Posts Tagged ‘numbness’

question_mark3 I wanted to write a post to let you all know what’s going on with my health issues. Just to refresh your memories, I’d been experiencing numbness in my right foot that would travel all the way up my legs and thighs, to my hip (all on my right side). This only occurs when I attempt to fitness walk, my normal day-to-day walking doesn’t result in any numbness.  I also don’t experience numbness when I ride my bike, do the elliptical machine, do workout DVDs, do yoga, or in aqua classes.  The whole thing has been really frustrating because walking is supposed to be the most natural exercise in the world.

I’ve seen my doctor three times in the last few weeks, and unfortunately, I don’t have too many more answers than I did before.  Here’s the situation:

  • I had extensive blood tests performed, and they determined that I do not have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any other issue of that sort.  This was a huge relief.
  • I had ultrasounds of both legs, to determine if there was a problem with blood flow to my legs.  The ultrasound showed that my right foot/leg is getting a bit less blood flow, caused by a slight narrowing of the blood vessel of the main artery.  My doctor said that with increased exercise, this would improve dramatically.

At this point, my doctor’s inclination was to stop there but after talking to a lot of people, including a few of you who told me about problems with discs in their backs causing similar symptoms, I strongly advocated for myself to get an X-ray.  My doctor finally relented.

The X-ray showed that I don’t have any issues with any of the discs in my back.  The actual report said, “The disc spaces are fairly well maintained. The alignment is normal. No fractures or other bony lesions. No soft tissue abnormalities.”  While this is good news, it still doesn’t lead to any answers about what IS wrong with me and what’s causing this numbness and pain.

The next steps are that my doctor wants me to continue to exercise and lose weight and see if that improves my ability to fitness walk.  She has asked me to take 1 month and then check back in with her.  So that’s where we are.

This gives me all the more incentive to continue with WW and working out at least 4-5 times a week.  I’m really hoping that losing weight will have a signifcant impact on all of these symptoms.  Keep your fingers crossed!


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This morning I woke up at 6am (a little behind schedule) to make it to the TNT Coach Led Training at 7am.  We were scheduled to meet at a park that hooks up with the Los Gatos Creek Trail.  I love riding my bike on the trail, although I’ve never gone on this part of it before.

I felt great this morning. Full of energy and ready to take on this huge task.  The weather couldn’t have been better: cool, a bit overcast, but no rain.  It’s been raining here for about 2 days, so we were really lucky that it let up for this walk.  I started off at a good pace, pumping my arms like they told us to on Wednesday night.

After a few minutes, everyone started passing me.  I can’t tell you how much I hated this.  I kept trying to tell myself it didn’t matter, but it did.  I’m just too competitive, and I hated the thought of being the last one.  I ended up walking with Luciana, an adorable Italian lady from Milan who’s in her 60s.  I love talking to her because her accent reminds me of my Nana’s.

As we got toward the 1-mile mark, we arrived at a fairly large hill.  At this point, my calves were cramping a bit, but I knew that once I made it up the hill, we were going to stop for a minute or two to stretch.  Everyone cheered us on as we got to the top of the hill, and I was embarrassed, because I didn’t want to make a spectacle of the fact that I was one of the last two to finish.  But I got a few good stretches in, and my calves felt so much better.

Then I started walking again and the numbness began.  First in my left foot; then my right.  I can’t explain the way this feels – it’s awful not being able to feel your feet because you have the constant worry that you might trip and fall.  I finally said something to one of the mentors, and she stopped the head coach and asked her to attend to me.

I told the head coach that I had just bought these new shoes, and that I had been getting a lot of numbness with my other shoes, but that these shoes were supposed to be better for my feet.  She looked at my shoes and said that I had the laces tied way too tightly.  I started to undo the laces to let them out a bit, and almost immediately, my feet felt relief.  It was like my feet sighed.  She said that her shoes were loose enough for her to slip them on and off without untying them, but that that might be too loose for me.  She said to play around with the laces and see what felt best.  She also said that I may not need to have the laces go through every hole.

I started walking again, and the numbness was still there, but it was alleviated a bit.  I kept telling myself that I had to keep doing this, no matter what.  I did get tears in my eyes, but I didn’t want anyone to see me crying, so I told myself to stop.  I wasn’t crying because of pain, but because I was so discouraged, frustrated, and disappointed.  I mean, I hadn’t broken a sweat, I wasn’t out of breath, and I know that my body can do more.  If only my feet would cooperate.

