Stretched to the Limit

I am a definite Type A, choleric, driven, veering towards OCD. I like to have a plan, play the plan, and win at that plan. I envision how things will work out, as though I have control over every event in my life. Clearly, this is rather delusional at times. MS, for example, is not mind over matter. Cancer? There is only so much you can do to control the outcome.

A tension hides in the background that is like tuning a stringed instrument. Tighten the strings too much in one direction, and the tone is flat. Wind the string in the opposite direction, and the note is now flat. How do you find the right balance?

Stress is like the tension on a guitar string. Turn it too tight and the string snaps, too loose and it won’t play. – Mary Pilat Advice for Teens: Defusing Stress

I experienced this on a completely different level recently. I have limited mobility because of MS, but I am thankful I am usually able to walk without assistance. I know the average distance I can walk. I also know I am stubborn, hard-headed, dare I say prideful at times? 

I paid the price this year. We had family in town to visit, and it is common for us to go on walks for our serious discussions. It is a trait we learned from our dad, and it is an effective tool for us.

What isn’t effective for me is denying or ignoring my physical limitations.

I felt something akin to the sound of SNAP, yet I continued. I knew something was wrong, and I continued on without uttering a word to anyone. I ignored symptoms for some time until every step was now a painful reminder. Determination and stubbornness are not synonyms. A single-sentence to my physician and I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

Now I was begging for help. I started another round of physical therapy, which was quite ineffective at first. Someone saw me struggling to walk, and suggested that I tape my foot.

‘How do you tape your foot?’.

‘With duct tape.’

‘Are you nuts?!!’

So, I taped my foot with duct tape.

At least I didn’t need this much duct tape!

This brought moderate relief, but I discovered my physical therapist was pushing the therapy entirely too fast. Now my fasciitis was more badly injured rather than healing. A new therapist suggested using a Strassburg sock. If you want to purchase a really expensive pair of socks, this is the sock for you.

I paid almost $60 for the Strassburg sock. One single sock. It isn’t even fashionable!

 

My pride was now painful, embarrassing, and expensive.

Does any of this sound familiar when you think about some areas of stress in your own life?

  • Perhaps you give too much to a relationship when you know it isn’t healthy.
  • Workaholic, anyone?
  • How about overspending?
  • School midterms?
  • Family problems?

Stress is going to happen. Some questions come to mind.

  • Do I try to resolve the stress when it initially interferes with my daily routines, or do I wait until the cost and pain is exorbitant?
  • Do I seek wise counsel?
  • Do I accept blame for my own part in the situation?
  • Do I work at the solution until it is completely resolved, to the best of my ability?
  • Do I learn from my mistakes?
  • Does it make me more compassionate towards others?

Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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23 thoughts on “Stretched to the Limit

  1. The Verdant Home October 8, 2012 at 10:22 am Reply

    What a great post! I especially liked how you related the determination to finish a walk and the subsequent injury with….relationships, working, life. You are so right!

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 10:33 am Reply

      Thank you for the encouraging words. If only I took my own advice at the beginning instead of having to write about the possible outcome!

      Like

  2. It's a matter of prayer October 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm Reply

    God Bless You! You are an inspiration to many.

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, I appreciate your encouragement.

      Like

  3. sagescenery October 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Yes, it is hard to admit that we’ve come to the limit of our ability to handle things well…physically, emotionally, or spiritually!

    I’ve had plantar fasciitis…very painful! Woke up one morning and couldn’t put pressure on my heel. Didn’t buy the expensive sock, but my foot doctor ordered an expensive boot for me to wear at night, which did the same thing…pull up the toes. Thank God for insurance!

    And then he made me very expensive orthotics (which again insurance paid for) to put in the expensive New Balance sneakers he recommended I buy. No insurance for this!

    Took months to feel better…used ice packs, kept my feet up as much as possible, had cortizone shots in my heel, foot therapy…and prayed, prayed, & prayed. Feel good that you caught it before it developed into a bone spur, which is worse, I hear!

    Even today, I have to wear the orthotic in my sneakers, if I’m going to be standing all day…and sandals with the right heel height and arches, otherwise…or it will start hurting again!

