Today was a big day. And things are going to be changing around here. A lot.
You guys all know about my foot problems. About a month ago, I met with my podiatrist and he decided that because my pain was so bad and wasn’t getting better, he wanted to do surgery. I was completely ready for this next step. After spending the last two years in excruciating pain, I was more than ready for it to stop.
When I told my physical therapist about the surgery, he told me that he thought I should get a second opinion. That sounded like a really good idea. Wouldn’t you want more than one person to look at your before getting cut open?
The Second Opinion
Well, that appointment with the second-opinion doctor was this morning. First off, I loved the office. It was huge, and there were so many people working there – lots of doctors and lots of staff. I didn’t have to wait too long to be seen, which was also good. They took tons of x-rays of my feet and then I got to talk to Dr. DiGiovanni.
I showed him all my past x-rays, MRIs, EMG test results… you name it – I brought it with me. This guy was smart, and you could tell. He had a patch on his doctor’s jacket that said Brown University and he’s an orthopedic surgeon, not just a podiatrist.
One of my biggest problems with my old doctor was that he was always rushing around. He would talk so fast, and I never felt like I got any time to decompress and ask him questions about what he was saying. He would also book at least 3 people in one time slot and try to see them all at once, running in and out of rooms every few minutes. You could tell he was always just trying to rush you out the door as quickly as possible so that he could get to his other patients. I always ended up leaving his office confused and not quite sure about what was going on.
Dr. DiGiovanni was not like this at all. I talked to him alone for about a half an hour, and I felt completely satisfied with how it went when I left. Upfront, he told me that he does not think I have Plantar Fasciitis, and he absolutely knows that I do not have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Apparently, people come in all the time with these positive Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome test results, but it’s actually a really rare condition. He said that he only sees one patient that actually has it. He also explained that Plantar Fasciitis is extremely over-diagnosed in podiatry. I think it’s because doctor’s want to tell their patients what is wrong with them, and give that thing a name. Having a name for their problem makes patients happy and makes them feel like they are on their way to being cured. Dr. Giovanni told me bluntly that he does not know what is wrong with my feet. There are tons of possibilities, because there are so many tiny parts and pieces of the foot.
Dr. DiGiovanni’s professional opinion was to immediately cancel the surgery. He told me that, because I don’t have Plantar Fasciitis, the surgery will most likely not only not fix it… it will make it much worse. And when that happens, it can’t be fixed anymore. He told me that while it may be an option for the future, he wants to exhaust every option before cutting me open. I liked that idea.
Dr. DiGiovanni told me that he wants to see two things happen over the next three months. He wants me to (1) try electro-stimulation therapy and (2) lose a ton of weight.
I explained to him that I lost 40 pounds last year and it didn’t seem to help the problem. He still said that he wants me to try it again, and I’m up for anything that might make it better. I’m not crazy about getting the electro-stimulation because it’s not covered by insurance (and it’s supposed to hurt!), but I’m at a really desperate point right now.
If neither of those things make it better, then the next step might be surgery. But, Dr. DiGiovanni said that he’s seen a lot of people with similar pain benefit enormously from the electro-stimulation – so hopefully it will work for me too!
When I heard from the doctor that I need to start losing weight, I was up for it… but also frustrated. During January and February of this year, I worked out five days a week and didn’t lose a pound. Because I’m pretty much bed-ridden most of the day besides when I go to school, go grocery shopping, or work-out, I wasn’t losing weight because even exercising 5 days a week wasn’t making up for my lack of regular movement.
I signed up for a membership at the YMCA so that I can try swimming (which the Dr. DiGiovanni suggested). I think that focusing on strength training instead of cardio (because I can’t walk or use the treadmill/elliptical) has been affecting my ability to lose the pounds. Maybe there is something to that myth. I love to swim, but I had been using our home gym to workout – which obviously doesn’t have a pool. I’m really excited to get back into swimming, and I’ll get to use all the awesome weight machines they have, which are much better than the one we have at home.
I feel that exercise is what I need to focus on the most, but nutrition is important as well. Even though I’m usually really good about eating healthy, I’ve noticed that lately I’ve probably been taking in a few too many calories here and there. I ended up attacking the grocery store on the way home from my appointment. I’m pretty sure I bought everything in the produce section.
This was a big haul… almost $100! I went a little insane. It was like I thought that if I bought everything healthy in the whole store today, that it would magically make me lose 50 pounds right then and there. Yeah… it doesn’t really work like that.
But, I do have a really nice starting point to keep my eats really healthy for the next few weeks.
Here’s my plan:
- Make hummus with all those chick peas & eat with chopped veggies
- Ear sugar-free, fat-free chocolate fudge pudding with light whipped cream (instead of ice cream)
- Bring all my own meals to Brent’s instead of eating what his mom cooks
- Cook so much healthy food that I have no choice but to eat it
- Satiate my salty cravings with a handful of whole-grain goldfish
- Satiate my sugar cravings with delicious strawberries, blackberries, clementines, and apples
- Keep calorie-friendly soup at Brent’s for “emergencies”
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that things were going to be changing around here. This blog has always been a food & recipe blog above all else. But I’ve realized that I can’t afford to buy lots of ingredients for fancy recipes, instead of spending the bulk of my budget on fresh produce. While I will, of course, still be posting recipes, it’s not going to be as often. I don’t need recipes to keep this blog going. I’d rather be healthy.