I finally made it to the 2-mile turnaround point and this time I was the last person.  Luciana had passed me when I was loosening my laces, and I coudn’t catch up to her.  Everyone cheered for me, but again, I just felt so embarrassed to be the last person.  I tried to tell myself that this was my first day, and that I can only get better from here.  I also didn’t want to seem like I was feeling sorry for myself, so I told myself to toughen up and get through it.

The walk back was beautiful.  My feet were still numb, but it was almost as if I was in a zen-like state.  I wasn’t thinking about how strange it felt to not be able to feel my feet, I was just looking at the scenery and taking in the fact that I live in such a beautiful place.  I also thought about all of the donations I’ve already gotten.  I don’t want to disappoint any of the people who have been so generous, and I think that those contributions are going to be what help me stay motivated.

At about 3.5 miles, my numbness miraculously went away.  I could feel my feet again, and I was able to pick up the pace a bit more.  I had been walking a bit more slowly than I wanted to while I was experiencing the numbness because I was so worried about tripping and falling.  It felt good to be able to go a bit faster.  Although I think my sock on my left foot somehow got bunched up, because I could feel a bit of a blister forming on the ball of my foot.  Nothing too serious, and not enough to keep me from continuing on.

As I got to the “finish line,” everyone cheered, and I felt truly proud of myself.  I wasn’t the last one – a couple of other people were behind me.  I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does.  I don’t care how long it takes me, I just don’t want to end up being the last one to finish.

All in all, it was a good walk.  The numbness was frustrating and a little bit scary, but now that I know to loosen my laces, I’m hoping it won’t happen again.  It took me about an hour and half to do 4 miles, which isn’t too bad.  I know that my pace will increase as I keep practicing.  That’s one of the main things I want to do this week – walk on my own – so that my body starts building endurance.

I’m really proud of myself for all that I accomplished and can’t wait to see the improvements I know are going to happen as I continue on this journey.
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My first team practice with Team in Training is this Wednesday from 6:30-8pm and I’m worried.  I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to do this walk, and I think this is more than just nerves.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a real problem with walking.  Not walking around on a normal, daily basis, but fitness walking.  Whenever I try to go at a good pace (say 3.3 or more on the treadmill pace), I get terrible cramps in my calves, pain in my shins, and a numbness that starts in my toes and travels up to my legs.  And it’s not because of a lack of hydration or a lack of potassium; this happens no matter how many bananas I eat or how much water I drink.  When I did the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, the pain I was in was almost as bad as the frustration I felt.

What I mean is, I have the DESIRE to do more, to go faster, to push farther, but my body simply CAN’T when I’m walking.  If I’m biking or on the elliptical machine or doing workout DVDs, I can push hard.  I’m not saying I’m athletic by any means, but I am getting fitter and fitter every day.

Except when I walk.  When I walk I feel as if I weigh 100 pounds more than I do and am at least 25 years older than I am.  I feel helpless, useless, and so out of shape.  It’s not that I’m out of breath, because I can’t walk fast enough to really get my heart pumping or my breath to quicken.

So does it make sense for me to sign up to walk a half marathon?  I know that Team in Training offers tons of support in the form of mentors and coaches, but is this really something I can do?  Am I setting myself up for failure before I even begin?

I absolutely hate failing at things.  I can’t stand it.  I love to challenge myself and am used to being able to complete the tasks I set before myself.  Hard work and perseverance are my trademarks.  But with fitness walking, all my hard work and perseverance don’t seem to help one bit.

I was talking all of this over with my parents tonight, and my dad said that he thinks I may have some sort of nerve damage that shows up with my heel is impacted.  He said the reason I don’t feel this pain, cramping, and numbness when I bike or do the elliptical machine is because it doesn’t impact my heels.

Right now my plan is to go to the team practice on Wednesday and see what happens.  But if it’s just not realistic for me to complete even a simple practice, I’m going to allow myself to bow out of this gracefully.  I will consider the $100 registration fee that I have already paid out to be a donation to a very worthy cause and move on.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  I’m not really looking for words of encouragement, because I’m really motivated.  I’m looking for any tips or information you may have to share that might give me some insight into why this is happening.

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