Monday, July 7, 2008

Pain, Steroids and Aging 35 Years in One Short Doctor's Visit

I am in a whole big world of hurt right now. I type this knowing I am about to sound like one of those elderly people who respond to "How are you?" with a litany of aches and pains and other ways their bodies have failed them. At this point, though, I am feeling an enormous amount of empathy for those who live life with near-constant pain.

It started several months ago when I developed pain in my left heel. I was fairly certain the culprit was a heel spur of the same variety from which my mother suffers. I treated it with a bit of Ibuprofen and then just ignored it, thinking it would go away. Unfortunately, it did not go away and I lived with some really painful moments and the dawning realization that I now walked like my 65-year-old father who suffers from arthritis. Suffice it to say, he is not the most graceful creature in the world.

After x-rays and an ultrasound of my feet, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, bursitis, heel spurs, and a few other things that made me feel older by the second were thrown in for good measure. No big deal. All I had to do was take some anti-inflammatories and probably wear some orthotics in my shoes. Then, after a few more doctor's visits, it was determined that I am deformed--yes, the doctor used the word "deformed"; for some reason I found that pretty funny--and my foot hits the ground the wrong way, which has caused the inflammation and pain. Again, not to worry, because the orthotics could take care of all that.

I just went back to the doctor today after wearing the orthotics for a month. He wanted to check on the progress of my healing. Regretfully, my foot is really not very much better; it still hurts almost unbearably when I am barefoot (especially during my nightly trips to the toilet). So, the kind doctor decided I needed a cortisone shot to my heel. He told me that the side effects might include some pain in my foot for a day or two. He said it might feel like someone had punched my foot.

Well, despite never having experienced a punch to the foot, (who has?) I can safely say this hurts a heck of a lot worse. It's either that or Dr. Graham was implying that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the puncher of my foot, and that while punching, he also mutilated the foot, rubbed salt in the wound and broke every bone in it while he was at it. Then, maybe the pain might come close. Maybe.

The irony is that the cortisone is supposed to get rid of the inflammation, but the shot itself actually causes more inflammation, at least for a day or two. So I went to the doctor to receive some relief from pain and inflammation and he ended up giving me more of both. And to top it off, I will be getting a hefty bill for his services in the mail in a week or two.


Amy Jane said...

Oh, Patty, that sounds awful! I feel so sorry for you. Constant pain like that must be just maddening. If it makes you feel any better, I am suffering from a yeast infection that I just cannot seem to get rid of. :) So, even though your suffering is undoubtedly worse than mine, we are suffering together...sort of. :)

Colette said...

Oh my gosh-I have a very similar pain, but I have just got orthotics for my shoes and it does seem to work-at least for the excruciating pain. Have you tried getting the orthotics manipulated with-maybe its just not enough arch or maybe too much arch-etc. -let me know how it goes-you are in my prayers!!!

The Caked Crusader said...


I have 2 friends who both have platar fascitis and they swear by stretching exercises involving stretching the achilles on a step. Are you doing this?

Hope the pain eases