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Flat of feet and -itis of tendon

A foot

For those of you concerned about my foot pain saga (there must be at least one of you, right, Mom?), I saw the podiatrist today. She felt up my feet, took some x-rays and told me I most likely have tendonitis and I most definitely have flat feet.

I knew I had a flat chest, but the flat feet thing is new to me. Can we complete the trifecta and get me a flat stomach, too? I’m not sure if I’ve always had flat feet or if my morbid obesity helped flatten them or if it’s a new thing unrelated to that. Regardless, I am no longer supposed to walk barefoot. Anywhere. Even if I’m just shuffling around the house I need to have sandals with a good arch support. She recommended some brands for that.

She also sprayed my foot with glue and taped it. I’m supposed to keep the tape on for the next five days and see if it helps with the pain, and if so that means an orthotic or just the shoe change should probably help cure it. (So far it does seem to help, so that bodes well.) The glue will help the tape stay on even in the shower, though now I’m wondering if I’m supposed to wear shoes in the tub too. That gives me flashbacks to my college days and how grateful I was that I couldn’t see anything in the shower stall because of my poor vision.

I’m also supposed to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) every day (like ibuprofen) since tendonitis is basically an inflammation of the tendon. This presents an interesting dilemma because every single one of my headache doctors agrees that you should not take more than 2-3 doses of anti-inflammatory medication a week or else you will get a rebound headache. So, what do I do here? Do I take NSAIDs daily for my foot and put up with the headache? Or do I only take a moderate amount of NSAIDs, severely limiting the anti-inflammatory effects of the medication, and put up with a longer stretch of foot pain? It is a conundrum. I probably should have asked the doctor about this, shouldn’t I have? Maybe we should just cut the damn foot off and give me a robotic replacement with a can-opener attachment and increased ass-kicking functionality.

I’m supposed to go back to the doctor in three weeks to see how things are progressing. I hope changing my footwear solves the problem. If not, maybe I’ll just learn to walk on my hands.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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JenFul » Jellies! · June 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

[…] I did however make sure no one was looking when I grabbed a pair. Sadly I made this purchase before I was diagnosed with flat feet and tendonitis, so I can’t wear my jellies without further injuring myself. I can only sniff them, and get […]

JenFul » Review: Skechers Shape-Ups · August 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

[…] the normal insoles with the orthotic inserts my podiatrist gave me awhile ago to help relieve my tendonitis. I checked with the Skechers marketing people and they said that was ok to do for the review. In […]

[…] spent most of this year feeling like a hobbled old women due to my tendonitis from hell. The orthotic inserts seem to have eliminated my pain, and the temperatures have dropped from […]


Becca • May 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I know you LOVE unsolicited medical advice (;)), so here goes: I just recovered from this (mine was bad, I am now walking pain free after I spent several months in a walking cast then several more with an aircast under my arch) and I have found acupuncture and shitatsu massage have helped tremendously with the healing and inflammation reduction.


Lisa • May 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I took the NSAIDs for tendinitis in my ankle in December. It was not a fun experience for me, but then I had a reaction to the meds. It took me about 2 weeks to realize that it was the NSAIDs that were the culprit! (I finally read the list of side effects.Ooops.) It hurt to walk. It was like my skin was on fire. I will never take them again!


Jen • May 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I have had this before too. Sucks.

Hope you feel better soon.


Amy • May 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Just FYI – podiatrists almost NEVER go for the amputation option. I asked. (I was picturing a bionic foot that would help me win races & get me on the cover of Runner’s World.)

Good luck with balancing the foot pain/head pain. That does not sound like one of the funner balancing acts.


Mymsie • May 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I can’t remember if I’ve already told you this. If I have, please pretend this comment doesn’t exist. ;) Anyway, effed up feet run in my family and I ended up having to get orthotics more than 10 years ago. The thing is, I never wear them because they only work with athletic shoes. I have a heel spur and the 3 things that have helped are losing weight, exercising, and a stretch where I point my heel to the ground and my toes up and back & stretch through my calf. It seems simple but it’s made a HUGE diff!

