Last weekend’s 3-day Barn Hunt trial was tons of fun, if exhausting.
A great deal of the exhaustion was sadly pain-related, which is difficult to ignore and can take a lot of the joy from even the most fun event.
I have been delaying treatment for my regularly stiff, achy, swollen knee for nearly a year, due to covid. My doctor had initially told me that I could come in for a cortisone injection last fall, but since they were mostly doing tele-med appointments, I chose to just babied it along over the winter. 🤷♀️ I honestly thought the knee was the main problem … along with just being out of shape.
As it turned out, my knee was far from my biggest medical issue.
Then 2021 arrived, and with it, covid vaccinations. Yay! I pretty quickly TRIED to up my activity level, walking and getting the dogs back into training. Dog sports trial premiums started popping up, and I felt the need to make up for lost time.
The first 2-day Scent Work trial I attended with Baxter & Rhonda shone a glaring light on several issues I would have much rather ignored. And they weren’t even full-day events! 🙁
1. The dogs really missed participating in dog sports – they were eager for more. I felt so guilty for depriving them. So we attended a couple more weekend trials; Scent Work and Barn Hunt.
2. At this point, three trials in, my knee was screaming at me and obviously needed attention. There was no more ignoring it.
3. I was unhappily surprised to realize that by not bothering to wear my custom orthotic inserts over the past 10 months (which truly hadn’t seemed all that important since I didn’t think I was on my feet that much), I was now suffering from a doozy of a flare-up of planter fasciitis, which had been pretty much completely under control for 20+ years. Oh ouch.
Still, I continued to put off treatment. I really stubbornly didn’t want to think about it. I knew what was inevitably coming (cortisone injections or worse) and had somehow convinced my subconscious that the knee and foot problems would probably go away if I just worked at regaining my overall physical condition.
Since I couldn’t let my athletic little dogs down, and I really love these dog sports, I had to step up. I made two separate doctor appointments – and I’m sure it was pure coincidence that they ended up being on the same day. 🥺
So yesterday, I ended up getting a cortisone injection in my right knee … and then, two hours later, in both heels. Ouch! Really!
I also discovered, via the magic of X-rays, that a substantial part of my foot problem (and the reason my left foot has been so much more painful than my right) is a humongous heel/bone spur on that foot.
I don’t remember a heel spur from my last podiatrist visit … 24 years ago. But it’s sure enough there now. The doctor said he’d seldom seen a bigger heel spur, and credited my 24-year-old (really well made!) inserts for the fact I was walking on that foot at all.
The podiatrist started talking about a “boot” for my left foot (to take all pressure off my heel) until the swelling was under control and my new custom orthotic inserts arrived … but then he noticed my mutinous expression (I was envisioning trying to do Barn Hunt or nose work in a big black boot) and modified it to a promise that I get a pair of seriously arch-supportive shoes and continue wearing my old inserts until the new ones arrived. Win! I think …?
I may have to return for a follow-up injection in a month, probably just in my left foot. 🤷♀️ I’ll think about that later.
Later in the day, after a much deserved nap, I discovered that although my knee already felt substantially better (why did I wait so long??), the topical pain-killer had worn off and walking AT ALL on feet that had just had big needles poked in and shoved around in them was … unwise. 😢
I grabbed a bottle of Ensure for dinner, took an Ibuprofen, slapped a pair of Icy-Hot patches on my feet (right over the bandaids) and crawled back to bed.
This morning, I was relieved to discover I could actually walk, sort of. After donning slippers with thick foam inserts, I managed to take Ronni out for her morning ablutions and make coffee for myself.
It’s 11:00 am now, and each walk has been less painful. I think the cortisone is beginning to do its work. 🥳
It had better kick in quickly though – Baxter, Ronni and I have a 4-day K9 Nose Work trial starting this weekend! I need my feet!