A Fractured Tale: Part One

Almost exactly two years, I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, hunched over a monologue. I sat like that for two hours while memorizing, and when I tried to go to class, I found that my left foot hurt too much to use.

Being a woman and a college student and, well, myself, I walked on it anyway. I also did six shows, went to Europe for five months, swing and jazz danced,  did cheerleading stunts and jumps, went to the gym and used the elliptical several times a week, wore heels, worked a summer job where I walked for six hours a day, quit that job and got another job where I walked six hours a day, and then got yet another job that is all walking.

Through all of this, my foot hurt. A lot. And while it hurt a good amount from the time I felt the first pain, since I started working my serving job it’s gotten really, really bad. Like, choosing not to do things because it hurt too much bad. Sometimes, it hurt too much to touch with my fingertips. In trying to avoid putting weight on the affected area of my foot (the ball), I started walking on the side of my foot, which then began to ache. At this point, I decided that I needed to get it looked at while I’m still on my parents’ insurance.

I narrowed down which doctor to go to using the very scientific method called The One That Actually Answered the Phone. But the lady on the other end of the phone was also really nice, which I thought boded well. While out to lunch with Jess yesterday, she asked me if I was excited for my appointment and I said that I was. “It’ll be nice to finally know what’s wrong.”

My appointment was today and I was surprised how nervous I was. I felt like I was going to cry when I gave the receptionist my name and my hands were shaking so much that it was hard to fill out the form. I realized that, besides the dentist, this was the first doctor’s visit I’d ever been to on my own. I hate doctors,  and going to one where I was unsure of what he was going to do was even scarier. It didn’t help that, when I tried to ask the receptionist a question, she interrupted me and yelled the answer she thought I needed until a nicer receptionist actually gave me the time of day.

The doctor himself was really nice. His exam room was so old-fashioned- a wooden desk-dresser kind of thing with brown glass bottles holding antiseptic and cotton balls. As soon as he found out where I had pain, he had me get three xrays of my foot. While I know that, once given the lead apron, xrays can’t hurt you, I have long had a fear of radiation, convinced I can feel it taking over my body, so I was pretty tense the whole time. But the nurse was very nice and it didn’t take very long to get them taken and processed. After he looked at the x-rays, the podiatrist informed me that the initial injury is not a muscle strain or a pinched nerve, as I had thought most probable, but a fracture. My foot has been fractured for two years.

Before he even touched my foot, the doctor had asked me what I was doing that might have caused this injury. Since I’ve always linked the whole leaning-on-it-for-hours story to the pain, I’d never thought any further back. Obviously the leaning on it inflamed it, but I have absolutely no idea how the actual fracture could have happened. I’ve always been very active, and at the time I was dancing, cheerleading, auditioning, and had just started rehearsals for a show in which I had to jump off of things constantly. Any one of those things could have caused it, but I have no recollection of injuring my foot badly enough to think, “Wow, that hurts so much that it might be fractured.” The podiatrist said that some people are born with the bone the way mine has been fractured, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if I were one of them; I’m the special child that couldn’t lose teeth on her own and has two extra bones in the bottom of her mouth. But he said that it doesn’t look like mine has been this way since birth.

Image

 I fractured the outside sesamoid bone.

It’s impossible to say what the treatment for my foot will be right now. In order to find out, I have to get something called a bone scan, which is done in the area of science called nuclear medicine, which sounds super scary. So on Monday, I am going to go to my local hospital, get injected with dye, chill for three hours, go back, and get an hour long bone scan. If the bones are heal-able, the dye will highlight them. If they’re not, it won’t (or at least, that’s how it was explained to me.) If the former is the case, then I’ll probably be given a certain treatment that’s done on heal-able bones and/or a boot. If the latter, I have three choices: cortisone shots for, like, ever; surgery; or dealing with it.

I don’t yet know what I’m going to do if the latter is the case (which it most likely is. It has been two years.) At the moment, I’m still trying to accept that a needle will enter my arm on Monday. And yes, I know I’m complaining about the most minor of medical treatments, but knowing it’s minor doesn’t lessen my fear of needles. In any case, I’m glad that I finally know what’s wrong with my foot and that I was just told to take some ibuprofen, sweetie, because that would have been more frustrating than getting a bone scan.

Look for part two next week! I’m sure it will be exciting.

(Also… can I just comment on how many times I was asked to confirm that I was not pregnant today, both at the doctor’s office and over the phone?)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cletus Oconnell
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 09:42:07

    thats pretty cool

    Reply

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