Also, remember the Borders near The Fashion Mall in Castleton? They’re going out of business and I saw 2 copies of your latest book there on Saturday. I moved them to a prominent, high-traffic location. :)


JourneyBeyondSurvival • May 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I think you should nosh frozen blueberries in bed with your shoes on. Be prepared.


Natalie • May 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm

If you learn to walk on your hands, will being upside down all the time made your headache worse? Or does all the blood pooling in your head actually make it better?

I am still on anti-inflammitories for a nastily inflamed shoulder and they really make all the difference for me – if I go off them for a couple of days when I run out the pain comes back. So best of luck with that decision.


Denise @ Do you have that in my size??? • May 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Warning: unsolicited advice ahead. I can’t take anti-inflammatories most of the time because they make me throw up (sorry TMI), so I rely a lot on ice for reducing inflammation in my shoulder and feet. I found some nifty ice packs that attach to your feet like sandals, so I just slip those over my socks at night before bed and let them work their magic.


Kimberly • May 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I’ve been under treatment for chronic daily headaches for years, and a few months ago I had to start taking a high dose of ibuprofen a few times a day for chronic knee pain. The ibuprofen has helped my knee pain dramatically and I haven’t had any increased frequency or severity in my headaches. You may not react the same way to it that I do, of course, but I thought I’d throw the info out there for you to take or leave as you like. Good luck!


ladyciani • May 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I used to work for a vitamin store (retail – ick) and I fell in love with MSM cream. It’s a natural sulfur that is very well absorbed through the skin and works as an anti-inflammatory. I would buy jars and jars and jars of it for my grandfather’s arthritis.

They use a form of it called DMSO on animals and for some medical treatments – but DMSO smells like garlic. MSM is the more refined version of it.

Also good is a topical application of arnica montana. That’s a homeopathic remedy. If you can’t find it let me know and I’ll send you the store’s link.


Lisa • May 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Oh, flat feet aren’t so bad. If you have to wear shoes all the time, thing how clean your feet will always be! As for “why now?”, I don’t think your past weight was to blame; you are probably just hitting the age where problems crop up. My flat feet started to bother me in my late 20s and most of my adult weight gain was after that. Good luck with the tape and the glue. Do they resort to duct tape if the first lot doesn’t stick?


upinthecosmos • May 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I totally feel your pain, of the foots that is:-) I have the same issue & it sucks cause that means that now that it’s warmer I have to choose to having less pain and stuffing my feet into tennis shoes with comfy support or wearing the much preferred flip flops so that the toes are free and the feets can be shown, cuz they’s purtty:-) I wear shape up tennis which do really help and I have a pair of shape up flip flops but they don’t always match so I like to wear some of the many other, much flatter less supportive, flip flops:-) For now I’m suffering with the enclosed shoes during the week so that I can at least sport some flip flops on the weekend so that they don’t have to be retired for the few warm months that we do have here in good old Minnesota. We’ll see how things go I guess. The pain of fashion:-)


Lynne • May 11, 2011 at 12:26 am

Two weeks ago I fell and hurt my wrist. Eight xrays later no visible sign of a break, but lots of pain remains. My doctor prescribed Pennsaid solution, a liquid steroid that I rub on my wrist 4 times daily. This would give you the anti-inflammatory relief and avoid the headache pain.

For my occasionally painful arches I keep a plastic water or pop botlle filled with water in the freezer. When I need some pain relief I get it out and roll my foot back and forth on it for 15 minutes or so.

Feel better!


James Stiver • May 11, 2011 at 1:06 am

Last time someone felt my feet up I asked her out on a date, she told me she was just doing her job. Do airport security girls always play hard to get?


