I Feel Like a Heel

I do.  And I have for months.  But I didn’t want to have this checked for months. I’m writing about what turned out to be plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot and is located between the heel and the ball of the foot. It is caused by small, repetitive trauma to this area.  It almost sounds like carpal tunnel of the foot.  I am being humorous here; don’t take that seriously.

When this first showed up, Bear and I jokingly decided at least one of us should be able to walk. While he’s definitely healing, he’s still wheelchair bound (which is the better than the bed bound that he was for the first GmM8B2ylPUP0lIuKR9OqrzOqFEOtJtRaf2Rpt6ncsBkmonth after surgery… got to look on the bright side) after incurring a non-displaced fracture in the same foot  he had the surgery on.  His three fused joints and torn ligament in that foot were halfway healed at that point. Luckily, the metal in there was not damaged in the fall that caused the broken bone.

I had a referral for a podiatrist from my primary care doctor and I sat on it, until I realized that was what I was doing. I shook my head, took a deep breath, and made the call for an appointment.  I’m glad I did.  My fear had been that I would need surgery on the bone spurs in my heel.  Bear and I may have been joking, but I really did – and do – feel I need to be able to walk until he can.

Plantar fasciitis has nothing, I repeat nothing, to do with the bone spurs in my case  – although they can be a risk factor.

According to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/Conditions-AZ/Chronic-kidney-disease.aspx?ChunkID=11621

Plantar fasciitis is most common in people who are 40-60 years old. (How kind of my body to wait the extra seven years.)

Other risk factors that increase your chance of getting plantar fasciitis include:

Physical exertion (like wrestling a wheelchair in and out of the car or pushing it uphill?), especially in sports such as:

Running

Volleyball

Tennisimages (1)

A sudden increase in exercise intensity (Yeah, it’s got to be that Olympic sport of wheelchair wrangling) or duration

Physical activity that stresses the plantar fascia

People who spend a lot of time standing

A sudden increase in activities that affect the feet

Obesity or weight gain (Ummmmm)

Pre-existing foot problems, including an abnormally tight Achilles tendon, flat feet, or an ankle that rolls inward too much

Poor footwear (Ack!  Grew up with that and overcompensated with exactly the wrong kind of shoes as an adult.)

Heel spurs (Luckily for me, not in my case)heel spur

Agave Foot Specialists, the podiatrists I chose, are treating it with rest – one of the hardest things for me to do, even in my ‘retirement.’ When I explained that I needed to exercise at least half an hour daily for the Chronic Kidney Disease, they amended that to using the stationary bike (Well, they gave me a handout that included cross-training.  I wasn’t sure what that was, but I’m good at asking.) It almost felt good to get back on the bike this morning.

They also suggested swimming (Moi?  With my aversion to being in bodies of water?), certain kinds of yoga, and certain kinds of weight training.  I’ll stick with the stationary bike, thanks.

But that, of course, is not all.  I already messed this one up by misreading, but I’ll do it right tonight!  I’m to freeze a sports bottle (still not sure how that’s different from a regular bottle) and roll it over my arch for 20 minutes every evening.  Not bad, I can read while I do that… I think.

I also need to stretch my calf multiple times a day.  That’s not hard to do.  Remembering to do it is the hard part.

Here’s the kicker (ouch!): I have to wear shoes that meet the following criteria:

A firm heel counter.  I had to ask look that up.  I found this definition at http://shoesglossary.com/heel-counters, “A piece of leather forming the back of a shoe or boot. A heel counter may be used to stiffen the material around the heel and to give support to the foot.”  Oh no, that means I just bought two pair of shoes that won’t do since they’re sandals and have no heel counter.

A rigid shank (the part of the shoe between the inner and outer soles).  Now you see why I bought those two pair of shoes.

A flexible toe.  At least I got that part right.

Give me two weeks and I’ll be able to tell you whether I have a handle on the plantar fasciitis or not.

Kidney Book CoverMy dear friend and neighbor, Amy, just came in for our occasional coffee klatch.  While we were talking I told her about SlowItDown’s new website.  That was news to her.  Since she reads the blog religiously, it’s probably news to you, too.  Have a gander.  The address is http://www.gail-rae.com.  Suggestions and comments are welcome, as usual! Don’t forget to tell us which communities you’d like us to contact.