    I’ll pray your miracle of healing comes fast!! Amen!

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm Reply

      Sounds like your doctor did everything possible. I was wearing an over-the-counter brace at night, but the sock is much more effective. Tomorrow I will get a custom orthotic while at PT. The therapist said some people are put in a cast, so I am feeling quite thankful! My usual therapist for my MS told me she has had it also, & that it still bothers her sometimes. I appreciate your insight and prayers very much! And yes, yes, yes ~ thank goodness for health insurance!!

      Like

      • sagescenery October 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

        The custom orthotic and good sneakers are what’s allowing me to work part time now…I have to stand much of the day…and wouldn’t be free from heel pain without them!

        Glad you’re on the right track!! God Bless!

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      • Overwhelmed By Joy October 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        That is encouraging to hear! That has to be a huge challenge to be standing all day with the pain. I will pray you heal completely, and soon! I had the orthotics made today. We are still working it out because I normally walk with an AFO. He is getting a different type authorized for me so that I can wear both at the same time, and I think I will be well on my way!

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  4. writerwannabe763 October 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm Reply

    Double trouble .i have MS and …I have the plantar fascitiis with bone spur….and it is not pleasant of course…I have orthotics but I’ve never heard of a special sock..Do you wear them at night? I’m going to ask my doctor about them. ..Thanks for information…Diane

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm Reply

      I do wear the sock at night. I had a splint that is for plantar fasciitis that was purchased over the counter. The sock, while expensive, works much better. I also saw a lot of improvement when I changed physical therapists. I am getting fitted for an orthotic tomorrow. I feel conflicted because I wear an AFO a lot for my MS. I feel like I’m having to choose one problem over the other. I can’t imagine a bone spur on top of it all. Several people have told me they have never gotten completely over it. I walk so little, I just couldn’t believe it at first. I have made a lot of improvement since we changed exercises & started using the sock. I do keep my foot taped with my lovely duct tape 24/7. If I don’t do that, I feel it within a few hours.

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      • writerwannabe763 October 8, 2012 at 8:38 pm

        I forgot about the duct tape…do you wrap it around the middle of foot and heel?….Diane

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      • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

        I will look for a youtube link that shows how we tape it. I tried several different ways, but one way definitely was the best for offering support. We tried athletic tape, but it didn’t actually hold as well. Just be certain to not have any of the tape on the top of your foot. That is when it irritates my skin; otherwise it surprisingly does not.

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      • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

        This is the link to the way I tape it, which is how my PT recommended it also. Because I have foot drop, I have to be sure my foot is straight up so that it is actually supporting it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jQv_CipqyU

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      • writerwannabe763 October 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

        Thank you very much….Diane

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      • Overwhelmed By Joy October 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm

        You are very welcome, I hope it helps. I got the sock from an athletic store that is mainly for runners, if you have anything like that nearby. Let me know if it helps.

        Like

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  6. thekeytochange October 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm Reply

    A really good post:) Yes I recognize myself in this. I have fatigue and I’m not good at setting boundaries for myself, trying until it stops. But luckily, I have begun to recognize the signals and know to stop before it crashes. Keep posting

    Like

    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm Reply

      That is great that you are able to recognize the signals. That is probably 90% of the battle.

      Like

  7. appletonavenue October 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm Reply

    You inspire me to try harder. In everything: to resolve stress; no more waiting until the cost and pain is exorbitant.
    I will seek wise counsel.
    I will accept blame for my own part in the situation.
    I will work at the solution until it is completely resolved.
    I hope I’ve learned from my mistakes.
    I will continue to try and become more compassionate towards others.

    Like

    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm Reply

      I think, from reading your blog, that you are doing these things. Be a world changer – I know you can be one exactly where God has you for now.

      Like

  8. Melissmor October 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm Reply

    WOW, you said it well. There are times when that control seems to be so uncontrollable pertaining to the stresses we are going through, it’s specifically a signal to us to slow down, rethink and start all over again, but you know how we are as humans, we just forego it and push ourselves towards a burn, the great thing – that’s all part of the experience to get us to our true selves.

    Like

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