One Foot in the Door

June 23, 2007

Well, I’ve taken one step forward in correcting a medical problem. Unfortunately, it’s not related to my back or shoulder. It’s my feet.

I’m talking about hammertoe surgery. My left foot will go under the knife on July 23rd. My right foot will have to wait a couple of months after the first surgery. I’m not looking forward to this at all. I already had this same operation many years ago. It was performed by the orthopedic surgeons I worked for at the time. In reference to that, my podiatrist said, “I wouldn’t try to set a broken arm. Orthopedic surgeons shouldn’t mess around with feet.” I am living proof that he is correct.

I once walked on a broken leg, and went through two natural childbirths. I am no stranger to pain. I must say, though, that the hammertoe surgery was a new adventure in agony.

It was supposed to be same-day surgery, but I ended up being hospitalized for FIVE DAYS. I was on morphine, and a ban on visitors was imposed because I was in so much pain. The podiatrist assures me that it won’t be like that this time. Let’s hope he’s right.

Even though this surgery isn’t related to my spine, I’m hoping it will help my back. Because of the hammertoes, I have a chronic callus on my left foot (the toe abnormality is worse on that side). My foot pain affects the way I walk. Compensating for pain in one area often causes problems in other areas.

In reference to my back, Worker’s Comp finally authorized a series of 3 lumbar epidural and bilateral sacrolliac injections (after receiving a letter from my attorney asking what the delay was). However, there has been a new development since the pain management doctor requested authorization for the injections. The neurosurgeon wants me to go for a myelogram, and he thinks I might need surgery. If that is the case, I don’t see the point in going for the injections. (It’s an unpleasant procedure.)

In the meantime, I’m waiting for authorization for the myelogram. This Worker’s Comp stuff is for the birds. The lengthy delays in authorization in turn cause a delay in treatment. I was injured in December. I’ve been doctoring since February. The only “treatment” I’ve had is physical therapy, but there has been no improvement in my condition.

Now consider my feet. I first saw the podiatrist on June 14th. X-rays were taken, and I returned for follow-up on the 21st. Surgery was scheduled. THAT’S the way it SHOULD be.

By the way, even though physical therapy isn’t helping, it DOES provide amusement now and then. Yesterday, I got hit on. I’ve seen The Guy a few times, and we’ve engaged in casual conversation. His eyes lit up and he gave me a big smile and a hearty “Hello, Stephanie!” when I walked into the gym area. I thought to myself, “Uh oh.”

I finished before he did, and went outside to wait for the Dial-A-Ride bus. The Guy came out a few minutes later. He said, “I was hoping you’d still be here.” Then he reached out and stroked my hair (how cheeky!), and told me he loved the new style. (I recently got it cut a little shorter.) I became even more uncomfortable when he told me I have beautiful eyes.

When he asked if he could call me, I responded that my husband wouldn’t like that very much. He backed off immediately, and apologized profusely. A quick glance at the ring finger on my left hand could have spared us both this awkward situation.

Song of the Day: Hokey Pokey

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