Sunday, July 05, 2009

Monday Irritations

The next post I want to write is celebratory, so I'll just get some whining out of the way now, like a front blowing through before the sunshine.
  1. Potty
  2. My feet

Ellie was ready to potty train at 18 months. She had both awareness and control at an early age. She'd always worn cloth diapers and did not like the feeling of being wet or dirty. She was a regular sort of gal, and started depositing her morning offering into the potty chair rather than her diaper before she was even 2 years old, as long as we got her out of her crib at her request and didn't make her wait too long.

But we didn't potty train Ellie for more than a year after that, during which time we lapsed into disposable diapers, pull-ups, and putting Ellie on the potty at irregular intervals. Ellie was nearly 2-1/2 before she could walk quickly to the potty from various places around the house. She was older than that before she could pull her pants up and down by herself. We didn't want to take her out of diapers before she could toilet herself without assistance, and I'm still not sure if that was the right call or not. It certainly led to many extra months of enforcing bad habits.

The only reason Ellie doesn't have more accidents now is her iron bladder. She can hold it for hours and hours and hours when she wants to . . . until the next time someone forces her to the bathroom or she just gives up and has an accident. I'm trying to see it as a big step forward that she's been telling me when she has had an accident lately, rather than ignoring it. Our big mistake with Ellie: not making her take ownership of the process. And that is HARD to correct.

Ellie also spends ridiculous amounts of time on the toilet doing nothing except touching things that shouldn't be touched (hair on the toilet seat? why not? hands rubbing the top of the bowl? good fun!). These things make me crazy and I'm very glad that cameras do not follow me into bathrooms capturing my worst parenting moments.

With Ada my complaint list is shorter: aim. Keep it in the potty, little one! I love your independence but wish you didn't somehow tinkle over the front edge of the toilet and onto your socks, especially at Lowe's. That is all.

My feet.

I have plantar fasciitis. Basically, I have fallen arches. They hurt a lot, though not all the time. Years ago, I had to give up my two favorite exercises, cardio kickboxing and rollerblading, because I was whimpering with pain after increasingly shorter intervals of activity. Giving up the only exercises I enjoyed led to - you guessed it! - weight gain.

Militant attention to stretches, proper shoes, and taking of anti-inflammatory drugs shoved the problem into remission, though I still couldn't run, squat, or skate. But at least I could walk around without pain.

Then I spent a week on the beach, walking in sand (boo hiss) and in flip flops (nasty, terrible things). Since then I've been - as usual - carrying children around. And my feet have been hurting again, more than ever. It's terrible.

So lots of stretching and no working out for me last week, this week, probably for a few weeks to come. Which sucks.

By the way, if you've never been fat you probably don't know this. When you go to the doctor for ANY reason while fat, the doctor suggests that the fat is the problem. Your feet hurt? Lose weight! In my case, the foot pain indirectly caused the weight gain, not the reverse. Official advice for treating plantar fasciitis: stretch, wear supportive shoes ALL the time, ice, drugs, rest/avoid extended physical activities, LOSE WEIGHT.

That's a neat trick! If I figure out how to lose weight while resting and avoiding extended physical activities, I'll be sure to let you know. And I'll only charge you a few thousand dollars for the knowledge. That should pay for all my orthopedic shoes . . .

Tomorrow: good things!


RobMonroe said...

When you figure out how to lose weight "while resting and avoiding extended physical activity" I will help you market the idea and we can share the millions(and enjoy being thin again!)

RobMonroe said...

For the record - the content is better than the first two points made it out to be. I totally envisioned one of the girls (or both, for that matter) having peed on your feet! Phew.

I think my doctor has given up asking me to lose weight - and I'm not sure that is good for me!

(from the REAL Rob Monroe - that Anny person is just too lazy to sign out and sign back in!)

Krupskaya said...

A couple of things...

Have you tried Okabashi shoes? They are supportive (and have awesome little massage nubbins) and might help scratch the flip-flop (or other slip-on shoes) bug while being kind to your feet. I have three pair, the kids have some, Mr. K got some and thought they were stupid and now wears them all the time.

Maia is also built in such a way that the pee tends to come straight forward when she's sitting on the pot (or peeing in the woods)...on the toilet, I would tell her to lean way forward in order to point her anatomy helped, and now that she is older, it's not such an issue.

Kathy G said...

I promise. I girls will not graduate from high school without knowing how to use the bathroom :-)

HiddenChicken said...

This reminds me of my doctor once telling me, "Hey, if you want to lose weight, just eat less and work out more." I believe this comment was made when I was getting only 3 hours or so of sleep a night. It's very easy to say something like that. Execution is not so easy. Particularly if you're not able to work out at all. Good luck. I've had some unfortunate experiences lately with poor bedside manners, so I completely sympathize.

Sarahlynn said...

Anny, it's a deal.

Rob, kill me now. I do not do well with being peed on.