It also came up in conversation that I never told anyone that I’ve had a Certificate of Completion in Perspectives in Adherence from The American Kidney Fund since 11/09/11.  So, I do have some training concerning Chronic Kidney Disease other than my experience as a patient and my research, but I am STILL not a doctor.  Anything you read on the blog, Facebook page, or Twitter that I’ve written STILL needs to be run by your nephrologist before you heed that advice.

I’m taking a class at Landmark. Aren’t I always? At the last class meeting, one of my classmates asked me to tell her the story of how the book came to.  I realized I haven’t discussed the book on the blog in ages. Do take a look on Amazon.com or B&N.com to read the description and order a bunch.  Be wary of textbook companies that offer to rent you the book for most than it costs to buy it ($12.95) and remember the e-book is less expensive at $9.95.  Amazon has a wonderful program by which you can order a print book – or if you have ever ordered a print book – you can order the e-book at a 70% discount.  Another terrific way to save some money is to join with a friend and pool your order for that Amazon discount.

Time to go meet my step-daughter’s sweetie’s family!

Until next week,Book Cover

Keep living your life!

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Good Bye To 2012 And Its Obesity

Today is the last day of 2012.  That means you can start your new year’s resolutions tomorrow.  When you’re done laughing, think about it.  We new-years-eve-celebrations-live-streammake resolutions intending to keep them – at least I do – but something happens right about March something or other.  We tend to forget what they are.

We could look at it another way.  Pollyanna over here likes this way better.  What has become part of your life as a former new year’s resolution?  For me, it’s the renal diet and exercise.  I actually feel bad when I can’t exercise now.

There’s hope for me in the form of a possible cortisone injection to lubricate that hip that has eroded so much that it is bone on bone. I know you were really worried about that [she wrote tongue in cheek].

Sometimes we need motivation to even think of resolutions.  Jody Charnow provided that for me in the Dec. 26th issue of Renal and Urology News:

 

Overweight, Obesity Raise Kidney Disease Risk

A large study conducted in Thailand corroborates previous findings showing that overweight and obesity are associated with an increased likelihood of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Subjects with CKD had a significantly higher mean BMI than those without CKD (25.36 vs. 24.04), as well as a significantly higher prevalence of abdominal obesity (35.7% vs. 25.3%). The investigators defined abdominal obesity as a waist circumference of 90 cm (That’s 35 7/16 inches for the math challenged like me) or greater for men and greater than 80 cm (This one is about 31 and a half inches) for women.

You can read the rest of the article at http://www.renalandurologynews.com/overweight-obesity-raise-kidney-disease-risk/article/273848/#

IMAG0093My poor dog, Bella, keeps waiting for me to walk with her.  Can’t be done until the hip is taken care of.  Believe me, I tried.  But it’s not just Bella’s disappointment, it’s mine too.  I saw the pictures from Christmas Eve.  Not good, boys and girls.  How am I going to get my BMI under control without exercise?

Just in case you don’t remember, BMI means Body Mass Index or a way of measuring the fat content of your body based on your height and weight.  If you have the fortitude, you can make use of the BMI calculator at http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/  I just did and I can tell you this is not for the faint of heart. I was a thinner young woman.  I can even prove it!  early headshots (Pardon the cigarette pix.  This was a long, long time ago.) My goal is to lose weight and be healthier.  This picture is another motivation (thank you for finding it, Nima), even though I realize my thinner 65 year old body is not going to look anything like my thinner 25 year old body.

So why all the whining about not being able to exercise, you ask.  Read that article excerpt again.  I already have stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.  How much worse do you think a lack of exercise – which leads to weight gain – is going to make my ckd?  Technically (I just had to qualify that), I already am obese.  I’m not that vain, but I want to stay at stage 3 for the rest of my life and avoid dialysis completely.  This is not the way to do it.

Let’s try this another way – for those of you who can walk – untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be one of the causes of ckd.  According to http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/easy-steps-reduce-blood-pressure-article-1.1226714, exercise can lower your blood pressure.  We already know that obesity is another possible cause of ckd.  Here’s the good part: while you’re walking to lower your blood pressure, you’re also exercising which means you’re losing weight if you’re consistent enough. Wow!  Two for one here!

I found surprising information in that article.  Who knew that fructose raises your blood pressure?  The only time I’d heard it mentioned as a medical deficit is at the immunologist’s. According to http://www.immunologist.com, an immunologist is, “A specialist concentrating on allergic diseases and those disease processes that involve the immune system.”  She had warned me that fructose should be avoided if you have allergies.

