A Fractured Tale: Part Three

Back to the podiatrist I went today, for my third foot-related appointment. In my purse, I carried a disc that I can only assume contains the pictures from my scans. I will never know, because bodies freak me out, my own especially, so I will never ever look at the contents of the CD. But whatever is on it meant something to the doctor, and this afternoon, I learned the results of my scans.

This is where most people’s REALLY INTERESTING/SCARY/DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL-WORTHY DIAGNOSIS goes. But I’m thankful that mine does not fall into any of these categories. Basically, nothing has changed from my first appointment. What the podiatrist suspected from feeling my foot and looking at my x-rays was proven by the bone scan: though the first unmedicated scan showed nothing (presumably because it’s a fracture, not a break, and a fracture of a pea-sized bone), the scans taken after the dye had seeped into my bones revealed what the doctor already knew: that my foot was injured. Frustratingly, the scan doesn’t show why my foot is currently hurting. Though it is, of course, because my foot is fractured, the pain could also be from inflamed muscles, either from the bone rubbing against them like they’re not supposed to, or scar tissue from my body trying to heal a part of itself that is almost constantly in use. The scan, however, can’t give those sorts of answers, so all anyone really knows is that my foot is/was fractured and something is irregular enough to cause perpetual pain.

This unchanged diagnosis also means that my solutions are also fairly unchanged: either I live with it as I have been, get a cortisone shot, or get surgery. The appointment ended with the podiatrist making me a shoe insert that takes some of the pressure off of the injury, which I am to use for a month before reporting back to him. I was not ordered to take it easy or anything, which is good since the last week found me not only working (which includes dancing), but turning cartwheels at callbacks, and I want to be able to do those things without it being a case of openly defying a doctor. If November tenth rolls around and the insert has pretty much solved the constant pain problem, then everything will be golden. If not, though, I’m still considering what I want to do.

In general, I’m pretty much opposed to both, since each involves something I’m scared of: needles and surgery/anesthesia. However, I’ve also considered the fact that I am only twenty-two and, if I have anything to say about it, I will be living a long life, and since I’m pretty sure I’m in line to inherit arthritis, just living with the injury as is might not be a feasible option down the line. When I brought up cortisone shots to my mom a few days ago, she was very against it, mostly because my dad has had them and she reports that once you forget what the pain feels like, you romp around in excitement until the cortisone wears off and you’re left rolling around on the floor in agony. Then again, there are reports of cortisone being very successful for some people, and the doctor has promised me it will only be one shot (as opposed to several over time.) And finally, surgery. The doctor and I are on the same page that this is a last resort. Partly, surgery is an unreasonable option because of what I do: besides being unable to audition (let alone be in) musicals and making even non-movement auditions harder in general, I wouldn’t be able to work at either of my all-walking jobs, and who’s going to hire me for a desk job for 4-6 weeks? And not working means no money being made, and rent must be paid, and my parents are already helping me out enough; I can’t ask them to pay my rent, too, even for a month. I’ve also been doing a lot of research on foot surgery, in case that was presented to me as the only solution, and while surgery guarantees that the bone will never bother me again, as they remove it completely, it also can lead to future problems like continued though different trouble walking, change in balance, bunions from change in pressure points, etc. All of these could be just as problematic to my future as my current pain is, maybe even moreso; at least with this fracture, I know what to expect and how far I can push myself before I have to hop home on one leg. We’ll see what November brings.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 10:09:31

    Careful with what shoes you wear for the month, depending on what kind and height of orthotic they gave you, it can make your heel pop out the back in most flats and then you make a really *fun* slapping sound that sounds a bit like a duck (not that I have any experience with that…) Did they give you a foam or hard plastic insert?

    Reply

    • Rachel
      Oct 10, 2012 @ 11:57:54

      Foam. I wore flats today and it just made the one with the insert really, really tight. But with my oxfords and my sneakers, it was all right.

      Reply

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