I started my hunt by asking for advice from the locals. Where might I find the best ones? Where had they seen anything that might be similar? Where should I even start?
They gave me a name of a doctor and the name of a store. I was about to get started on my search for something to relieve the pain I have been dealing with for over a month!
How do you say shoe inserts in Spanish? Plantillas ortopédicas.
My problem started with all of the burpees and jumping required while doing the Insanity workout videos. After a couple of days, I noticed that my left foot was hurting whenever I jumped. And then I started practicing some salsa choreography for a performance using my high-heeled dance shoes. I could only use them twice before the pain in the ball of my left foot was so intense that I was almost in tears.
Now I’ve stopped doing Insanity and jumping exercises. I’m still doing modified HIIT workouts and going to the gym a couple of times a week and I’m using the elliptical and stationary bike instead. I’ve been wearing athletic shoes to dance classes and choreography practices (my dance instructor isn’t happy). But the pain in the ball of my left foot has progressed to the point where it hurts as soon as I step foot out of bed in the morning. I can’t go barefoot anymore on my tiled floor in my apartment. Even walking around in my classroom in my work shoes is starting to bother me.
I’m pretty sure I have Metatarsalgia. I asked for a referral from our school nurse and she found a doctor for me to talk to… but he doesn’t take appointments. And he is only available on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays in the mornings. I’m going to try to see him on Wednesday in the hope that his office will be less busy and I won’t have to miss too many classes.
So yesterday I began my hunt for orthopedic shoe inserts while I wait to get an official diagnosis from a doctor. We went into a pharmacy and about five shoe stores in the mall to no avail. The only inserts we found were a super thin foam layer (not even a gel insole like you would find everywhere in the States). Oh, the joys of shopping in Venezuela!
In the end, my hunt was successful! Thankfully, I had brought two friends who suggested that we go in the “As Seen on TV” store where I would have never thought to look on my own. We found a single pair of inserts and blessedly they happened to fit my foot!
I tried them out in my athletic shoes for the three hours of dance classes I had yesterday and I left with my feet feeling great! Today, I will try the inserts out again in my Kizomba class and follow it up with another few hours of dancing in the park.
Wish me luck!