Potassium may also be a key in lowering your blood pressure.  I’ve been draining my canned fruit and only occasionally having a fresh (oh, all right, HALF a fresh) banana to control my potassium intake.  Guess what.  My blood pressure has gone up.  Maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Oh no! The article also suggests losing weight.  Looks like it always comes back to the same thing.  A thinner body is a healthier body as long as we don’t go past thinner to obscenely thin.

Book CoverAh, I forgot to mention other new year’s resolutions that have become part of my life.  I blog about ckd every week.  This started out as a way to publicize What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease (Amazon.com and B&N.com – print and digital), but soon took on a life of its own. Another new year’s resolution that has become a way of life is posting some ckd related news on the facebook page for the book (https://www.facebook.com/WhatHowearlyCKD).  Say, that’s not bad for new year’s resolutions.

You know how some people announce the addition of grand-children?  I do believe we’re going to be announcing our new grand-animals for quite a while before we get to grand-children. Here’s the newest, as yet unnamed, addition to the family, Lara’s new pal. Each of my biological daughters has a cat and my other step-daughter has both a dog and a cat. We are a pet loving family.Lara and Dog

Until next YEAR,

Keep living your life.

Fat Day

I am being thrust into the 21st century whether I like it or not.  Thank goodness, Bear gave me an iPad for my 65th birthday because my laptop is not so functional these days and my big guy needs all kinds of things installed on it now that it’s fixed. This is a first for me, but I’m one paragraph in and so far, so good. Welcome to iPad blog (#1?).

I feel fat and frustrated today, sort of like this picture: Image  I could do the analyzing thing and decide that the frustration is displaced from not being able to do anything about my buddy’s decision to end her life or my cousin’s running out of options to save hers, but I know I have no control over these tragedies.

I feel fat and frustrated because I know what to do to lose weight, do it and still gain.  It got so that I started to wonder if exercise were worth it.  And counting calories?  That went out the window.  I never did get to the point of abandoning the renal diet, though.  That’s become sacrosanct, the way I wish losing weight was.

Following my usual method when I have a problem, I started researching.  I remembered blogging about brown fat cells, but these were only recently discovered and no one knows how to access them yet.  In case you forgot, brown fat cells gobble up other fat cells or something like that.  I’d have to revisit the blog about them to be more specific, but I fear if I leave this page it will disappear.  This is all so new to me.  You should be able to find it quickly since the computer savvy Ms. Nima Beckie categorized the blogs.  How nice for me to have family who can freelance on the payroll.

I found some information that won’t help me lose weight but makes the frustration lessen.  Lucky for me that I just bought a Groupon for dance lessons and that my youngest daughter, Abby Wegerski, runs Sustainable Blues at The Blooze Bar on 32 Street  ( Sunday nights free lesson at 5 with live band after).  There’s exercise I at least adore and it’s clear to me despite all my belly aching, exercise is very much in my future.

EurekAlert’s article about long term weight loss after menopause gave me pause (sorry, I couldn’t resist.  I think I’m feeling better already.) Obviously I’ve been through menopause, but not so obviously had no idea that because of that my resting metabolism has decreased, so has my losing weight and keeping it off ability despite having no sugary drinks, fried food or desserts.  Well, drastically cutting down on desserts. It helps that I know I’m lactose intolerant, but I certainly am having trouble working gluten sensitivity into my renal diet. You can find this article at: http://www.eurkalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/ehs-ilw082212.php.

That wasn’t enough for me though.  I wanted to feel that I was like everyone else so I searched some more.  I should mention here that belly fat holds a great deal of my excess weight or, at least it looks that way to me. Why Medical News Today’s article “Belly Fat Increases Risk Of Death Even In People Of Normal Weight” should be comforting is beyond me, but it was and actually lessened my frustration a bit. The article cites a Mayo Clinic study in which it was suggested, “that people of average weight who have extra fat in their stomach have a higher risk of dying than obese people.” Am I interpreting this to mean it’s better to be obese?  I sure hope that is not the case.  The address for this article is: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249506.php.

A few things became clear while writing this blog.  I am trying to combine the renal diet with those for high cholesterol, lactose intolerance, and gluten sensitivity. I am not succeeding.  My failure here is probably the cause of my weight gain so I’ll see my renal nutritionist for help, keep on exercising (see you there, Abby) and go right back to counting calories.  Problem solved.

Did you know the book is available in India?  I didn’t. I thought it was only available here and in Europe.  Great work on Amazon’s part.  It’s also available on B&N.com, should you have a Nook.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!Image