15 August 2012

Hallux Limitus

Yet another diagnosis. In some ways, it's nice to have a name for the pain I've been experiencing in both feet and a reason for all the other pains (in the sides of my feet, heels, ankles, knees, leg muscles).

In other ways, it is totally devastating. I don't like having to give up the idea that I might some day actually train to run something longer than 30 minutes. I guess I could switch that idea to biking or swimming, but I hate swimming (too much showering involved--yeah, so much for that resolution--a beautician friend told me that washing hair every day is bad and I latched onto that even though I know my hair needs it every day) and biking for exercise seems kind of lame (I guess I'm just picturing the overly-zealous people who buy ridiculously-priced bikes and who wear those weirdy spandex outfits with bright colors and strange zippers and crazy designs or brands). When I think of arthritis, I think of never-ending pain, and though I always say negative things like, "I'll never wake up a day without pain and I can't even remember the last time I did," I always harbored some hope that someone out there could help me. I also think of old people in Advil commercials.

I don't like always feeling like an old 27-year-old (and an old 26-year-old, and an old 25-year-old, and you get the point). I know that it's our too-high expectations of life that disappoint us, but I can't help but feel that at some point, something has to get better, doesn't it?

Okay, so maybe it's actually logical to expect that life is going to throw more and more pain at you as you grow older (though this fascinating study would refute that as long as you believe in your youth--maybe we should have youth visualization treatments), but I just want to keep yelling, "Could I at least get the 'prosper in the land' part yet?" because then I could at least enjoy good and timely treatments, instead of making an appointment for physical therapy IN NOVEMBER--by then I might be dead from the thing they were going to therap-ize--at a clinic that is only open during hours when I should be trying to somehow make a living. Maybe I can at least look forward to eventually feeling happier despite the pain.

I can't help but feel that there is something else here, like the pains I feel every day and the proneness to repetitive strain injury are connected to something greater. Sometimes I wonder if it's Crohn's, despite having had no symptoms for about 12 years and checking out clear on the tenth year, and I've read over and over that if the inflammation in the bowels is under control, the joint pain lessens as well. I don't know what it could be. Doctors keep saying to me, "You're a healthy young patient," until I unload my plethora of problems, and then they either only want to treat one thing, which means I'm in for a lot more appointment-waiting, or they pat me on the head and say, "That's nice." (Okay, there have been exceptions, like the nice podiatrist who answered all of my questions admirably and even googled "dress rocker shoes" for me when I complained that I couldn't wear ugly shoes all the time, especially not at formal events. Even then, that's one treatment that I feel totally against for vanity reasons. I know that's silly, if it could help, but I just can't even consider it. I guess I'm not above high-heel wearers after all.)

At this point, any time any phone call or appointment or anything turns out negatively, I can't help but fight back tears. I guess I can only handle so much failure and/or rejection.

I can only do so much resting and yoga and heat therapy and meditation and praying and positive affirmation and whatever else everyone keeps suggesting. I can't afford massages every day. I don't like taking huge amounts of pills, especially ones that will bore holes in my stomach. And I realize that other stressors in life definitely contribute to my body's complaints, but they feed each other, don't they? If I have an ├╝ber-difficult time with housing, I'll have lots of stress and thus lots of pain. The pain causes me to need rest and treatment, and takes me away from solving the housing issue. The lack of being able to figure out the housing thing just causes more stress and thus more pain. It's a maddening cycle. Like this:


So now what? Why does it always come to that question?


  1. I'm sure you've looked into this before, Michelle, but have you considered testing for Celiac? My mom always thought she had arthritis until she realized it was the gluten that was making her sore. Just a thought. You're so brave to keep on living in so much pain! Prayers for you.

  2. Thanks, Renee. I have been tested for celiac, back when I was
    nauseated for four months without explanation. That's another fun story,
    and by "fun," I mean "lame."

  3. I'm so sorry Michelle! That totally stinks! This is just a thought, you probably already do this, but I have started taking 2 fish oil pills every night and that really lessens the joint pain I get from so much running. I have no idea if that would help you, or if you already do that, but I just want to help you my friend!

  4. Thanks, Crystal. I am taking fish oil, along with a bunch of other stuff that Michael gave me. I hate taking pills, but the quantity just keeps going up. :( I'm glad you are still running.