I am trying to do a series of photographs for the Gram and the Blog today, but not feeling it. It feels as if pain has taken over my life. I think I might be on to something, but let’s start at the beginning.
For a few years now, I have been struggling with lower back pain. I did nurse for 21 years, and most nurses have pain in their lower backs, so I attributed it to that. However, this past year, I have had pain in my right knee, right buttock and right hip, as well as increased pain in my lower back. I have also had pain in my left foot, but because the back pain was worse, I ignored that.
They do say, no matter how much pain you are experiencing, your mind can only deal with the worst one. I can’t remember where I read that, but essentially if you have minor pain and more severe pain in different parts of your body, your mind goes to the severe pain, and that’s what presents as ‘pain’ at any given time.
Up until recently, about 1 year ago, the lower back pain, has been the most severe. I have been to my family doctor, a chiropractor and a biokineticist. I have had X-rays done where it is clear there is degeneration of the disc between L5 and S1, which does explain the pain, but my doctor is not convinced I need surgery. More recently however, the pain in my left foot as become exacerbated when I walk with closed shoes, wear socks or heels, and sometimes, even when I wear flats in the summer.
Thank you to genetics, I have what most people refer to as a bunion on my left foot. I actually used to have them on both feet, but they were removed in 1999. This deformity is in fact called a hallux valgus. Sounds ominous! And it would appear that it almost is. When they were removed, the surgeon did tell me that as this was a genetic predisposition, they would in all likelihood, return one day. Thankfully, the one on the right foot has not, but due to the broadness of the left foot, I have had increasing pain in this foot.
I love to walk. I usually use this time for meditation and for learning. I walk whilst listening to Audible and am currently listening to “A New Earth”, by Eckart Tolle. But this past week, and up to today, walking has been excruciatingly painful. My lower back seems to go into spasm as I walk, and yesterday, after getting home in so much pain, I realised that it’s because I’m trying to walk on the side of my left foot, that the rest of my body is completely out of alignment. The body is an incredible machine, but if one thing is wrong, it affects the whole!
This morning, I called a friend’s husband on her recommendation. He is a Podiatrist. I explained all my symptoms and he confirmed what the chiropractor had said last year, that my body is out of alignment due to the pain in my left foot. I need to sort it out. He asked me to describe my symptoms which are: pain on the ball of my left foot, numbness in my 2nd and 3rd toe when I wear closed shoes, burning underneath my foot even when at rest in closed shoes.
So where to now? He has recommended I start with a ultra-sonic specialist who will diagnose the condition. He suspects a neuroma. He seems to think orthotics (which I wanted to try), will not help if it is a large neuroma, but will rather recommend surgery, which I had wanted to avoid – until now, that is, as the pain has become unbearable.
So, the way forward… I will be seeing the ultrasonographer as soon as she can fit me it. Once we know exactly what is wrong with me, we will decide if surgery is best, or if I can be fitted with orthotics that will help to realign my foot. Yes, the hallux valgus on my left foot, although not painful itself, has caused metatarsalgia, which is pain caused by the bones in my foot, which in turn may have caused a neuroma to develop. Happy Days!
But honestly, if I can get to the source of the pain, and eventually sort it out, and get my body back on track with exercise again, I will be thrilled. Be sure to tune in for the update over the next few weeks. Here’s hoping I can get sorted ASAP!