Naantje • May 11, 2011 at 4:10 am

@Denise @ Do you have that in my size??? –

Icepacks on your feet before going to sleep? That sounds like pure torture, I can’t even sleep if I have cold feet. Poor you, I wouldn’t want to have to choose between those options.


Debbi • May 11, 2011 at 4:34 am

Ah, memories. My dad used to threaten amputation of whatever limb my brother or I complained about when we were children. If it’s not there, it won’t hurt! Heh. Seriously, hope you find a comfort zone for your feet as you seem to have found (most of the time) for your head. “They” say as you get older it’s patch, patch, patch.


Thealogian • May 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Look on the bright side: you won’t be drafted for WWII!!! Flat feet, World War II–anybody? That’s some funny stuff right there.

I will refrain from giving any kind of medical advice, as I don’t suffer from Chronic Headaches, have Flat Feet or a medical degree…however, I will say that I can’t really imagine life without being allowed to go barefoot! I love being barefoot so damn much, shoes suck. So, seriously, sorry about the flat feet (though, once again, it is a really good way to get out of the army and goodness knows if a Republican is elected anytime soon, we’ll be in Pakistan, Iran & four-six other countries (didn’t Sarah Palin say something about going to war with Russia?)…the the draft is not totally outside the realm of possibilities.


Anna • May 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

great that you have a solution. Even better that your feet are sexier than that pic!

I ask the exact same question about NSAIDS all the time at docs and physio, answer is always not to take them as they help but not so much that it is worth a bad side effect.


Dawn Heuft • May 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I have flat feet and I have tried EVERYTHING… Kind of like your headache cure saga… and I found that the new Shape-Ups/Fitness shoes trend is a miracle!!! It’s like walking on a cloud. The Sketchers brand works best for me, but there are many different brands on the market. I recently bought some great sandals at walmart too! And the bonus is…they supposedly tone you up. LOL.

Love the comment above about the special foot ice packs. I will be looking for those…. but in the mean time, I freeze a water bottle and roll my foot on it.


Kelly Ryman • May 13, 2011 at 12:44 am

Hi Jennette,

I also had my foot taped and it worked fabulously! I then spent $400 for orthotics that I hated and never wore. Still after the taping my foot was fine for a year – then the tendonitis flared up again so I went back to the dr. for foot taping again. Kept it on for a week and a year later they were fine. I would advise skipping the ibu and just see if the taping works alone. If so, I can send you instructions on how to tape your feet yourself, as well as a website that you can buy the tape from. (total cost w/ shipping & handling for the tape would be about $10). I am rambling but wanted to offer you that info..as I am sure I had the same thing as you. E-mail me if you want info. I’ve never responded or replied so let me also take a moment to say I love your two books (owner of both!) and a few years ago I lost 97 lbs. and read and re-read your book as I progressed along. You are such an inspiration to me. Yeah, I’ve gained some weight back too, it’s a damn daily struggle. But I’m still better than I was. Good luck w/your foot and let me know if I can help you!!


Kat • May 14, 2011 at 5:29 am

Flat foot sufferer too – interesting because the arch on my left one is more “fallen” than the other, and on that one my bunion is slightly worse too. I remember from a while back that you had bunions too, guess that was actually a sign of your weak arches?

As for causes of flat feet, think being overweight may not actually help but it isn’t the cause. I’m maybe 20lbs over my ideal BMI and have flat feet, I spoke to a podiatrist who has said it’s because of my flexible joints (I’m double jointed – also prone to spraining wrists, ankles etc). I’m also only 28 – had my flat feet “diagnosed” when I was around 25 – so not just for the over-60s.

Annoying as my sister has the most perfect amazing arches – it’s the kind of thing you discover and go, “Great, yet ANOTHER thing wrong with me”. But actually it’s fine, I wear moulded-to-fit inserts every day which has helped with any arch pain completely, AND has stopped the bunions from worsening. So worth it. I occasionally go without, but generally don’t, just because it’s less comfortable. I even run in them, can usually go for about an hour before foot discomfort sets in.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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