JoElle Galo

First post: Nov 14, 2019 Latest post: Feb 3, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. I really debated whether I should set this up but a friend really pushed me into it, she said, "this way you don't have to remember who you told what and if you don't feel like it you don't have to talk to people 😆. " We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

2019 has been the year of surgery and healing for my body. By the end of the year I will have had 3 MRIs, 6 sets of X-rays, 3 cortisone injections, 3 surgeries, and more PT appointments than I can count on my fingers and toes. 😆. 
I have been struggling with severe plantar fasciitis in both feet for about 3 years. Last year I went through a series of PT, wearing a splint at night, wearing a Strassburg sock at night to pull my toes back, a month in a cast on each foot, hot and cold therapy,  cortisone injection,  red-green-blue band stretches, special orthotics in my shoes, all with no success in reducing the pain in my feet. My orthopedic Dr. determined the only option left was to do a surgical intervention. When we first spoke about doing it, he told me they had only done this surgery 1 other time in the last 2 years and in 22 years he had never had to do it on both feet for anyone. I guess that makes me special!😒. In February I had the right foot done. Surgery consists of an incision in the side of the foot just above the arch. They go in and partially sever the main belly of the plantar fasciitia, and open up the tarsal tunnel to make sure there are no nerve impingements or restrictions.  The recovery is a long road the first 2 weeks are in a splint to allow for swelling, then move into an aircast.  The first 4 weeks are completely non-weight bearing to allow the internal tissue to heal without pulling or tearing.  I got really good at going up and down the stairs on my butt and let me tell you a knee scooter is not nearly as much fun as it looks when someone else is doing it.  😝
Then slowly adding weight to be able to return to full weight bearing and regular shoes with arch and heel support inserts. The full internal healing can take up to 18-24 months. Yes, you read that right that's 2 years!🙄
I needed at least 6 months of recovery before we could do the left foot, which got worse in that time because it was doing all the work during recovery. I had the left foot done in September.   Same procedure, rehab and recovery.
I worked at all 3 of my jobs as much as possible during my recovery periods. If I did a desk job where I sit all day it might have gone better but I am on my feet for extended periods of time at all of them.  I have had a few setbacks during my recovery. The arch part of my right foot is healing well and most of the pain is gone but now the lateral or outside edge belly of the plantar fasciitia is getting pulled and I have had really sharp pain in the heel.  At my check-up for the left foot I expressed my concerns and Dr. Ruda said it does happen but it is quite rare, here we go again with being "Special" 😒.  He ordered PT dry needling to be done. It is very similar to accupuncture, they insert very tiny needles into the nerves in my foot and ankle and add stimulation to it. It is more irritating than painful and the stimulation is like a tens unit.  I have had several treatments and it really seems to be helping so I will continue to do that and my stretching. 30+ years of doing retail, and other jobs where I am on my feet for 6-8 hours a day are the reasons behind my foot issues.
All of this brings me to my current surgery.  2 years ago I had shoulder surgery on my right side. We tried cortisone injections, PT, stretches, all of it just delayed the inevitable. I was feeling the same pain in my left arm and shoulder this summer so I went back to the Orthopedic Doctor and he said, "Well, we know the non-surgical options don't work so let's get the MRI and schedule a time to get it done."  He discribed the MRI as a carbon copy of the right side. I explained I had the left foot surgery scheduled for September and asked how long I needed in-between the two.  He asked how long I had to be non-weight bearing and explained I can't be both on crutches and in a sling at the same time. I guess that makes sense but I wish they could have put me out and done it all!
21 years of doing Massage Therapy and probably overuse by crocheting and knitting have brought me to this point.
My shoulder surgery is scheduled for tomorrow Nov 14 the, exactly 8 weeks after my foot. He expects it to be the same procedure and recovery.
With the right he went in and checked the rotator muscles but they were all good. My bicept tendon was really shredded at the attachment site which is just under your collar bone. He had to sever it from there, shorten it a bit and attach it with a pin into the humourous bone of my arm. He then cleaned up the shoulder joint and removed some arthritis, shortened my clavicle, and smoothed out the labrum. Recovery is a long and honestly painful journey. I have a Continuous Passive Motion Device, or as I call it, The Torture Chair!!😝
It is a chair I sit in and strap my arm to it.  It then moves my arm up and down and at a rotation for 1 hour. I have to have my arm in a sling and can do NO active movement of it for 6 full weeks, so the tendon has time to heal and attach itself to the new location. I know this machine does some good by keeping movement and not allowing my arm to freeze in that position but damn it hurts!😒.  
I have to do the chair 4 times a day at an hour per session and at least 1 hour of rest in-between. Yes, I can do that simple math, that is 8 hours of my day, I also have to go to PT 3 times a week. So if you think I am just sleeping my days away you would be wrong.😢
My right side took a full 5 months to recover before I had the strength to return to massage work. I am cautiously hopefull and that it won't be as bad but I am preparing for the worst.
2020 is going to be a year of healing my body, mind and spirit.

CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. Learn more about CaringBridge.

To interact with JoElle’s website, sign in or register today.

By registering with CaringBridge, you will join over 300,000 people a day who are supporting friends and family members.

Sign In Or Register