Am I the only one who goes to a doctor sort of hoping for a definitive bad-news diagnosis? I want my dentist to tell me I need a root canal, because it justifies my going to the trouble of making an appointment and it gives me a solution to the pain.

I stumbled and twisted my ankle when I was in the 9th grade. It hurt like a mother and the ER said it was probably a “contusion” and gave me an Ace bandage and crutches. When I went to the real doctor, I was initially kind of excited when I found out I had a cracked growth plate. Until he put me in a cast and told me I’d have to miss the drill team’s performance at the Thanksgiving football game, The Turkey Bowl. Then I cried.

I felt like crying yesterday when I left the orthopedist’s after learning that I have a stress fracture in my lateral sesamoid bone. I don’t know how much further along my healing would be had I known this in FEBRUARY when it happened. I certainly wouldn’t have continued to try to go to Zumba and martial arts classes.

In one respect, I feel validated. There’s a reason it still hurts all these months later. Presumably, it will heal and I will be able to resume some activity. But I’m also depressed because it could take 18 MONTHS to heal.

Also, the doctor didn’t give me a satisfying solution. He recommended a couple of products I could buy online. “Just try a bunch of different orthotics and inserts and see what works.”

And get a pair of those hideous “rocker sole” tennis shoes, because they take pressure off the ball of the foot. Come back in four months and we’ll take some more X-rays.

He wrote a prescription to modify my orthotics, but didn’t really tell me where to go to do that. Not that I was all that happy with the podiatrist who mailed the orthotics to a lab that took more than two weeks to sloppily cut a hole under the sesamoid.  “Oh, there’s a lab in town that does it. Northwest something.” My physical therapist might be able to do it too.

The most encouraging part of the experience was getting a doctor’s note to cancel my gym membership. Let’s see if they actually let me do that. The tech who wrote the note thought they might actually refund some money for the past 7 months. I’m not too optimistic about that.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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