In mid-2011 I realized that I had been experiencing tendonitis and bursitis in my left Achilles tendon for three years. The podiatrist I was seeing had given me cortisone shots, stretching exercises, and advised I rest it. Nothing really worked. I was a marathon runner, not totally compliant with resting it, and ran whenever I felt well enough to do so.

In December 2011 I injured the big toe on my right foot. I continued to run, but it didn’t seem to be healing. An X-ray revealed it was broken.

In early 2012 I was in pain from both issues and having trouble walking. I didn’t know what treatment was best. Should I get physical therapy? It was at this time that a representative from ConnectCare3 visited my office to explain the benefits of their service. I recall as she was speaking that I was wondering, “Could they help me?” I contacted them right away and they helped me immensely. One of their nurses located a foot and ankle specialist, and I also began physical therapy. After three months of therapy, my symptoms had greatly improved.

In September 2012 I started having pain in my lower back. The pain radiated down into my buttocks, leg, and extended into my foot. Getting through the day was a struggle as I was in constant pain. Getting in and out of my car was painful, and I couldn’t sleep at night. An MRI revealed a bulging disc. My PCP prescribed some painkillers and steroids by mouth. He also recommended that I get physical therapy, but it was too painful for me to endure. The physical therapist said I needed an injection in order to tolerate the therapy. I contacted a local pain management clinic. My call was ignored for one week, even though my PCP had indicated I needed this injection ASAP. I called ConnectCare3, and they came to my rescue again! One of their nurses was able to facilitate an appointment at another pain management clinic. I received the injection and was able to begin physical therapy.

After a second injection three weeks later, I was 75-80% back to normal and continued physical therapy for three months. I am able to do a lot now but not totally pain-free. I participate in cross-fit workouts at my gym three times each week. It is my understanding that strengthening one’s core will also help to strengthen your back. I’m also playing softball again this season. Even though I’m in my mid-50’s, I feel like I’m “holding my own” against younger participants.

I am very thankful that my employer offers ConnectCare3 services to us as part of our medical benefits. I had no idea how to get help for the injuries I sustained when my doctor’s suggestions were not working. I will always be grateful for the guidance I received from my ConnectCare3 nurse to help me find the resources I needed to return to all the activities I enjoy. My brother and I always wanted to participate in The Amazing Race. Perhaps it’s not too late!