Just to give you a head’s up… this post (or at least the beginning) might be kind of long and depressing, so I’m sorry for that.
(Before you read, you should probably catch up on the background story of my disability, because otherwise this might be a little confusing).
After my last EPAT procedure in early July, I made a follow-up appointment with my regular foot doctor, Dr. DiGiovanni (at University Orthopedics in Providence, RI). Slowly but surely, not only have my feet not been getting any better since the EPAT, they’ve gotten worse. I don’t think that is because of the EPAT, I just think that with time (as the pattern has shown) they’ve progressively become more and more painful.
At my last appointment, Dr. D thought that Plantar Fasciitis Surgery might be an option, even though PF is only a very small portion of what is wrong (he hadn’t diagnosed me with anything specific at that point, though). At this appointment, he was able to come right off the bat and say that he’s almost positive it’s something called Heel Pad Syndrome. I say that he’s “almost positive” because there’s no test or anything to officially diagnose it. While before I thought I might have the option to have surgery, I definitely don’t know because he doesn’t think it would help, considering how little plantar fasciitis contributes to the problem.
First, I was kind of excited. Finally, after OVER TWO YEARS I have a diagnosis. But then came the bomb…
There is no cure for Heel Pad Syndrome.
There are no tests…
There are no treatments…
There are no surgeries.
While that does sound extreme, Dr. D explained that I do have a few options. My next step is to try acupuncture, as well as a silicone heel pad that goes in my shoe (different from the orthotics that I already have). After the acupuncture, comes the pain clinic. After the pain clinic, comes out-of-state specialists who might have something else to bring to the table. Dr. D was able to give personal recommendations to me for each of these, which was very helpful. He also stressed the importance of weight loss, although it would not make the problem disappear, only possibly lessen a little bit. Dr. D did also say that sometimes Heel Pad Syndrome just goes away, either through nature’s course or from acupuncture, heel pad, special shoes, etc.
I am trying so hard to keep positive. But this is really hard. Like really, really freaking hard. After every previous foot doctor appointment I’ve had, I left feeling hopeful about a new procedure or treatment that could maybe fix me. This time I left feeling beaten down, sick to my stomach, and incredibly disappointed. As Dr. D said, there is a possibility (and a pretty decent one) that I will just have to live with this pain for years to come – potentially an entire lifetime.
All sorts of things started to run through my head… If this never goes away, for the rest of my life I will never be able to: have a non-sitting job, go on a trip without my wheelchair, go grocery shopping without crying afterwards, have kids (how could I take care of a toddler if I can’t walk?), go hiking, dance all night at my wedding, go for a walk around the block…
I know I’m being negative right now, but can you really blame me? I can see my entire future disappearing, right before my eyes.
Hopefully tomorrow I will feel a bit better and a bit more positive. Maybe even back to my perky, bright little self. But right now I really need to wallow in this. So I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but I just don’t think I can make myself do anything else for the time being.
After the appointment (my mom came with me), my mom and I headed out to lunch at our favorite spot, Panera. I got a half-Chicken Cobb w/ Avocado Salad (minus the bacon) and a half turkey sandwich on plain white bread with avocado, tomato, lettuce, and mustard. This totally hit the spot. I was super hungry after the doctor kept us waiting over an hour before he saw us.
After lunch, stopped and got pedicures at the new O.P.I. nail salon in North Smithfield, RI. I love pedicures and I felt good to be pampered after some less-than-great news.
Check out the color I picked! Isn’t it perfect for summer?
After the nail salon, we headed back to my parents’ house and took a dip in the pool. Look at how nice it was outside. Beautiful day!
(I spy a pig face… and a bunch of awesome guacamole)
I ordered a chicken quesadilla with cheese and beans. There was sour cream, lettuce, and more guacamole on the side. I only had a few bites of the rice – it wasn’t that great.
Didn’t do so great on these today because I was with my parents, not at my apartment. But let’s see anyway…
Healthy Goals Checklist
- At least 100g of protein. I have no idea, haha. Probably? My salad had chicken, my sandwich had turkey, and my quesadilla had chicken. Obviously I can’t really add it up because I have no idea how many ounces it was.
- At least 4 servings fruit/veggies. Nope! I had lettuce in the salad, avocado in the salad, avocado in the sandwich, lettuce and tomato in the sandwich, avocado in the guacamole, and a small amount of lettuce with the quesadilla. It was probably only around 2-3 servings total.
- No more than one treat/dessert. Check! I had a tiny bowl of ice cream while watching the US Gymnastics Team kick ass in the all-around!
- Exercise and/or stretch. Check! I stretched for at least 20 minutes before bed while reading my new obsession The Night Circus (seriously can’t put this one down!).