Weighty Matters

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Calmer and Less Compulsive

Behind me, in the kitchen, the pressure cooker is blowing its steamy, rhythmic whistle.  Inside is a stuffed artichoke that will be my dinner.  Do you like artichokes?  I love them.  My favorite preparation is to do a little mix of bread crumbs, garlic powder and grated parmesan and then spoon a little into the base of each leaf.  I think cook it in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes and take out a tender creation.  Leaf by leaf, I pluck it and scrape the veggie to the bottom.  Yum!

I’m a big fan of using the pressure cooker.  It cuts off so much cooking time for a variety of things.  Usually it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to steam or boil a whole artichoke.  15 minutes in the pressure cooker.  I’ve done stuffed pork chops that come out moist and tender also in 15 minutes — a third of the time.  Last week I cooked beets.  I’ve done short ribs that fell off the bone.  This method of cooking also packs in the moisture so foods don’t get dry and tough.

Anyway, if you’ve cooked in a pressure cooker and have a recipe to share, I’d love to read it!

On to the blog post topic.  Tomorrow is a week since I had the acupuncture treatment.  My next one is tomorrow.  I’ve been out of the boot since Sunday and my followup appointment with the foot doc is also tomorrow.  I can happily report that I have experienced tremendous reduction in pain in my left heel and tendon.  So the combination of the plasma rich platelet therapy and the acupuncture is definitely working.  I’m adding in the effects of acupuncture, even if I only had one treatment, because I also was treated for pain in my right knee and, wow, has there been a big, noticeable difference!  So, I’m definitely a believer in the effectiveness of acupuncture!

You probably recall that I also spoke to the practitioner about my eating disorder.  I cannot claim that the treatment has completely removed the compulsion this week, but there has definitely been improvement here, too.  I am not obsessing so much about food.  Food and eating are not constantly on my mind.  I’m able to put some distance between a trigger and action which give me a chance to not act on the trigger and eat.

Perfect?  No.  Much better?  Yes, for sure.  Overall, these improvements lead to me being much calmer about myself and my disease which is also greatly beneficial.  It makes me feel better and healthier overall when I don’t feel like the disease is controlling me or that I’m locked into a downward spiral of eating-eating-eating.   It’s not a miracle and I don’t expect a total fix.  However, if the acupuncture treatments continue to help, it gives me peace and the ability to follow the healthy food plan; the healthy course of action.

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Boot Scootin’

I couldn’t stand the pain in my left foot anymore.  More to the point, I couldn’t stand that what I was doing wasn’t providing relief from the pain in my left foot.  I had two days of a media shoot at work which required me to be on my feet a lot.  Thankfully, the foot specialist prescribed me a great anti-inflammatory that I only needed to take once a day and that would be easier on my stomach.  I did my best to sit down whenever possible during the shooting days, but even so, by each afternoon, every step on my left foot felt akin to stepping on a hot coal.

I’d decided to go ahead with the recommended treatment of plasma rich therapy injections.  Apparently my health insurance plan is with one of the only companies that covers this therapy.  ****Mini-Rant**** I really like my doctor and, in person, his office staff is friendly, warm and competent.  However, I had a little bit of a problem communicating with them about the need to make sure that they contacted my insurance company and got pre-authorization for the procedure so that, indeed, it would be covered.  Should not have taken me five phone calls. ****Rant Over****

Anyway, I survived the two day shoot and drove up to the doctor first thing on Friday for the prp.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this therapy, I’m happy to describe.  Hopefully this isn’t too much detail if any of you are squeamish.  Remember that my diagnosis is acute tendonitis of the Achilles tendon and plantars fasciitis.  There are some slight tears both that tendon and the fascia.  Those tears were the focus and the intent is that this therapy will accelerate/concentrate the growth response/healing process.

First the doctor took a sizable tube of blood from me to spin in a centrifuge.  This would concentrate the plasma and platelets.  (Hence the “plasma rich” part.)  While my blood was spinning, the assistant swabbed my foot with iodine.  The doctor numbed my skin with a cold spray and then injected me with a numbing agent in three spots.  Honestly,I think those injections hurt the most and, even then, they weren’t so bad.  He purposely irritated the sites a little while he was in there which also stimulates the body’s triggers to heal.  Except for the one time he hit a nerve, I didn’t even flinch.  After a few minutes while the numbing agent did its job, the doctor then injected my platelets back  into my body in those areas.  Even including the 15 minutes needed to spin the blood, the whole thing took less than half an hour.

The very nice assistant cleaned up my foot, put on bandaids, and then brought in the boot.  Call me shallow, but for me, this is the most annoying thing.  I have to wear a boot for ten days to protect and stabilize my foot while my body, with its juiced up platelets, works on healing my trouble spots.

Have you ever had a foot injury that made it necessary for you to wear a boot?  It was really weird when I first tried to walk.  I wobbled sort of like a drunken sailor who couldn’t find her sea legs.  Once I got the hang of it I did fine.  It’s just a little awkward to adapt my walking to this thick soled, padded, black boot, but I managed.

Gratitude note: Thank goodness, the problem is my left foot and I drive a car with automatic transmission.  The boot does not interfere with my driving one bit.

Once I got home, I took it easy for the rest of the day.  By the afternoon, when all of the numbing had completely worn off, my foot was a little sore at the injection sites so I broke down and took one of the prescribed pain pills.  I managed a semi-active day yesterday — including climbing into a friend’s convertible and boosting myself up as we rode in the 4th of July Parade, supporting a friend who is running for City Council.  While she walked the route greeting parade watchers and handing out fans, we threw candy to kids, waved, and sang along to patriotic music.  I then went up to see friends who’d come into town for the weekend.  I need to be careful over uneven ground and I don’t speed walk, but I do okay.

The hardest part is going up or down stairs.  I make a point of grabbing onto rails or other means of support, just to be sure.

Gratitude note #2: I don’t have to wear the boot when I’m in bed!

So, for the next several days, the boot is my chief accessory.  Basic black, goes with everything!  I then get a break from it for a few days before I repeat the treatment and the boot time.

I know that things can’t possibly heal so fast, so I’m sure it has more to do with the protection and support provided by the boot and, perhaps, the lingering effects of some internal numbing, but I noticed today that I am not suffering that horrible heel pain that has been a constant in my life for the last couple of months.  I’m crossing my fingers that I am finally on the road to recovery!

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