Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gimpy

I went back to the podiatrist yesterday for an orthotics check, which was good because I felt like they were doing absolutely nothing. He seemed surprised, and decided to get xrays of my feet while standing, with and without the orthotics. I am glad he did. Since my last xrays (I think back in September) apparently things have progressed significantly. That Sept xray report said no damage, the first orthopedic said no damage (and no to the cortisone shot), and the new guy said there clearly WAS damage, though I couldn't tell when he showed me. This time, it was crystal clear even to me. Upside: it's real so I don't have to feel like a wuss for not running (or walking) these last few months. Downside: he doesn't think the orthotics will help much, though he did take them back to have the arch raised more just in case it will help. He also said he'd guess I'll need the joint fused at some point, but that yeah, I could still run after that since no motion = no pain. I go for a cortisone shot next Friday.

I keep trying to compare this ankle pain to my wrists. I didn't think it was exactly the same...but now that I know it really is RA in the ankle, I guess it is, it's just that the joints function differently. My wrists used to hurt if they stayed in the same position too long (sleeping, say, or on the bike). The ankle is always worst when I first stand up. I would have real weakness in my wrists...not being able to pick up heavy books, or open doors. With the ankle, you do'nt use your toes the way you do your fingers so that strength loss isn't the same. Still, the swelling, stiffness and pain are the same. So, now I have some faith that the cortisone shot will actually help. I wish I had realized this earlier, say in September, and maybe some of this damage could have been prevented. But...at the same time, despite all my wrists have been through and the times I probably thought I would never lift a dumbbell again, they are functionally 95% normal and pain free now. SO...lesson is, relax, I will run again. Or hell, at least WALK again.

At swimming last night we did a mini indoor triathlon. Swim 1000 yards (I was second to last, not last!), spin 20 min, run (or elliptical in my case) 20 min. I make a pathetic exit from the pool at 4:18 on this video (ankle, can you tell it hurts?), though I look much stronger spinning in the middle of the video, and despite my warnings I even made an elliptical appearance at 7:30.

10 comments:

jessica said...

oh my, so sorry to hear about the ankle.

but, that indoor triathlon practice looks like SO much fun! Someone begged the coach of my old Masters group to do something tri-specific and the best he could come up with was to have us tread water for a few minutes (umm, ALL of our local races start on land).

N.D. said...

I did a few indoor tris for fun with my sister in the fall - so fun!!!

Michelle Simmons said...

I don't know anything about RA, but that sounds painful and frustrating. I'm sorry you have to go through that!

DC Running Mama said...

i'm sorry:< btw, i, um, noticed that there are a lot muscly men in your master's swim group....

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just found a link to your blog and read through it the other night. I'm not athletic like you, but got RA in my early 30's like you. From what I can tell from a few of the pix you posted, we appear to have similiar wrist damage. After a little over a decade, I am showing foot damage now but mainly in my forefeet. I guess it's been slowly progressing in the feet all these years but without obvious swelling. I suppose if I was more athletic it might have progressed faster, who knows? Anyway, just wanted to say hey. It's sort of neat in a weird way to find someone who has some similar type damage. Chelsea

Nitsirk said...

I have a PhD in immunology and did my research on one of the potential mechanisms of RA. I won't say I really know how awful it is but at least I have some idea. It sucks that you have to go through this but I think you are a rockstar for refusing to sit on the sidelines and keeping up with swimming and biking. It is so frustrating when the mind is willing when the body won't cooperate.

WendyBird said...

ugh! That sucks rocks! Marathon training has really pushed my ankles and I have had a lot of stiffness in them, but my flares have been mostly in my wrists and elbows so I keep running. I'm glad you still have biking and swimming, I'd be lost without running!
Hang in there, you are one tough chicka!

jsmarslender said...

Hey there,
I'm sorry about the ankle damage and hope the cortisone helps. You seem to have a good attitude about what's next.

The mini-tri sounds fun...I'll check out the video.

X-Country2 said...

That sounds so frustrating. Hopefully it gets better soon.

Cathy said...

I always enjoy reading your blog - about your darling baby, RA and your determination to keep physical.