Joanne Jamerson is a vibrant, engaging, caring, thoughtful, classy, and wise lady.
You may have come across her path. She serves on the governing board of Doctors Hospital of Manteca, is involved with Sunrise Kiwanis, is a member of Manteca Soroptimists, actively promotes the Manteca Senior Center, is part of the citizens’ group behind the push for South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s drive to enter retail electrical service, and knows her way around a (charity) roulette table.
She also reminded me why it is always important to offer personal insights to others as you never know when you can make a difference. That, of course, requires a willingness on your part to listen.
It was several days after I hit an emotional brick wall. I had developed a soft corn on the top of a hammertoe that had burst at the same time I was suffering a gout flare-up on my knee. It produced a nice one-two excruciating pain punch. It was enough to convince me to see a doctor for the second time in my life outside of either a physical or a trip to the emergency room either on a back board (twice) after bicycle crashes or for a dozen bee stings, being T-boned at 50 mph, and having a cross-beam from a building I was helping demolish fall on my leg when the structure unexpectedly collapsed.
Dr. Anil Sain examined my feet — both sport bunions and hammertoes. He noted the redness on the hammertoe with the corn and on the adjoining bunion that is classified as extreme.
His concern was that I might have an infection, indicated surgery may be in order, and sent me to a podiatrist. I was fairly sure my bunion was fine as it hadn’t caused me pain or cramped my activities for 30 plus years. But I was freaking out about the hammertoe. It hurt big time. While Dr. Sain was concerned about a potential infection, I focused on the fact I couldn’t tell whether it had somehow moved even tighter toward the bottom of my foot pushing it even higher. I couldn’t put on a shoe and I certainly couldn’t push down on it to see if it was still flexible due to the pain and a need to let the area impacted by the corn heal.
I gleaned through every piece of information I could get about hammertoe and bunion surgery. I wasn’t a happy camper. Not only were there long range issues there was a high probability things wouldn’t go 100 percent perfect. In a best case scenario I’d have to curtail my activities significantly for six months to a year.
I’m a fanatic when it comes to exercise. I’ve been doing it on a daily basis including in pouring rain, snow, and 110-degree days since age 30. I’ve only gone five days in the past 28 years that I did not jog, bicycle, or jump around in group exercise classes like a crazy man.
There is also my fear of gaining weight that I’ve recorded religiously every day on a calendar since losing 125 pounds over the course of nine months 28 years ago after peaking at 320 pounds.
I immediately and methodically started cutting food intake and essentially went cold turkey on my last indulgence — the equivalent of 1,000 calories of cookies every day.
I figured I’d have to resign myself to long walks that I started doing after my jogging looked — and felt — as painful as Dennis Weaver running as Chester Goode as Matt Dillon’s sidekick on Gunsmoke. I mixed that with the light weight workout I had been doing at home every day or so for the past year or so on top of using free weights in gym classes.
I had resigned myself that it could very well be the extent of my exercise for a long time, if not forever. But that is until I sat down with a chat with Joanne. It was about a story about JoDean Hart at Golden Valley Credit Union retiring at the end of February.
The conversation got around to how I was doing and my foot.
Then Joanne mentioned how she “reinvents” herself periodically so she doesn’t get in a rut and slip into the rabbit’s hole of being lethargic or getting snared in the quicksand of self-pity.
That was a month ago
Today I feel if I can take on the world. I do not need surgery. I have fine-tuned my eating habits even more to the point I dare say I’m eating clean except for once a week when I eat lunch at Rotary. I’ve already seen the difference. I no longer get hungry as I would get even five weeks ago when I was consuming 4,000 calories.
I’ve toned done my “wild man exercising act” a bit and mixed in 40 minutes of reps with lighter weights.
The result is deeper sleep, increased strength, and more stamina for everything from exercise, work, and tackling odd jobs around the house. As an added bonus my weight has dropped for the first time in three years slipping five pounds to 160.
That’s important as that is five less pounds pounding my frame and feet as I draw near 60 years of age.
And I owe it in part to Joanne willing to offer her two cents.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 209.249.3519.