Monday, August 31, 2009

In the words of the immortal Anthony Michael Hall in "Sixteen Candles" ...

"Aw, c'mon Mom, I've got my headgear on!"

So this is how I feel each and every night when I go to bed. I have joined the ranks of the wheezers, spazzes and adults who still wear their retainers at night, even though they could have stopped wearing it at age 15.

More appropriately, and in keeping with my running theme ... I have turned into Forrest Gump (Wait, I just realized this is my 2nd FG reference on my blog (See: Life is Like a Big Box of Chocolates ...) ... omg, loser!). You know the scene - where he is sprinting from his tormentors, all the while shedding his big, creaky metal leg braces while Jenny yells, "run, Forrest, run!"

Difference is, I strap those babies on my legs every night. So sexy.

Let me explain.

I started upping my mileage maybe six months ago, before I joined TNT. I was on the treadmill or doing the loop in CP nearly every day and logging a lot of miles every week. I felt good, but I had absolutely no direction or professional coaching. So I had no idea how important stretching was. You can see what is coming next.

One day on the treadmill, in the middle of a run, I landed on my left heel and it was as if someone stuck an ice pick up the bottom and through the back. Ouchee! After days of professional medical consultation (uh, WebMD ... duh! Oh, and by the way, I am also pretty sure I have meningitis, vertigo, and I may have contracted bird flu), I diagnosed myself with something called plantar fasciitis. Totally sounds like a skin disease that worsens when you scratch off the scabs, but it's basically when you strain the ligament that supports the arch of your foot.

For once, I was right. When the pain got worse and simply walking would make me wince, I hopped off the treadmill for a few days and saw a real doctor, who took x-rays and showed me a nasty bone spur that had developed on the back of my heel. Apparently, these sometimes turn up with PF and I had a doozie that even hurt to the touch. I did, however, feel quite regal when Dr. Foot told me I had extremely high arches and that I would need to be vigilant about stretching my heels and calves at all times, especially while training for a marathon.

Ooooooh, high arches! I suddenly felt like the pretty girl in school who had been blessed with some genetically superior trait that everyone else wanted but oh so few possessed.

Yeah, whatever. They're feet. Three-quarters of the year, they're covered by shoes.

Anyway, Dr. Foot recommended I wear a "boot" for sleeping. It's designed to keep my toes pointed toward my body - not away - when I sleep, thus stretching out the ligaments around my heel. A few nights with this contraption, he promised, and I'd be on the road to recovery. Just one little caveat: basically, the only other way you would be more uncomfortable when you sleep is if you were wearing a full-body suit of armor.

And because I really don't like blogging with just boring words and no fun and embarrassing pics, here ya go:

(And before the Pedicure Police contact me, please know that this is about as good as it's gonna get and I am truly trying my best. I have, you should note, successfully staved off black toe. So far.)

So every night. I sleep with this. And poor George has gotten used to being kicked in her tiny shih-tzu head at the foot of the bed by a heel belonging to that of Shrek.

But damned if this baby didn't work.

So a few months later, I could feel vast improvement in my left heel, which is about when I got the ice pick through my right heel. Oh yes, I am now the proud owner of not one, but TWO heel spurs. Double the fun of PF! When I could start feeling the spur on the right and it actually became worse than the left, I knew I had to do something about it. I could not, however, bring myself to do the boot on both legs. I know it's like six hours where I am only seen by my husband and my 15-pound dog, but please people, I do have some shred of dignity. After a little research, I checked out the Strassberg sock. Behold:

My review after a few nights? Tres mucho comfortable than the boot. Downside? Freaking hot and I wake up in a stupor at 3am scratching at both of my legs, yanking Velcro left and right to free my poor confined calves. But it's also possible to travel with the sock. I would basically need one whole rollie suitcase for my boot, so this is much more convenient. Unfortunately, I am still working on the dignity thing as this is how I now look every night:

Good thing they make pajamas with pocket protectors.


  1. Galli,

    My husband and I both have high arches. His bone spurs are so bad that he is having them surgically removed in a couple of weeks. He has done this before and says the results are amazing. I like your sock thing, surgery is always the last resort. High arches means your are one fast lady:-)

  2. thanks, Peeper ... good to know that you, Tony and I are ALL part of an exclusive club that I know people want to belong to. he's brave for getting them removed ... those puppies are painful!

  3. I've done the boot (sucks!), PF, and the black (and missing!) toenails. You're speaking my language, girl! :)