So I walked. I put on my Birkenstocks and walked. I walked at a pretty good clip. Too fast for wearing sandals, actually. I didn’t notice anything right away. But later, my feet began to really ache. They burned. They really hurt. I ignored it, as usual. I mean, all those times I went to the big antique markets, the ones with 500 dealers, the ones that took sometimes 6-7 hours of steady walking, with only short breaks…my feet hurt (screamed actually)….I figured, “Oh hell don’t worry about it, it’s just pain and my pain is fibro pain and the docs all told me not to worry because fibro pain is actually pretty benign pain and it won’t actually do any damage.”
So I just kept walking. My feet were trying to tell me something but I wasn’t getting the message. What was actually happening was that the plantar fasciitis and the tendinitis that had been slowly developing over time was getting increasingly worse and worse, and when I took that walk in the Birkenstock sandals too fast around the neighborhood, well….that was the lit match that caused the forest fire to start a burn that would consume the entire forest beyond recognition.
I realized in the back of my mind that something was going on that was probably not fibro. I began to think that I probably needed to stay off my feet for awhile because the little warning bells were ringing like crazy and they finally were getting my attention. In fact I knew that my poor abused feet had experienced something that day in the Birkenstock sandals, something that was way, way bad.
Problem was, hubby and I were right in the middle of a bathroom renovation, we had removed old wall tile and were putting up a fresh batch of plaster and we were trying to do it right so it was taking awhile and I knew I couldn’t just drop the ball and expect hubby to finish the whole thing by himself so I decided that I would “rest” AFTER we were done with the bathroom….maybe another couple days. Uh-huh.
I was SO good at ignoring pain, I was such a pro at silencing the screams of my body, that I just went right back to working on the bathroom with hubby, trying not to worry or even think about the pain and focus on just finishing this freaking job. After a few days, it was done and I ended up being laid up for weeks.
I had an MRI done on my feet. The doctor that I followed up with showed me the films and pointed out the small dark spots on what he explained were my tendons and ligaments. “Those little dark spots on there are microtrauma” he said. “Meaning, small tears in the soft tissue” he said. My eyes got round and my gut dropped to the floor. I was literally looking at the damage that my years of ignoring the shrieks of agony my feet had been giving me had caused. I was horrified.
After that, I remember everything changed. I was afraid to walk. Afraid to go from one end of the house to the other. Afraid to drive. Afraid to get out of bed. The pain was so intense that every step I took was absolutely terrifying. I would wake up in the morning, open my eyes and think OHMYGOD, how am I going to do this. How am I going to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom? How am I going to walk to the kitchen and get breakfast? How will I live?
Larry started making my lunches for me and putting my sandwiches in plastic baggies in the refrigerator so I wouldn’t have to stand for 3 minutes and make them. He put bottled water by my recliner so that I wouldn’t have to get up and get them throughout the day while he was at work. He had to come home and do laundry, cook dinner or bring home take out food and clean the house. Feed the cats. Mow the grass. Shop for groceries. Everything. While I sat in my recliner with my feet up, wrapped in ice packs, living in a quiet panic, along with massive guilt for putting Larry in this position again. For putting myself in this position. Wondering how I could have been so deluded to think that ALL pain was fibromyalgia. I was so distraught, and so scared. Everything came to a screeching halt. Again.
To be continued…..