Monday, August 8, 2011

I choose a new "level of discomfort"

When I broke my right navicular bone I was told to wear orthotics or resign myself to gradually becoming crippled. So I have shoe inserts.

When I pulverized my left ankle I was told, after I learned to walk again, to choose a level of discomfort that I could live with because joints are unforgiving and that it would always hurt to the level I allowed. And it might even predict weather.

After years of living with a constant ache, enough stiffness that I can't wear most shoes, and recurring swelling after all but the mildest activity - I have finally had ENOUGH!

I'm tired of taking ibuprofen and having it do little or no good. And Seattle is finally having some summer weather and I want to be able to wear sandals. So off I went to see the Dr.

He looked at it, felt it, put me through a series of range of motion exercises - and prescribed an anti-inflammatory horse pill that actually works. He said 2 twice a day for a 2-3 weeks and then taper it back to 1 twice a day.

Immediate improvement. Twinges when climbing stairs but no pain and reduced stiffness. He also gave me a new brace to use if I manage to over-do and need to apply compression. It has soft pads on sides and over Achilles and tension is adjusted by dials not laces. More complicated than pulling on a compression sock but a whole lot less bulky than using a wrap.

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