Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh My Aching...

For the last several days I have been on the go, shopping all over town for Christmas. (Single handedly contributing to those shopping numbers the media will carp about a few weeks from now when they speak of how good or bad the shopping season was/is, before sending the markets teeter-tottering again). At any rate, this probably would have been a good year to do this via internet, and not walking the length and breadth of two of the largest area malls on foot. I have a foot problem that is causing severe pain in my right heel with every strike of my foot to pavement. My podiatrist politely calls it plantar faciitis. But he can't be sure, you see. Could be heel spurs in there. As of this week, might even be a lead in to RA, according to him.

The guy is making me nuts. I have been doctoring for this damnable condition for the last several months. Its plagued me probably for 25 years (and the reason I have faithfully worn orthotic devices in my shoes when I walk any long distance) but lately, the pain has ramped up considerably. This doctor hasn't taken one xray. Not an MRI. Hasn't even really done much examining of my actual foot, other than to hear me try to adequately describe the searing pain I have been having. Ahhh, he nods, seemingly knowingly. " What," I think, "how could he know? He hasn't looked at a thing!"

When does one know that their doctor is not a good doctor? After five pairs of different orthotics, two cortizone shots to the afflicted area and four months time, I'd say. I was in my physical therapist's office two weeks ago and explaining all the foot pain I had (along with the back pain, which is why I was there to begin with). Turns out one is probably connected (well, not literally) to the other. I told the PT who I was seeing (podiatrist) for my foot. His reaction? "Oh....THAT guy?" Probably not the response you want to hear when you are in pain. So now I'm left with...well, NOW what do I do?

So I went to the Internet, of course - that all-knowing reference for anything you may be curious about. (Remember when it was all about looking it up in one of 30 volumes of an encyclopedia?) I googled "plantar faciitis" and got a whole host of information, most of which says the treatments are orthotic devices, if pain persists, cortizone shots, and as a last resort, surgery. So now I'm thinking that, well, that's what I have been doing, so why is all this pain persisting? I have come to the unequivocable conclusion that the podiatrist I have been seeing must NOT have been in the top of his class. So I'm on the hunt for a new one, or perhaps an orthopedic surgeon who can actually assess what's going on through crazy methods like actually taking an xray. Certainly the five pairs of orthotics he's made have clearly not fit right.

One of the other methods of treatment listed is to get off the foot and rest it, waiting for healing of the tissue. Riiiiiight. How in the heck do you NOT use your foot to get around? I'm not ordering a wheelchair. Seems extreme. And who will do the baking, shopping for groceries, cooking, decorating for xmas, wrapping, cleaning, laundry, taking in/out of mail, putting trash out, and so forth if I am incapacitated? Back to my Grandpa Shine story with the dishes ending up in the shower. (See many blogs ago...) So, I'm left with having to live with the pain and get all this crap done too. It's feeling a bit unfair, frankly. When others in my family are hurting they just STOP what they are doing and expect everyone else to cater to them, wait on them, etc., particularly me wait on them. Doesn't seem to ever apply to me (Mom) though.

So ho ho ho, I'll have to carry on and grin and bear the pain. Not feeling all that happy about it. Not happy at all.

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