Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Cor 12:7b
Happy Friday all! I am sorry I am just now getting to the Digital Cornbread Table this week. (Excuse alert sounds) I have been very busy again and cannot/should not use work time to write this blog as, even though it is mission-minded to the job, it isn’t really part of my job and I don’t want to rob my employer of my time doing my actual job. 🙂 Make sense?
Regardless, his is something of a Runnin’ Til I’m Purple edition, even as we are just over a month away from the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in our town. 🙂 I have struggled the last 2 weeks with overwork, stress, busyness, and not feeling ideal, and have only ran a couple of times. Yesterday, for old time’s sake, I donned the RTIP shoes I wore on run day(s) back in late June. I got about a mile in and kept feeling a rock in my shoe. One little oddity about me: I am pretty pain tolerant, especially in my feet, so I kept running, kicking my foot periodically to try to sift said pebble from the generous pad of my Saucony running shoe. It would seem to be better for several yards, then would get uncomfortable again. I finally stopped and took off said shoe (totally throwing off my running mojo). Nothing seemed to fall out, so I threw it back on and started up again. Then, like clockwork, about 20 yards further, it started hurting a tad again. I braved it for another mile until it was so annoying I had to figure out what was up. I stopped and sat on a street light concrete base and took my shoe off. After a bunch of shakes: nothing. Then it hit me…MAYBE it was UNDER my insert somehow? They are very thick, comfy insoles, so it was hard for me to imagine even feeling them, but maybe… (I also doublechecked my socks for a pebble and/or a wrinkle to blame….nothin’). This was my view of the top of my insole:
Nothing really to see here. So taking it off, this was below:
Notice the one bigger spot to the right of the smudgy area? Up from it barely circled by a ring was the culprit. The little circle was blood…just a drop, with a little dot.
“What on Earth???”, I wondered! I flipped the dirty old shoes over and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary other than that they were a dusty mess from running about 200 miles on the fine gravel of the Frisco Trail.
Then I traced from the one side where the small item had poked through to the other side and it originated from a softer area on the bottom of the shoe between the harder pads that was designed to be more flexible to allow flexing. I dug at it with a stick until it was clear enough to see this:
I had a stinking short roofing nail inside the shoe, ever-so-slightly poking up through the insole only if I hit it just right! That’ll do it!
The reason is was this clean is I ran with it in my sweaty hand the rest of the way home. I didn’t want to lose it, I figured it would mess up my shorts if I stuck it there, and I sure didn’t want to put it back where it was. 🙂
It is amazing how long we can deal with pain. It is amazing how long we will just deal with pain instead of finding the source. It is also amazing how we won’t look very hard sometimes. Maybe it is my generation? I don’t know… I am in the “Rub some dirt on it” generation. I was hurt so many times growing up the emergency room docs grilled me frequently to be sure I wasn’t being abuse. Nope: I have great parents. We just did a lot back then that would tend to cause pain. Case in point:
You can’t see the third bike in this picture that would ram into my wagon and try to knock me out/off. Hence the helmet and semi-inflated inner tube, life jacket, the approved home-OSHA safety gear for such a game.
So, I had been running for who-knows-how-long on a nail. Could I have ran my event on it? Very possible. I stopped running in those shoes and reverted back to an older pair of Asics until this week when I bought a new pair of Asics. What can this teach us about dementia caregiving? (Kevlar shoehorn extracted from writing desk)
Things a Nail in the Shoe Can Teach Us About Dementia and Caregiving
- Take care of yourself!!!!– If you read nothing else of my drivel today, please read this, caregiver. Take care of yourself. If you have a metaphorical nail in the shoe, find it and remove it. Get help. Gather help. Find help. Here are some good options if you are in my area, but they also include links to yours: LINK and LINK and of course LINK. Go to the doctor. Talk to your primary care physician. If you are sick, you can’t be the caregiver you want to be. Remember the airline service person’s explanation when you fly: First put on your own O2 mask, then the kid’s masks…lest you pass out and can’t help them. Don’t run on the nail…
- The little nagging things are hard– I probably ran on that thing for a long time. Did it kill me? I mean, I had my tetanus shot. Other than pain, there wasn’t a lot of risk. However, it made me uncomfortable unnecessarily. My shoes couldn’t communicate this to me that relief was available. (This one writes itself…) Such is caregiving. Your loved one, the longer they are embroiled in the disease, will have harder and harder time telling you about the nagging pain(s). Learn to read non-verbal ques. Here are 4 very good sources with somewhat overlapping information: LINK and LINK and LINK and this helpful but academic piece: LINK Having the best possible quality of life isn’t just fighting off the big pains…sometimes it is the little roofing nails of life. LOL
- Pressure and repeated motion– The nail didn’t always hurt. Only when I rubbed it just right and/or put too much pressure on it. Beds can be that way for a loved one spending a lot of time in bed. (My mom is in bed a lot these days. Between bed and her chair, she sleeps the vast majority if the day… Bedsores and pressure sores are a big problem, than can easily become lethal if infected and septic. Here are some good links about that topic: LINK and LINK and LINK There are techniques that help. Watch the key pressure points: butt, heels, elbows, knees and shoulders. Be sure they are being rotated and repositions and that they have extra padding where needed. Be sure the toileting issues are addressed quickly.
- Once the pain is gone, there is relief– Once I extracted my nail un-friend, the rest of the run went quite swimmingly. Until we can find a cure, the nail will remain for our loved ones. We can cover it with cardboard, we can run on our tiptoes, or we can sit on the couch…but the nail remains. Until a cure is found, I will do three things: help those with nails, work with clinical researchers to “nail down a cure” (Good one, eh???), and, most importantly and seriously, I will pray to the One who took the nails for me, in my place. The promise of heaven is what mom clings to, and it is what I do as well…
Update: I had a nice visit with mom Wednesday and will see her again tonight. She is about the same as she has been for the last 3 weeks. Her blood ox is fine, good even, and she is still eating albeit slowly. No obvious pain nor irritations. All things considered, things could be worse.
Have a nice weekend friends! 🙂
BTW…before I go: The Walk to End Alzheimer’s Season is here! 🙂 Here is my team page if you would like to join our team and/or donate. It will take lots $ to extract this nail once and for all. 🙁
Regardless whether you donate, PLEASE attend our walk or one near you. I promise it is worth every second!!!