Short answer as given by my doctor: “Uhhh…….”
Long answer as given by me: “And by “Uhhh” you mean…”
Fact: I am NOT a fan of family practice doctors. I understand their purpose in the grand scheme of the medical personnel system (the defensive line to keep the easily deterred off the appointment books of specialists) but to me they have proven nothing other than when you learn a little bit about a gigantic amount of things, that knowledge is essentially useless. Just give them a list of antibiotics they are allowed to prescribe and superfluous lab test they can order and VOILA! A family practice physician is born. I will admit to having very bad luck ever being properly diagnosed with anything by a family practice physician so I am one jaded mother effer when it comes to going to the doctor, but I really thought this injury would be a clear-cut thing.
Twas NOT, unfortunately. The x-ray revealed bones that were not only intact but caused the doctor, who hadn’t even looked at my foot yet, to say, “Wow, those are some great looking bones.” (Was he hitting on my metatarsals? I will admit they are pretty sexy. You know, for bones in a foot.) I could tell he thought whatever was wrong couldn’t be that bad based on the pictures, but then he looked at the giant knob of swelling, formerly known as my ankle bone, and was all “Errr…” This really instilled heaps of confidence in him for me.
He didn’t say much about tendons or ligaments but just said the damage was clearly somewhere in the soft tissue but also was concerned because there wasn’t a specific incident that brought the injury on, i.e.: rolling it, or tripping, or landing on it wrong. The swelling appears to be brought on by overuse and that means he wanted blood tests to rule out things like lyme disease, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Here is why these three are possible in my case:
Lyme disease: We live in an area that has a ridiculous overabundance of deer ticks and this medical practice knows it. You go in for anything from the common cold to a bum knee to split ends and they test you for freaking lyme disease. I think I’ve been tested 4 times in the last 10 years.
Gout: Genetic. My dad had a couple of really terrible gout flare ups in his feet when he was in his 30s and 40s. It would be extremely rare and odd for someone of my age to get it, plus I’ve heard it’s so painful that if someone even looks at your foot the wrong way you double over in pain so I really don’t think that’s it. Of course if it is, I’m going to demand Bill install a rickety porch swing for me to sit on, get a cane with a bear or eagle head carved on top and then I’m going to yell at passing children and cars because GOOD GOD if you’re going to give me an old man’s disease you better believe I’m going to play the part.
Arthritis, specifically but not limited to the rheumatoid variety: Apparently my mom and her maternal grandmother had completely random, terrible flare-ups of this the year they turned 30. (Weird, huh?) My mom’s started with a bruise on her ankle she didn’t know how she got and ended with three months of completely incapacitating swelling and pain in her ankle and knee joints. After months of testing they finally gave her steroids but by then she had permanent damage from the months of non-treatment.
Thankfully the doc I saw is at least making up for his lack of diagnosis by prescribing me a 5 day regimen of an impressive amount of steroids and anti-inflamatory pain meds to see if that will take care of the problem along with orders to stay-off, elevate and ice the ankle. Also, I’m extremely lucky to have a husband with a flexible enough team at work that allows him to work from home so I can follow these orders. That, along with help from my mother-in-law tomorrow, and I should be guaranteed at least 2 days off the ankle to stare at the wall and drool because these pills totally put me smack dab in the middle of la-la land. It’s nice here! The leprechauns are super friendly!
Also? I’m being tended to in shifts…
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