Posts Tagged ‘foot numbness’

Looking for answers

2008_snappyanswers-1 If only the answers to my numbness could be snappy!!

Thursday morning after my first class, I headed to the running store, hoping against hope that they would have the answer to this problem with the numbness in my feet.

I spoke to the owner, and he said that my shoes were the right ones for my needs, they fit me well, had plenty of room for the normal swelling that occurs during long walks, and that they were laced properly.

When I described that my numbness began at the bottom of my feet and then spread upwards, all the way to my hips, he said that he really didn’t think the shoes were the issue.  He said that he wasn’t a doctor, but it sounded to him like I had some nerve “issue,” and that I should go see a podiatrist.  He recommended “Dr. Doug,” who actually came to one of the TNT track practices a couple of weeks before.  This podiatrist specializes in sports injuries, and also participates in marathons, so he understands the unique concerns of endurance athletes.  (Every time I refer to myself that way, I have to laugh, because I definitely don’t feel like an athlete of any kind).

I went back to my classroom and called Dr. Doug’s office.  Since I have Kaiser, I knew that any visit to a private podiatrist would be paid for out of pocket.  The receptionist told me that the visit itself would run between $150-200 and each X-Ray would run $75.  That’s over $300.  I made an appointment, but the earliest day he had that I could fit into my schedule was March 30th.

In the mean time, I decided to call Kaiser and see what they could do.  I explained to the advice nurse that I was experiencing numbness whenever I fitness walked.  That usually the numbness began around the 2-mile mark, but that Wednesday it began after only 3/4 of a mile.  She seemed very concerned and wanted to get me in to see my primary doctor ASAP.  I couldn’t make an appointment for that day, because of my summer school after school class, but she really stressed that I try to make the appointment they had for the next day at 9:50am.  I was going to tell her that I couldn’t miss school, but then I said to myself, “why not?  This is exactly what sick days are for.”

I made the appointment, filled out my substitute request, wrote my sub plans, and hoped for the best.


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I went to the track practice on Wednesday ready to walk.  My blisters had healed, and I was ready to use this new “it doesn’t matter if I’m slow” philosophy on the track.

Things started out ok; I walked 3 times around the track without much complaint.  I mean, my calves always give me some pain and cramping, but I’m getting used to pushing through this.

Then we met up in a group and the coach told us that today we were going to work on building speed.  He told us he wanted us to start off slowly and gradually gain speed with each lap. Using this method, we’d be able to conserve our energy throughout the endurance event and would be able to sustain ourselves in order to finish strong.  This made sense to me because I always feel better at the end of my long Saturday walks than I do at the beginning.

I began on the slow lap and found my right foot cramping at the arch, but I wanted to push through it.  I completed the first lap in a reasonable amount of time (I can’t remember right now), and then during the 2nd lap, I began getting numb in my right foot.  Still, I tried to increase my speed, and when I rounded lap 2, my time came in at 9:45, which is great for me.  Then lap 3 came and I was really numb.  I can’t tell you how discouraging this was.  Usually it takes a couple of miles before I get numb, but today it was starting really early.

I tried my best to keep going, but the pain became too much.  I had to stop at the conclusion of my 3rd lap.  I removed my shoes, told one of the coaches what was going on, and tried a few of the foot stretches that she suggested.  I was getting so discouraged, because no matter how much I try to change my attitude about not worrying about being slow, this pain was getting to me.  Not only does it hurt (obviously!), but it keeps me from practicing, which is what I need to do in order to get better in my training.  I started thinking, “if I’m going numb at 3/4 of a mile, how the hell am I ever going to be able to complete a half marathon?”

I didn’t walk anymore that night, and took time to chat with Kelly about what had happened.  She said she thought I should go to the running store and see what they thought about the way my shoes were laced, whether or not they were the right fit, etc.  I decided that I’d go to the store the next day during my prep period, since the running store is close to my school.

I did stay to complete the core work, which always makes me feel good.  I don’t love doing the plank, but at least it’s a move I can do.  I may not do it perfectly or well, but I can do it without pain.  Yes, it makes me sore, but soreness and pain are definitely two different things.  I wanted to stay and do the core workout to help myself feel like I had tried my best that night.

The thing that worried me about the numbness was the fact that it was occurring so much sooner.  Whatever was causing the numbness was getting worse, and I wondered what that meant.  It’s so frustrating not knowing what is causing so much pain.

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