My last post piqued some curiosity in my unusual foot problem. And, since I’m here to please, I will now document my ailments of the podiatric nature.
Gore Disclaimer: Don’t worry – you saw the worst picture in my last post, and I won’t re-show it. Although there ARE pictures contained in this post, there isn’t anything to make you feel queasy again. Just my dirty feet taken by a low-quality camera phone (it WAS pre-blogging days, after all).
It all started in December of 2004. One day, I walking along in the Galleria parking lot minding my own business, then all of a sudden, BAM!!! The ball of my left foot all of a sudden swelled up, turned purple and green and blue, and felt like I had millions of tiny double-sided nails inside my foot.
It was quite odd, but really cool at the same time. I mean, who doesn’t like a good out-of-nowhere bizarro un-injury every now and then?
A few minutes later, the feeling of nails in my foot went away. A few hours later, the swelling went down. And in a few days, the discoloration went away.
So I didn’t think much more about it.
Until about a week later, when it happened again! Out of nowhere!! Except this time it was slightly worse than last time.
So I did the most logical thing I could think of: I went to a Podiatrist.
He was a fairly young guy – new in the Podiatry World. And he had a touch of “geek” to him, so of course, he thought my foot was super nifty.
He x-rayed it. He studied it. He even sent me to get MRIs. He went to his books and tried to find an answer. He called his other Podiatrist friends. After about three visits, he finally said, “I have NO idea what is wrong with your foot – but it’s REALLY cool!!!”
I continued to have these “flare-ups” about once a week, each one getting a little worse. Always out of nowhere – doing nothing unusual – my foot would just decide to implode.
So next, my young geeky Podiatrist referred me to his Podiatric Surgeon buddy.
That appointment was MOST horrific. I about ran out of Mr. Podiatric Sugeon’s office screaming.
His analysis was that my toes curved up too much when I walked, which put too much pressure on the ball of my foot, hence causing my implosions. To fix it, he wanted to sever the huge tendon that ran from the top of my foot to my big toe – a perfectly good tendon mind you – SO THAT MY BIG TOE COULD NEVER MOVE AGAIN.
What do I look like?!?!? Your Frankenstein???
No Thank You.
So my next stop was another Podiatrist. This one was a customer of the company I worked for, so I decided to give him a try.
Hint: Never go to a customer-doctor, because then you feel awkward when you decide that you don’t want to see him anymore.
This Podiatrist decided that the best mode of treatment was to give me Cortisone Shots DIRECTLY INTO THE BALL OF MY FOOT.
LOTS of Cortisone.
I don’t mind shots. I don’t even mind giving blood. But let me tell you: a shot full of steroids directly into such close quarters as a foot ball is p-a-i-n-f-u-l.
The medicine has nowhere to go, so it burns and stings and pushes against the walls of your foot and it’s just plain awful. And then, of course, you’re expected to walk out of the office and drive home as if you had the use of two feet.
After three of these “treatments” and NO improvement, I decided that wasn’t working out too well for me.
By now it’s May of 2005 – five months have gone by of doctors being befuddled by my condition and treating me in medievally torturous manners, all the while my foot imploding about once a week.
I finally decide it’s time to get serious: I go and see my fourth doctor, this time an Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in none other than FEET.
He took more x-rays, and then came in my room and matter-of-factly told me exactly what my problem was.
He said that my Sesamoid bone had become detached and was floating around in the ball of my foot. Every now and then it would hit a nerve or a blood vessel, and that was what was causing the implosions. He could even show me this rogue bone on the X-Ray.
His recommendation was to do surgery, wire my floater bone back in place, and voila – I’d be golden.
This would require 6 weeks on crutches with no weight on my foot at all.
I readily agreed, being that he was the first Doctor to seem to a) know what he was doing, and b) make sense.
Well, after hopping around on crutches for weeks (which I got REALLY good at – I could beat Chris in a foot/crutch race) and getting a new cast every couple of weeks (at which point I could see the lovely shade that my foot had taken on),
I finally was given a clean bill of health.
However, the pain didn’t subside.
It was different pain – no implosions – more like a constant low level sensitivity and pain in that foot.
It was at THIS point that my surgeon found it a good time to tell me that my condition was so rare that he had never seen it before and would likely never see it again.
Well THAT was a timely delivery of information.
He tried a few non-surgical therapies which did no good. He finally determined that the surgery did not work, and that the best course of action was to “simply” remove my Sesamoid bone altogether.
So, in January of 2006, I had my second foot surgery, this time only requiring four weeks on crutches, and much less swelling and gore in general.
After healing up from that surgery, all has been pretty normal. Besides the fact that I never got feeling back into my big toe and the ball of my foot, thanks to a few nerves jumping in front of the scalpel.
Darn suicidal nerves.
And now you know my Great Podiatric Adventures.