As we're finishing up our third mother runner book, we're going green this summer and recycling some of our blog posts. This post originally appeared on our site in August 2011. [Read: I don't currently have PF. I kicked it to the curb in late 2011.]
I started wearing glasses at the age of 2 ½. As my mom tells it, she was sitting across from me at the kitchen table while I was eating a sandwich. Each time I brought the PB&J up to my mouth, my right eye would track in toward my nose. An opthalmologist I’d end up seeing a great deal over the coming years, Dr. Ostriker, diagnosed me as being cross-eyed. (I never heard the more gentle term of “lazy eye” until about 15 years ago.) She prescribed glasses as well as a regimen of eye drops, patches, and exercises to strengthen my weak right eye. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of doing sewing cards while wearing a flesh-colored adhesive patch over my good eye, and playing pirate on the days my mom would let me wear a black, fabric-and-elastic eye patch instead.
While the patches and drops were only temporary measures, eyeglasses were my constant companion during my waking hours from before I even started preschool. As I graduated from transparent pale-pink ones to round, tortoise-shell glasses with bifocal lenses (!!), to gold wire aviator-style ones, I never raised a fuss about wearing my glasses. I didn’t question wearing them, despite being able to see perfectly well. I’d say I wore them as surely as I brushed my hair and teeth, but I was more diligent about wearing my glasses than using a comb or a toothbrush.
Then, on a sunny June day after sixth grade, I went in for yet-another exam with Dr. Ostriker. She delivered news I hadn't seen coming: I didn’t have to wear glasses anymore. My eyes were cured, she said, because of my dedication to donning my glasses. It wasn’t until she said, “If you hadn’t worn your glasses so faithfully, this day would have never come,” did it dawn on me I could have opted to not wear them.
Thirty-three years later, and I’m still a diligent, rule-following patient. And just as it did with my lazy eye, adherence to a curative routine is paying off for my right foot. My plantar fasciitis is now 90 percent better: I’m running (slowly) three days a week for 30 to 45 minutes without any pain during or afterward, and my plan is to build my mileage gradually over the next few weeks. Some of the things that helped me the most:
-I religiously popped an Aleve every morning and evening.
-I slept in a Strassburg Sock every night.
-I faithfully stretched my foot, ankle, and lower leg before stepping out of bed when my alarm went off. (“A, B, C, D…” I “drew” the alphabet in the air.)
-I wore orthopedically correct Orthaheel sandals every moment I wasn’t exercising, sleeping, or showering.
-I controlled the strong, sometimes almost overwhelming desire to run longer, faster, or more often than I did.
I vividly remember facing the world that summer day without my glasses on. And now I can see a day when I’m going to be running pain free.
What have you found works in curing Plantar Fasciitis?