I didn't believe it when my podiatrist promised me that custom orthotics would make a big difference in my life......although for $500 I figured they'd better! But ever since I got them Monday afternoon, my ankles, my knees, my hips, and even my back have withstood the assault of almost constant standing and walking with only the barest whisper of protest (instead of the usual screams). It doesn't hurt that I'm almost 30 pounds lighter than I was a couple of months ago, but these funky-looking inserts make me feel more like I'm 130 pounds lighter......I can move faster, easier, and my feet no longer sing "Aida" at the end of a busy shift. It's even apparent to others as well: one of my managers told me yesterday that she'd noticed that I move around much more easily than I used to.
Who'da thunk that flat feet would cause so much distress, and that wearing something that looks so uncomfortable would be so.....well.....comfortable? I was advised to break these things in slowly, a couple of hours a day as tolerated and then building up to wearing them all day. Well, I wore them for SIX hours the first day, and have worn them throughout all three 8-hour shifts this week without a hint of discomfort, and indeed they got me through yesterday's shift from hell in relatively good shape......this morning my back hurt only a little, and ordinarily I'd have had trouble even getting out of bed. My legs and feet, which used to ache for days after a shift like that, don't bother me at all today. (I'm just tired, which is certainly understandable given the crummy weather and my slow recovery from my recent illness.) What a difference!!
So, if you're suffering from foot and/or leg pain, go see your friendly local podiatrist and see if orthotics are right for you.......they're expensive, yes, but if you've got good insurance, it'll pay for at least part of the cost, and hey, if they can keep you working for another five or 10 years, they'll pay for themselves many times over. Up until a couple of months ago, I was thinking my time in floor nursing would be a maximum of 2-3 more years......now, I think I could last at least another five or ten, particularly if I can get my weight under 200# and keep it there. For now, though, I'm just glad I finally gave in and went to the foot doctor instead of continuing to tough it out, working through the pain and limping around.......and feeling 90 instead of 45 by the end of the day.