Sunday, March 11, 2018

SWOLLEN FEET AND... part 2 Midnight special

My primary doctor seemed confused when I said No to a referral to another foot doctor. 
He also seemed to feel that elevating my feet was odd (I had forgotten by then that I got the suggestion from Mayo Clinic and some other places.)

Now I think the first podiatrist I saw in TX was the best, and after searching, I think he's still in the same office. Let's call him Dr. X for the moment.

He had some cream made up for me, which did not help. (I now sometimes use an over the counter one, but not too often.  But, more important, he left me with some important words:  

"Many foot problems start in the legs. " 

I was diagnosed once with peripheral neuropathy.  And let's face it - the more my feet hurt, the less I walk, (and forget the pollen season for walking outside)

Dr. X knew without a demonstration that I couldn't stand on one leg, even standing right by the counter, nor could I walk a straight line.

 He mentioned that the sneakers I was wearing were noticeably more narrow in the toe area than my feet.  Now that I remember his words, I've wasted hours looking for the right shoes and please, not Birkenstocks.  Yes, older women do care how we look.

Also  I will beg my family doctor fore more physical therapy for more balance and gait training.  And any exercises that are good for this osteo arthritis.

 I will still elevate my legs higher than my heart.  (I do my bed-cercises at the same time.)

But it's harder to break the sit-read-sit habit when the world is full of pollen. (When there's no pollen, there's still a mystery novel to encourage sitting') 

One confession - if I get some shoes that don't hurt, I'll have to take one daughter's advice:
 Go to the mall and walk as much as you're supposed to!

I wish you health.

Friday, February 16, 2018

SWOLLEN FEET - IDEAS (not boot camp)

Do balance activities 3 or more days a week.

  • Stand up from a sitting position without using your hands.
When I lived at the beach, I could jog four miles on the hardpack.  Then, bout 4 years ago I was diagnosed with peripheral myopathy.  I passed the arteries-to-my-feet exam with flying colors. Two weeks ago someone who had seen me walking asked if my feet hurt.

Uh, Definitely:  My feet are swollen when I wake and much of the day. I'm overweight, on Prolia, and still on Tamoxifen.  

Then about a week ago I got two very strong reminders about drinking plenty (that's plenty) of water.   Must remember that coffee is not water.  Darn. (Oh, and we're supposed to follow a cup of ethyl with water. Like a whole glass full.  

 I hit the web, and got more hints.  
The swelling may be worse because I'm overweight, and 
Trying to pump fluid from feet back to my heart may be hard on my heart! 

 ( Notation on TW made it hard to tell if this next is from Cleveland Clinic (?)

"You can make small changes to your everyday life to help reduce swelling:
  1. Take a short walk every hour.  
  2. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily. Drinking less actually promotes swelling. (First time I ever heard that.)
  3. Limit your salt intake. .

Mayo Clinic said:  
"Mild edema usually goes away on its own, particularly if you help things along by raising the affected limb higher than your heart."  

In my case,GERD, must elevate feet when stomach is empty.  


For four days, I refused to sit anywhere that I could not prop up my feet.  (Okay, not while driving to the grocery store.)

Before I ate today, I lay down on my back and put a giant old sofa pillow under my feet for ten minutes.  Boring, but, YOU CAN READ WHILE YOU DO THIS (INSERT SMILE) OR:  Do your bed-xer-cizes.

I made sure my water glass was full before taking my thyroid and right beside my coffee mug.

I got a short  water bottle that goes in my car and in my purse.

 I write down my weight every morning first thing;

I write on the fridge chart every time I FILL my water glass.

I try not to stand so long when doing the grocery, library, etc., all at once.

I WILL remember that when I'm at Starbucks, I'm NOT eating!

I will remember that sometimes we think we're hungry when we're really thirsty

And (just between us) I seem to  eat less if I eat what I like  as long as it doesn't have sugar and white flour!


Raise your glasses (WATER) to taking care of you!  

Coming soon : SHOE HATRED!

Monday, February 12, 2018

FREE BUS PASS re Reuters article ref'd on TW MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

 Just saw that article ref'd on TW w many theories on free bus pass benefits.

I say: Doesn't matter whom I would visit, talk to, and it's not primarily about avoiding isolation.

A free bus pass (esp one better than the mess I got into in L.A.) is the difference between:
a)  I am in charge of my day and where I choose to go, or:
b)  I am not in charge of my day, and must beg rides even to go to the doctor, much less where to have fun or be refreshed
(Yes, I know, the bus has to be going places I want to go.)
Any other theories?  All I can say is I remember every moment of not driving before and after the lumbar fusion. I had to lend my car to a friend in exchange for being driven to grocery shopping, and HIRE someone to drive and go with me to the doctor, get food..  As a way to spend the rest of my life?  Try it.

 You may find the article by googling Reuters....

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Stand against over-action and ...

