Tuesday, May 26, 2009


For weeks my physical therapist, Robyn, has been bugging me about my shoes. The first appointment I had with her she told me there was a Mary Jane shoe by Dansko that would alleviate my tendonitis.

She told me the same thing on the second and third weeks, and the fourth and fifth, always with a smile and laugh, never with an I-know-better-than-you attitude. Nevertheless I resisted. My excuses being I liked my old shoes, I had no time to go shoe shopping (I truly didn't), I didn't want to spend the money, and I had a problem with shoes with an elevated heel.

The last excuse was the biggest and most legitimate. Even the lowest heels did something to my posture that made me exhausted. I always chalked it up to the fatigue from Lyme disease and gave up on anything but absolutely flat shoes.

So I held out. I wore the flimsy, converse-style sneakers I already owned and Robyn had reluctantly conceded might be OK. Weeks went by and my tendonitis slowly got better, then got a little worse, then a little better and then worse again. At last I had to admit it might be worth giving the Danskos a try.

When I put them on, I was amazed. My feet simply felt good. Walking around in them made my lower legs actually feel stronger, and made me feel happier. I kept them on all day, and went for a long walk in the afternoon.

After the walk my heels hurt and my Achilles tendon felt cramped. It was the elevated heel on the shoe.

I stretched my Achilles gently, and again before bed. I stretched them when I woke up in the morning, then decided to make a leap of faith and put the Danksos on for second day. I kept them on until the end of the day.

My calves ached here and there, and my Achilles tendon still needed stretching, but by the third day, my body had adjusted.

I am now wearing these shoes every day and I love them. I feel stronger when I have them on, my legs feel stable (there’s no other word for it) and I feel just a little bit more relaxed and confident, all the time. It’s great.

Post Script on the Tendonitis:

This has not cleared up entirely yet, but the new shoes have been a big—well—step forward. I am continuing with the myofascial release and physical therapy and making slow progress that has nonetheless been consistent over the past month. Robyn has admitted my recovery is slower than most peoples’, and we’ve chalked that up to Lyme disease. It will likely be months more before I am dancing again. Meanwhile, I’ve rediscovered the joy of yoga and am getting reacquainted with sit-ups and push-ups.

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