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The Excruciating Pain of Plantar Fasciitis

In the beginning of the lockdown, I set myself up to building a new “stay home” routine that would keep me happy and functional. I took walks in the morning and evening, started cooking again (I haven’t cooked in ten years), read a lot of books on my reading list, and kept a very close eye on how I was spending my money. I also picked up something new: gardening. It was a complete joy.

I did all of these inside the house, bare feet. And I did my walks outside with flipflops.

A couple months into the lockdown, my feet started to ache, especially in the morning after I woke up. Then I contracted dengue and had to be admitted in the hospital for one whole week. I was so heavily medicated that I stopped thinking about the ache in my feet. My whole body obviously had more urgent matters to deal with. But a month after the dengue episode, the ache returned and this time even worse than before. On some days I couldn’t even stand up due to the excruciating pain in my heels.

I decided to go to the hospital again, this time to get checked up by an orthopedic.

The diagnose? Plantar Fasciitis. Treatment? Steroid injections.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot condition, affecting more women than men. It involves inflammation of the tissue that connects your toes to your heels. One of the reason women are more prone to suffer this is because women who are inside the house taking care of children or other chores are constantly using their feet, and often without proper indoor footwear. Too much standing or walking in high heels can also cause the inflammation.

I was aghast. The injections hurt like (insert some swear words). It really was that painful. And the steroid injections were expensive. They helped, but only for a couple weeks. I had to incorporate new habits such as daily stretches for the feet, inserting silicone gel pads inside my shoes, and wearing padded footwear inside the house. I still do all of this up until today.

Recently I met an older woman and was telling her about the shots. Her reply was “how many shots?” which made me almost pass out. One injection per heel was already traumatic enough for me! Apparently she had to get the shots quite often due to the her chronic pain.

This experience with plantar fasciitis has made me rethink everything about my footwear. The one good thing about all of this is, I think I won’t ever have to wear heels again.

Read more about symptoms and causes of plantar fasciitis here. To see stretches for heel pain, click here.

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Covid Hoax and Hopes – Podcast Episode 1

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A new feature, which is as trendy as trendy gets this year… PODCASTING! In my podcast I interview women around Southeast Asia to bring their unique stories and experiences to empower other women. It’s the perfect way to introduce inspiring voices to this website.

Anna Meiliana, scientist

In this first episode, I interview Anna Meiliana. She is a scientist at Prodia Clinical Laboratorium, but not just any scientist. Anna is the scientific assistant for the chairman of the company. It’s safe to say she has the insider’s information on scientific progression of the virus which changed all of our lives this year. “Covid Hoax and Hopes” covers her current clinical experiments, to an in depth explanation of different types of tests, predictions on vaccines, and all the way to how this situation has changed her life habits. Listen in –all you have to do is click play!

Leave some questions in the comments, and maybe Anna will answer them in a future episode! If you want to share your story with me, let me know via the contact form.

The first episode is with special thanks to BASE Recording Studio.

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How to Stay Calm During Stressful Situations with this Breathing Technique

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Box breathing, also known as four-square breathing, is a deep breathing technique that will help you stay calm in stressful situations. It is especially useful when an emergency arises, and you really need to stay calm instead of panicking. With a calmer attitude and clearer mind, you will be able to assess the situation at hand and see what needs to be done.

This breathing technique is also useful if you have a high pressure job that needs extreme concentration, or when there is a high stake moment like an important sales pitch coming up. Resetting your breath and grounding your mind will relax your body, which will increase your performance. I myself use this breathing technique almost on a daily basis.

Watch this tutorial to understand how it works. When you try it, make sure to expand the rib and the belly as you are inhaling. Shallow, fast chest breaths will only cause you to panic more. Repeat as many times as you need.

The relaxing music in the video is by Bensound. To read more about deep breathing techniques, visit this article from Medical News Today. To read daily habits for improving self performance, visit this blogpost.

If you have found this video useful, please leave a comment, share, or subscribe so airinefferin can visit your inbox!