Posts Tagged ‘pain’

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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When I left the doctor’s office on Friday, I really didn’t know how to feel.  Part of me was relieved that I wouldn’t have to attempt the 10-mile walk on Saturday, because I was feeling very unprepared to try to walk that distance.  Especially considering the numbness was occurring at the 1 1/2 to 2 mile mark.

I realized that I really had to stop pushing myself so hard and I needed to really listen to my body.  The thing is, I always push myself to accomplish anything I attempt, and I’m usually successful.  I put a ton of pressure on myself in everything I do, and it usually pays off.

This time, though, pushing myself isn’t working.  And to be honest, I’m not really pushing myself physically.  At least, not with the OYO trainings.  I’m not doing them.  But the reason I’m not doing them is because the Wednesday track practices and the Saturday Coach and Mentor-led walks are so painful.  If they weren’t so difficult for me to complete, I think I’d be in a better place mentally.  Mentally, I am really being hard on myself.  I still hate the fact that I’m so slow and not seeing any progress.  That I feel so weak when I feel the pain.  I feel like I should be able to push through it, but I simply can’t.  Plus, the numbness is really scary.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to put the TNT trainings on hold until I find out exactly what’s going on.  On Friday evening, I still thought that I would somehow be able to participate in the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  I don’t want to say anymore, because I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I will say that I am feeling really frustrated, discouraged, and unhappy.  It sucks to set a goal for yourself and feel like you can’t accomplish it.

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I was anxious for my doctor’s appointment on Friday for a couple of reasons.  First because I hadn’t met her before, and I wanted to see what she was like.  (I had a different doctor a couple of years ago whose cold demeanor wasn’t doing it for me, so I chose Dr. Chau from a list of available doctors.  She looked good “on paper,” but the true test is meeting the person and seeing whether or not your personalities meld.

After waiting almost an hour (ugh!!!) to see her, Dr. Chau finally entered the exam room.  She was terrific!  A very sweet, friendly doctor, which is so nice.  She really listened to what I was telling her about my symptoms. She gave me a neurological test (following her finger with my eyes, tapping on my knees, etc.) and everything came up clear on that.  Thank goodness!

After listening to everything I said, she ordered two tests for me – an ultrasound of my legs (who knew they could ultrasound your legs?) and a blood test that would test for all sorts of things, including diabetes, cholesterol, and potassium levels.

In order to make it to the ultrasound with my crazy schedule, I had to take Monday off, as well, but again, this is what sick days are for.  I’ve only called in sick 2 other days this entire year, and I really want to get to the bottom of this numbness.

I asked the doctor about continuing my training, and she said that it would be alright for me to do the Mermaid 5K with LC this Sunday, but that she wouldn’t recommend the 10-mile walk I was supposed to do on Saturday at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz with TNT.  She said that she’d like to figure out what was causing the numbness before I do any long walks like that, so that I don’t exacerbate the problem.

I left her office feeling like I had more questions than answers, but happy that at least I was taking the necessary steps to figure it all out.

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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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