Saturday, January 31, 2009

Now is the winter of my fucked up foot...

... made glorious summer by this son of York? Um, more like made even more difficult winter by this gymp ass body trying to get around New York. Erm, um, something.



So, the foot thing. It was bad. It got better. And then it got much, much worse. On Wednesday it had gotten painful enough that walking made me want to cry - doubtless because on Tuesday evening I had dared to walk all the way from 50th street to 60th street (a ten minute trek) on my way home from work. The severity of the relapse inspired me to finally call my doctor.

Well, I called him at lunchtime and didn't hear back. And didn't hear back. And didn't hear back. I know better than to call the office again; that will only irritate the front desk girls, who are relatively irate already. I figured I'd hear from him Thursday. When it was time to go home from work, rather than walk the two blocks to the 6 train from the office, I paid $17 for a cab.

Then, to my surprise, he called a bit after 10pm. I described the issue to him, and he said it didn't sound at all like a pinched nerve as I thought it might have been. No, he thought it was probably a stress fracture. (You know, that thing that athletes and runners get all the time.) He instructed me to call his office the following morning to make an appointment for Friday, so that he could get a look at it and have some x-rays taken.

Now, if he had told me they needed to amputate my foot I probably couldn't have reacted more poorly. There was crying. And when Jonathan said the wrong thing when trying to get me to stop crying, there was yelling. The thing is this: while I'm really used to any problem having to do with inflammation of soft tissue, actual damage of something so seemingly sturdy as bone is brand new territory. The prospect of it completely freaked me out. New problems always do. Sometimes I just need to cry damnit! Anyway.

So Thursday morning I went into work late, waiting for the trains to empty out to insure that I could get a seat. While I waited, I called the doc's office as I'd been told to. I explained to the girl who answered that I'd spoken to the doc the night before, that he thought I had a fractured bone in my foot, and that he wanted to see me the next day to get some x-rays done. So when she said, "OK then, 10am on Friday", I stupidly assumed all was well.

Um. So Friday morning I showed up, a few minutes after 10am because I'd had to hobble from the train station at Park Avenue all the way to 1st Avenue - for those of you not familiar with NYC geography, thems the long blocks, and a bunch of them at that. I gave the counter girl my name and she was all, "we don't have you down for today." And I was all, "uhh, well I called yesterday..." She kept looking and lo and behold, they had made the appointment for NEXT WEEK.

Now, I'm not sure how a person tells a doctor's assistant "I might have a fractured foot", and that person somehow thinks that the patient can somehow wait NINE DAYS to figure out whether or not the foot is actually fractured. But that's neither here nor there, now is it? Long story short, they managed to wedge me in. But it definitely added more stress to an already un-fun situation. Fine, I'll admit it. I cried. I'm a crier. I'm prone to hysterics. Happy?

To make it even better, the goddamn insurance company got involved. For some reason they wouldn't approve my x-rays being done in the office; instead I had to waddle my lame ass over to the NYU facilities three blocks away. Not much distance at all - that is, when you can, say, put weight on both of your feet. Yet another example of how insurance companies always have the utmost concern for their customers' health and comfort - NOT!

Alright. Fast forward through getting over there in the 25 degree wind, the very cool and funny radiology guy, the getting back to my doc's office, and the waiting for him to have a minute to talk to me. Let's go to the part where my doc looks at the x-rays and sees, guess what?

NOTHING! Nothing at all, not even a hairline fracture. Nada, nix, zip, zilch.

It seems likely to just be an extremely localized fibromyalgia flare-up. On the one hand this is good news. It doesn't seem that anything is particularly damaged. And I shouldn't need surgery, which was the most terrifying prospect that was looming. On the other hand, though, I once again have an unidentifiable and unsolvable health problem. Is there, like, and award or a contest of some sort for this? If so I really need to find out how to apply. I'm a shoe-in! It's also something new to add to the already absurdly long list of "unpleasant things to attribute to my fibro because they don't seem to be related to anything else." Yeah, cuz I was really looking forward to adding to that list.

I'm supposed to tape up the foot in question, and "stay off of it" (great, so you're going in to work for me then?), and wait and see if it gets better on its own. All advice that is chillingly familiar. If it doesn't get better by next week, I have to go to the doc again for an MRI. Can I even describe for you the level or quality of frustration this causes? No, not really. If you've been there, you know, and if you haven't, I hope you never are.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm whining or feeling sorry for myself. Everyone's got their cross to bear, I know; I'm just discussing mine. Most of the time it stays in the background. But right now it's making it really difficult to do things like wash dishes or take a shower or get to work, which is when it really gets to me. As I so enjoy doing, I'm going to once again ask all of you to keep your fingers crossed, and maybe even beam some positive energy my way, in hoping that this episode is short-lived.

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