Wednesday, July 08, 2009

North To Alaska

In just over three hours we will be departing Houston and headed for Fairbanks, Alaska for a 11 day vacation. We've been wanting to do this for thirty years and now we're actually doing it.

We will be meeting others in Seattle for the flight on up to Fairbanks. Judy's sister, Joyce, and husband, Allen, along with some of their friends from New Orleans and our tour guide will be in the group.

We will have dinner in Fairbanks and then a bus ride to our lodge near the entrance of Denali National Park.

Early Thursday the adventure really begins as we board a bus that will take us deep into Denali National Park and fairly close to Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America. Judy and I will be returning to the lodge by small airplane that will take us up and around Mt. McKinley so that we can see it up close. Opportunity of a lifetime and we didn't want to miss it.

From there, we travel by train to Anchorage and then on to our ship, the Diamond Princess, for the inside passage cruise with lots of stops before arriving in Vancouver. By then we will be ready to head for home.

I have enough camera gear to make a Hollywood type movie so there should be plenty of pictures and videos later on. So stay tuned.

The adventure begins...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Plantar Fasciitis

Ever hear of Plantar Fasciitis? Well I have and it's not a fun subject.

What is Plantar Fasciitis? It's a painful foot problem. Simply stated, on manmade surfaces we often roll inward (pronation) flattening the arch and overstretching the plantar fascia (a thick, powerful layer of ligament-like tissue that fans out over the sole of your foot). Your feet strike the hard, manmade surface an average of 5 to 10 thousand times a day. With pronation, the plantar fascia tissue gets continuously overstretched and inflamed and that's why it hurts!

And it hurts like a SOB sometimes. Enough that I finally went to see a foot doctor after two months of suffering. After exploring the options I ended up getting an anti-inflammatory, cortisone injection directly in the area of the heel where it hurt most. I can't take regular oral anti-inflammatory medication due to my heart problem.

Well it continued hurting the rest of the day but the next day I was 100% free of pain. That allowed me to really get after some of those projects I had been trying to do before we left on vacation July 8th. The most pressing project was to finish up repairing the irrigation system so our plants and lawn wouldn't burn up while we're gone.

Wouldn't you know it, the following day the pain was back and has remained so without letup. Looks like I may be hobbling around like a beat up war vet wherever we go while we're away, which, by the way, includes a lot of walking in Alaska and then a lot of walking on board the ship. Walking is definitely going to be a problem.

Anyway, I learned a lot about "heel pain" in general and a lot more about Plantar Fasciitis. The only way to treat it is time and doing some stretching exercises. You can bet I'm doing those. Even so, it still hurts and as of right now has knocked me out of doing anything but sitting and waiting for the pain to let up some.

Oh yea, if you have a stone bruise that doesn't get well in two or three days, you may well have Plantar Fasciitis. And if you allow it to go untreated for a long time you may create other more serious problems with your feet. See a doctor. Then stay off your feet, except for those stretching exercises, for a while. Hopefully, it will go away in less than a year. Yea, a year... Good luck.