Here I am again against over-test;  This from TW

Are liquid biopsies the future of cancer ? Maybe yes, but then what about "cancers" that may never take hold ? Confused ? We all are. This field of early detection badly needs real human trials.

Friday, January 26, 2018

CANCER - LOOKING FOR TROUBLE makes trouble in all the wrong places?

No, I don't subscribe to the ANNALS OF INTERNAL MED.
but I remember 20 years ago at work when doctors were doing test/don't test for prostate cancer.

If you only get to read the first paras:  DO!

Scrutiny-Dependent Cancer and Self-fulfilling Risk Factors

Brought to my attention from Ken Covinsky on TW  @jeri_doc

Wednesday, December 20, 2017




1        My doctor knows who is good at mammograms.

2       The mammo group he recommended (after he heard my experience at a local hospital) has new equipment and they know what they’re doing.  They have enough good MammographyTechnologists so I can be in and out before I start imagining things.

3        I wait with others who've just done their mammos, in warm comfort  

4.      THEY LET ME KNOW SOMETHING BEFORE I LEAVE!   .  This makes me more likely to make an appointment because I know I will leave there with information instead of imagination.)
This also  lets me schedle my scan a short week before I see my wonderful oncologist; I know if the news is unsettling or just plain bad, it will only be a few days before I can see him.

5       Mammos are primarily what they do in this local unit.  It helps with coordination and makes me more confident that they know their stuff.

.       I take care of myself.   I remember before all mammos to remind them I have scar tissue from a long ago surgical biopsy of the same breast that is focused on these days. If they make you fill out a breast surgery history, insist on a copy to take into the room with you.

OTHER SCANS & Pictures


      PRIVACY:  If nurse comes in for you, insist on talking heavy stuff in the hall! ( At the hospital:  Nurse stood in doorway, told woman she would have to go to another area because she needed two procedures instead of one. This was a hard surprise for her to hear, probably scary.)  

    BIG SCANS  like MRI:

1       Talk to someone who has had one.  My boss told me she thought of tunes that the pings fit into, so it wasn’t just noise.  Ask her what you need, like ear plugs, nerve meds, or whatever.  And ask if you’re going to be warm enough – I get chills for no particular reason.It was only my lower trunk because of the spondylolisthesis and I knew the loud bongs wouldn’t be in my face.

2       I luckily had a great guy pushing my gurney – he spoke to me, offered ear plugs and asked if I’d been offered anything for my nerves.  I didn’t ask if I’d need a blanket.   If no one asks or offers, you must ask for what you want.

So;   Try to go in knowing what you may want.  Go in determined to ask (nicely) for what you think you need.  /And remember some things aren't worth fighting for.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


When I left the medical bldg after my very, very tardy Prolia shot (talk about being allergic to the world for some weeks) I was handed a fistful of orders for things to do.  And I knew one of them was for a new breast exam - typing this I get a mental blind spot...oh yes, it's called a....mammogram.  I blame the blind spot on my age not on voluntary amnesia'.

Another order was for bone density, but I was only curious about that one.  The annoying part is getting no results until I see my oncologist, who handles my bone stuff these days.

I've read a lot about scanxiety today to see......what?  To see if my pushing mammo thoughts out of my head is normal.  It's normal:

To think of my friend in another state, and how she hasn't told me yet if she really is refusing treatment from now on.

To think of my best friend from my beach days, who died too young of breast cancer that the mammo of those days did not find. Or was it no different from the one I get tomorrow?

And to realize some things I'm doing that I didn't want to do, and sorta did want to - like some drawing.  I can obsess on that and forget that I'm maybe hiding from the mammo.

To make these days more interesting:

We've had bad weather lately, the kind women formerly from CA do not drive in willingly. Like there were still sturdy hailstones on my car the second morning from snow storm two days ago.  But now it's balmy forecasts for this week.

I scheduled Onco Dr.  for Thursday, so if the mammo people tomorrow think they see a problem, I only  need to wait from tomorror to Thursday to talk to him.

I remember I may have been the only person who really, really hated the stereotactic biopsy that revealed the DCIS, the only good thing about it was meeting the ultra-qualified imaging guide for that, who is from CA and super nice.  And going to Starbucks afterward.

But also I remember how much I hated the phone manner of the doctor who said "there was cancer."

I have good thoughts, like: the lumpectomy surgeon is a good guy and I don't even know if he's still practicing,

And my oncologist is kind, friendly, respectful, and....the first day I was filling out paperwork to meet him, a woman next to me said You got the good doctor!  And he is.

ChaChing advises us to accept a result we may not like:  If I don't like tomorrow's findings, I couldn't have a better doctor, better friends, a wonderful daughter here in town.  But Money for miracle drugs ...not so much. 

I've had some really kind , really skilled doctors so far.  And I know some amazingly kind cancer survivors here.

That's a start.