Well, this past Thursday was my much awaited visit with the new Podiatrist, Dr. Bronfman at the Jacksonville Foot and Ankle Clinic. I was somewhat nervous and excited...nervous that he would tell me he couldn't do anything for me or that maybe he didn't know what I was talking about...excited and somewhat hopeful that maybe he could tell me something that might help my foot issues...and therefore, my running.
Dr. Bronfman is a short little man and somewhat intimidating and I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to communicate what I've been experiencing to him or that when I told him what I had tried so far, that he would start to tune me out as I droned on with my saga.. as I talked to him, much of that subsided, and although he was busy, I felt like we talked about most of what I wanted to during the visit. I will now summarize for you what has been his take on my issues....and much of it was contrary to what most very well-meaning people have told me over the past two months....
1. No stress fractures! Yay! Considering that the inside of my foot has hurt since the Spa 10k, I was concerned that it had not really improved since then...However, X-rays reveal the "classic problem foot"....Wide forefoot and narrow heel..which typically makes it very hard to find shoes that fit well. He also suggested that although shoes vary so much depending oon make and model, going up a half size on my next pair might be a good idea. GEEZ....I'm already wearing an 11!
2. I have been told by many that I am a mild overpronator with medium, collapsing arches...Apparently, I am a moderate overpronator with high arches...okay.....next?
3. He wants me to attempt to use my HARD custom made prosthetic insoles that were made at the new Balance store in LR, asking the podorthist that made them to meld down the arch some, because it is too high, causing pressure on the bony area where I have been having so much pain and causing my foot to slide toward the outer part of the shoe....Until then, I can wear my Lynco insoles bought in Memphis at the Expo. The big question with that was "Hard prosthetics with stability shoes?" Well....if the insoles are made well and fit your feet well...he says it shouldn't matter. Don't know about that one...but I'll try it.
4. He didn't say I have to stop running and wasn't even really saying that I have to back off on my mileage, but he did recommend that I run SLOWLY and AVOID HILLS if at all possible. The slow, I can do....hills...well, I'll try my best.
5. I apparently am taking way too much Ibuprofen and with my IBS, he was concerned, so he put me on Mobic 15mg a day. You know you are officially part of the running community when you start taking medicine for arthritis!
6. Lastly..(at least for now)...I have plantar fasciitis....Yep...the dreaded syndrome of all runners....He was examining my foot and pressed on my heel and, yep, it was tender....I am therefore not allowed to go barefoot, or wear flip-flops or slippers anymore, unless they are arch supportive (like Birkenstocks)...I also have to do a couple of foot stretches 3-4 times a day. My follow-up is in 1 month. To be honest, I was actually surprised that he told me to follow up. Usually they just throw stuff at you and tell you to come back if there's still a problem...
Soooo, we will see what all this does for my running. In some respects, the visit was a comfort. He said that I was the 5th person that is training for the LR Marathon that he saw this week! I was beginning to feel like I was crazy or that I was psyching myself out with all these foot issues. It somehow made me feel better knowing that I wasn't alone, that I'm not the only one doing this with aches and pains!!