Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Left Foot

Once upon a time, long ago, my left foot and I had a great relationship. We walked on the beach, played soccer on the fields, swam in the ocean, hiked in the mountains... until "the incident." Like many that change relationships, this incident changed the foundation of my relationship with my left foot.

One day we went a little too far afield and met the edge of a sidewalk with all of the force you'd expect a soccer player to deliver in pursuit of a round spotted object. There was the realization of "Hmm... Gee, that hurt" followed by a bit of tenderfooting around for the next week. Ah, but it was the end of the season and tournament weekend had arrived. No visible injury, probably just bruised...

A month or so later my first visit to the podiatrist began with him staring at an x-ray while delivering a question along the lines of "See these two pieces of bone? How did they get so far apart?" He really didn't like my answer of, "Well, I thought it was just bruised, so I played a tournament and..."

I believe I heard, "I hate f.ing soccer players" uttered in a muffled sort of mutter.

Thus began what has become a long-lasting frequent-flyerish relationship with the podiatrist's office. Basically, my soccer career lasted exactly one week too long. That first injury alone begat three surgeries -- one to remove the bone that refused to fuse after three months in a walking cast, one eight months later to address the 5% change of nerve damage that resulted from the first surgery. (You'd think I'd play the lottery...)

Seven years later, the partner bone to the first decided it couldn't handle the stress of taking on the world alone and decided to break and refuse to reassemble itself. This is exactly why I know that titanium is paramagnetic and one of the few metals to successfully fuse with bone.

Some knowledge is better found in books. Or the blogs of other people.

And now, well, I'm couched and crutched again nearly ten years after the first injury. Same recalcitrant foot, but this time we've moved a little higher and damaged the Achilles tendon. No marathons for me says doctor guy.

Thursday involved repairs of torn tendon and modification of an oddly shaped calcaneus (bone), resulting in a nifty cooler with a pump that attaches to a series of tubes that surround my ankle (wherever it is in that fabulous mass of gauze, bracing, and such). Oh and the inability to bear weight for a month, leading to the ego-reducing use of a knee-scooter for some degree of mobility about the world at large. Good thing I like to laugh at myself.

The good news is that it doesn't hurt nearly as much as I anticipated -- or I'm finally taking the meds as directed instead of trying to tough things out. Running commentary from X would suggest I'm really not good at giving in to needing meds. More good news -- the doc says it went well, X and I have a friendship that means he was the one to take me to & fro the surgery and has been really great in helping, my mom has come to visit and hang out with her gimpy kid, and Luke has all sorts of attention because I can't help but sit still.

All because of my left foot.

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