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Thursday, June 16, 2016

The "And ... The Medical Saga Continues" Story

Parts of the foot are shown
It was an ordinary day.  Seems days like these are beginning to be more ordinary than in the past.  Another trip to the doctor's office to find out why my foot hurt so bad every time I had to walk from my beach chair to the water to get into the 85 degree waters of the Caribbean.  I know .... you can't feel too sorry for me, can you.  It all began a day or two after we arrived in St. Martin.  I thought I might have stepped on something in my bare feet on the beach, but the pain grew more intense as vacation continued.  Didn't care to go to the nearby clinic, since a few years ago I went to the clinic when I had shingles and the doctor was at a loss for a prognosis.  My wife, Carol, who had shingles a few years ago, told the doctor that it looked like shingles to her.  The doctor pulled shingles up on his computer and pronounced that is what I had.  So, I didn't care to return there for a pain in my foot.  A few days after returning home I went to the foot doctor I had made a visit to a year or so ago when I began to have numbness in my left foot.  The doctor at that time had no clue what was causing it, as did a few other doctors, so I now have a foot that is half numb, except for this terrible pain in the heal.  Carol told me it was Plantar Fasciitis, since she also had that in the past and it was the same place and pain that I now have.  Often wonder why I just don't listen to her instead of visiting the doctor.  Sure enough it was Plantar Fasciitis and if you have ever had it you know what the pain feels like.  In my case it is a sharp pain in the side of my heel where there is no numbness.  Seems that the injury is a common problem among people who are active in sports.  Kinda leaves me out for that reason.  It started as a dull intermittent pain in the heel which progresses to a sharp persistent pain, usually when I took my first few steps after sitting for a time or when I got out of bed in the morning.  The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous material on the bottom of the foot.  It is attached to the heel bone, fans forward toward the toes, and acts like a bowstring to maintain the arch of the foot.  Tension of any nature can cause an overload that produces an inflammation usually at the point where the fascia is attached to the heal bone.  My result was PAIN.  My doctor said I should take a multi-day routine of steroid pills to see how that worked.
The splint I was given to help
with my foot.  I was to wear it
at night.  I almost fainted when
I saw my insurance has to pay
$225.00 for it.  
 And, I was given a foot splint to wear when I went to bed to keep my foot pulled forward.  First evening I took seven pills.  Next morning I felt great, but that lasted until lunch.  I was to wait two weeks before I returned, but I called after one week and changed the appointment to that afternoon.  This time she gave me a steroid injection in my heel.  Wasn't the most painful medical procedure I have ever had done, but close to the most painful.  That evening I felt great.  That was two days ago and it still hurts.  The directions I got from her tell me that it may not work for a few days, so I'm still hoping.  Then this evening, at my grandson's baseball game, I was talking with an old friend who said he used a golfball and placed it under his foot and rotated his foot on the golfball while watching TV while seated.  Well, I don't play golf, so I tried a tennis ball, which I don't play either, but just happened to have one of those around the house.  Seems to help so I don't have the severe pain when I first stand after sitting.  I will visit with a physical therapist early next week who will probably .... tell me to use a golf ball when seated.  My saga continues, but I thought I would give you a later update so that I can tell all who are going through the same as I am, I am told there is light at the end of the tunnel.  What that may be I don't know, but I'm hoping I'll be able to walk on the boardwalk in Ocean City when we visit in July with the family.  I'll keep you informed.


Update:  The pain is slowly subsiding with the help of my physical therapist.  Has me working on a few exercises as well as working on my foot during therapy visits.  I can now work at the framing gallery for a few hours at at time and not have to crawl to the car to head home.  In another two weeks I will visit the doctor once again to report my progress.  I will keep you informed after that. 

Second update:  Returned to the doctor once again for a followup.  We talked and I told her it was much better, but still not the way I was hoping it would be.  She gave the the option of another injection, more visits to the physical therapist or a combination of both.  I chose the last one and received another shot.  Didn't even feel this one.  Told me that was because I didn't have the inflammation in my foot anymore. Was able to walk from the car to the baseball field to watch another of my grandson's ball games without any pain.  Hoping all is well once again.  Life is marvelous, but getting older is hell!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.    

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