Krupskaya, thank you! I ordered a pair tonight!!!

Ada's potty problem is worse when we're out in a public restroom (already a situation fraught with tension, mostly mine). I love your "lean forward" idea and tried to today. Sadly, Ada felt like she was going to fall off and then became too scared to use the bathroom for the rest of the day. Sigh. This too shall . . . pass.

Kathy, don't be too sure!

HiddenChicken, I hope this wasn't our shared doctor! (That doc never mentions my weight, bless hir heart.)

elissa said...

Monkey is also potty learning, and it is fraught with annoyances, including pee on my feet, sadly. :(

I have no ideas for your feet, other than maybe...water aerobics or swimming? I did W.A. while pregnant and unable to haul my whalebody to a vertical position without pain everywhere, so it would maybe work for sore feet?

Sarahlynn said...

Elissa, I should be going to the pool. It's 5 minutes from my house and part of the fitness club to which we belong, so I have no excuse. I just hate swimming as exercise, not to mention the hassle of making time to go there during lap swimming hours, arranging childcare, and showering/washing my hair afterward. Just such a nuisance!

elissa said...

oh, I hear ya there...basically I don't exercise at all, though, so I'm not going to be a good motivator, haha. I mean, I think hunting for both kids' shoes before we go somewhere counts as at least half a workout...

(I also hate swimming as exercise...I'm more of a bob around or dangle my feet with a drink in hand person...but for some reason the water aerobics was fun. though I quit...hmm.)

IrrationalPoint said...

Can you get supportive insoles that will fit into any shoes? In the UK, you can go to a podiatrist, who will make insoles specially for your feet. They'll help you be a bit more comfortable so you can go about your normal activities without the pain.


Sarahlynn said...

Elissa, that's how I feel about exercise, too. Sadly, I also love to eat. I have to do one or give up the other!

IP, yep. I have some podiatrist supplied custom orthotics and I could buy more over-the-counter ones. The problem is that I don't wear the sort of shoes those fit in very often - I like sandals in the summer and Danskos all the time, both of which I can get with plenty of good support.

And while good shoes/supportive inserts can keep my condition from getting worse, they've not solved the problem. I still can't run, jump, squat, or rollerblade, no matter what sort of shoes I'm wearing. Alas.

But you're right; they definitely help me walk around on a normal basis without pain! (Unless I've done something fun but stupid like walk on a sandy beach during vacation.)

Carmie said...

sorry to hear about your PF problems!

I have PF and feet issues too. One thing that helped me were five finger shoes (

Everyone will tell you that you need to support your arch but the new thinking for PF is that your arch is a muscle that needs to be exercised. When it can support itself, you'll have fewer problems.

Today's shoes encourage "fallen" or atrophied arches. Our ancestors did not walk heel first, as we tend to do.

Anyway, it helped me a ton. I still run with regular shoes (and insoles) but trying to run "naturally" (landing in the middle of the foot, using the arch) has helped a lot.

Sarahlynn said...

Carmie, those shoes are so . . . unusual! Do you wear them just around the house? All the time?

I just finished reading a book about PF that supports what you say about the fascia itself needing to be STRETCHED, not coddled. And the stretches really are helping. Thankfully.

I'll need to look around online to see examples of a "natural" gait. Heel strike feels most natural to me, but I'm willing to try whatever helps!

One last question - do you use OTC or custom insoles in your running shoes?


Carmie said...

The shoes definitely take some getting used to! I wear them as much as I can...your feet need time to become used to them. I turned my mom onto these and now she wears them every day as soon as she gets home from work.

Here's the article that turned me on to them and this way of thinking:

Lots of people marathon and do all of their life activities in these. Ecco is also coming out with a more "natural" shoe:

I currently use OTC insoles for running and custom ones for my work shoes if I have a day when I'll be standing/walking for long periods of time.

I didn't buy the finger shoes in STL but I'd imagine there are places here that you can find them. I tried them on in a store before I bought them, and that cemented it for me! I ended up buying them online for the larger selection (if you do get these, I'd recommend upgrading to the one with a strap across the top of the foot).

Good luck!

j said...

I know this is an old post, but I just had to comment. I recently went to the doctor while fat (I'm about 35 pounds overweight), and he told me that my small arteries (HBP runs in my family) were a result guessed it...being fat!
So I said to him "Can you describe for me the process by which being fat makes my arteries smaller?"
And he couldn't. Because he's talking out of his neck. He said something about the fat squeezing my arteries. I've been the same weight for the last 20 years. And I didn't always have small arteries. I ended up wondering why he wasn't embarrassed to come out with something like that.

Sarahlynn said...

J, that's just . . . ARGH!

Sarahlynn said...

Carmie, I must have read your comments above before I read BORN TO RUN, which I love. I still wear arch supports (I have since I was a very young child, I really do have some sort of structural issue, though now at least I can run without pain!) but my husband runs exclusively in Vibram 5 Fingers. :)