned. To be continued...
In Peace & Wellness,
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