Saturday, April 19, 2008

my left foot

The first tulips to bloom this year.

I've had three doctor's appointments this week for various parts of my body. I'll start from the bottom up, and explain everything in upcoming blogs. Don't worry, one of those appointments was not the gynecologist! :)

I went to the podiatrist this morning so he could take a look at my horrifically painful toe and equally as painful heel (both on my left foot). It turns out (like I don't have enough ailments) I have two separate issues:
plantar fasciitis and hallux rigidus. (WARNING: before you click on the hallux rigidus site, be aware that there are surgery photos at the bottom. They're not horrible, but if you're queasy . . . well, you've been warned! Just don't scroll all the way down).

The plantar fasciitis (an inflammation and tearing of the plantar fascia tissue on the heel) will go away with arch inserts, stretching exercises, and rest (no workouts on the treadmill for awhile). But the hallux rigidus won't. I need surgery.

This is not my X-ray; it's from the website that you may or may not have clicked on. My X-ray looked almost exactly like this. This is a hereditary condition, where the long bone (blue arrow) that attaches to the big toe joint is higher than the rest of the long foot bones. Over time, it pushes against the joint and a bone spur occurs (red arrow). This compresses the joint and wears away your cartilage until you have bone-to-bone friction. At that point, you need a joint replacement or a fusion.

Luckily, my cartilage appears to still be all right, although he won't know until he gets in there. I still have a gap between my joints on the X-ray, which is a good sign. My surgery will be less drastic - a cheilectomy, where the bone spur is removed, and then the long bone is broken and reset to the proper alignment with the other long foot bones. Oh, and a screw is put in at some point of the surgery. I'll be in a hard, removable, full weight bearing cast for 4 weeks. I'll need 5 days resting at home and maybe another week off work. My mom had this exact surgery a few years ago (and I thanked her profusely for genetically passing it on to me!).

I'll probably have the surgery in July, when the hard yard work of spring is over; all my flowers will be planted and the rate that the lawn grows will slow down in the heat. Also, there's no theater, no ice and snow to deal with, and I can lounge in the back yard with my foot up for two weeks in the sunshine.

I'm actually pretty excited, and think of this as a positive thing: my pain will be gone. GONE. No more limping, no more pain at tap dance class (which I really shouldn't be doing but love too much to give up - and there's only a few more sessions), no more wearing big clunky hiking shoes everywhere because they're the only shoes that are stiff enough to give me support and protection.

So after all that information, the doctor proceeded to give me two cortisone shots, one in the plantar fascia tissue over my heel bone, and another in my toe joint. The heel one stung, but it wasn't horrible. But the toe one took much longer and felt like an odd, painful, cold deep pressure. I kept breathing and repeating compared to Lyme, this is no big deal . . . I was glad when it was over.

When I got home and the numbness wore off, the joint was so painful from the injection and very swollen (he said this is normal and will go away in a day or two). I wrapped it in a frozen gel bag thing and laid on the couch watching Juno (which was FANTASTIC) and waiting for my Alleve to kick in.

Later in the day, I took the poms outside to hang out in the yard. I was able to hobble around and rake the leaves out of the tiny strip of garden along the driveway and get those bagged up.



When I try to pick up Sadie and she doesn't want to go in the house, she goes limp, collapses, rolls over on her back, closes her eyes, and plays dead. It cracks me up. She's even got her tongue hanging out in this one!

Sadie playing dead

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what is she - part opossum? :-)

my goodness girl - enough already! but i am glad to hear you are thinking of this as a positive thing, and it is. no more pain is a pretty darn good thing to look forward to. i'll be happy to be your taxi, and your runner. i'll even paint your toenails. but the first time i hear "donna, smell my feet, then get me something good to eat" i am outta there!