Injury, Sports Interruption and Recovery. Diabetes & all.

Happy Echo dog!
Happy Echo dog!

No doubt about it, if you get an injury and your movement and mobility are hampered, it sucks. Big time. Has it ever happened to you?

Much to my chagrin, I’ve suffered a few injuries in recent years that have impacted my endurance sport abilities. Injury Number 1: my right shoulder. Initially it was suspected that I had frozen shoulder, which is a common issue for people who have type 1 diabetes. My shoulder got really sore and tight. I told my endocrinologist about it and she referred me to a shoulder doctor, who took an x-ray and she set me up with physical therapy.

After several incredible sessions with the physical therapist, it came to our attention that it was unlikely that my shoulder issues were a result of diabetes, but likely were the result of having had a unilateral mastectomy on my right side. Apparently it is very common for women (and men) who have mastectomies to have issues years later with the nerve endings and muscles connected to their shoulder. I now have a series of exercises and stretches I do once or twice every single day to help my shoulder stay loose and as pain free as possible.

I went swimming at a local pool a few weeks ago and I discovered, to my sadness, that I’ve got serious pain when swimming. I’m a solid front crawl swimmer, which is good since that’s the stroke I do when competing in triathlons. My shoulder hurt quite badly while swimming. I might be headed back to the physical therapist.

Injury Number 2: plantar fasciitis in my right heel. BIG OUCH. I did a run about ten days before the Get Lucky 7K I did with three pals on March 12th, and after that training run I was in crippling pain. I could barely walk, my heel hurt so bad. I didn’t run any more in preparation for the Get Lucky 7K, just lots of fast, fast walking and I continued with my cycling training. With cycling, I have clip in pedals and the press down and pull up all happens with the ball of my foot, not impacting my heel overly much.

My sister had plantar fasciitis a few years back and I remembered some of the things she did to heal from it. Plus, being the internet junkie that I am, I googled plantar fasciitis and got lots of ideas for healing things to do, and I started doing them.

I went to see my endocrinologist, which I do four times a year, and we talked about my heel. I told her everything I was doing, and she said she could send me to the physical therapist again, but likely the therapist would tell me to keep doing all that I am already doing.

Frozen water in a bottle to roll under my heel and foot.
Frozen water in a bottle to roll under my heel and foot.

Here is my list of things I continue to do to promote healing in my right heel:

  • Reduce inflammation overall in the body by eating more turmeric, with black pepper
  • Ice baby ice – I roll a frozen water bottle under my foot at least once a day.
  • Roll a tennis ball under my heel & foot – I do this at least once a day.
  • Rest. My dog Echo is sad that my walks with him have shortened.
  • Massage & use a foam roller on my calf. I have a tendency to have tight calves and this is connected to plantar fasciitis issues.
  • Healing modalities: acupuncture. I go to acupuncture for my shoulder and my heel as often as I can get scheduled. I aim for once a week. It’s incredibly helpful.
  • Superfeet in my shoes. A friend who has had plantar fasciitis suggested Superfeet. I got some and I transfer them from shoe to shoe. I love the support they give me. It appears I have high arches, which also contributes to plantar fasciitis.

I did run (and walk) at the Get Lucky 7K and while I ran my heel didn’t hurt particularly bad. However later that day and the next day, massive pain once again. I iced and rolled and rested. Now, almost two weeks later, and my heel is better! I won’t be entering any 5K’s anytime soon. I’m thankful that my big athletic goal at the moment is a 100-mile bike ride!

Have you ever suffered an injury that impacted your athletic goals? How did or do you stay positive and on a healing path?


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5 thoughts on “Injury, Sports Interruption and Recovery. Diabetes & all.”

  1. I’ve had two shoulder surgeries and have gained back my ability to play golf (one of my passions). My surgeon always says my diabetes is causing scar tissue buildup which can be painful. I, too, do my daily exercises so that the pain is manageable. Cold packs are a blessing and the occasional Tylenol. Never give up!

    • Alex,
      Thanks so much for your comment and good job doing your exercises and icing!!!!
      You’re the best!

  2. I love when people talk about the hard things as well as the easy ones. Thanks for modeling such smart thinking and adapting.

    • Thanks Linda!
      You for one know about excellent modeling. Of the easier and of the harder. I appreciate that you recognize this ability in me and in others!

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