Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gotta talk about the foot

If I can't get something off my chest on my own blog, where can I do it?

For those of you not in the know, I have a bad foot. Not just a little achiness, or pain sometimes. It's every day, no matter what I do, all the time.
Let's go back 33 years: I'm born. My genetic code dictates that extra bone will grow at the insertion of my Achilles' tendons. (Non-medical peeps: That's the back of the heel)
Fast forward to my pre-teen years: Wearing any sort of dress shoe, flat or heel, causes blisters, bruising, bleeding and pain. Fast forward again to 1999: Working for a podiatrist, I decide to try surgical correction. This involves an incision into my right heel and reflecting back 1/4 of the Achilles', cutting and filing away the extra bone and reattaching the tendon with a Mytek anchor (think a little metal prong that looks like a spider). Off my foot for 4 weeks.

Everything seems hunky-dory until a year later when pain returns. That ends up being just a retained suture, but still involves another surgery. Next, 2005. Arthritis is grinding away at my right big toe, so it's surgery again to shorten the toe. No biggie..an easy surgery to get over, really. Off the foot for 5 days, and that's about it.

Later on in 2005, I have a talk with the doc again...the pain in my heel and now the SECOND toe brings me back to the O.R. (The bone in my heel had a 15% chance of regrowing...guess what. It did) Now, a more aggressive removal of bone. (and another toe shortening)
Think it's over? Nope.
3 weeks after surgery, the sutures are removed, and there is a gap in the skin of my heel. It does not heal. At the beginning of 2006, I am back in the O.R. again for an I & D (incision and drainage) because I have an infection and my tendon is in peril...as in, if it ruptures, I may be lame for life. For those of you keeping count, that is 6 procedures on the right foot.
I get a home health nurse and a Wound VAC. This is a painful, but helpful procedure that finally closes the wound.
Still think it's over...well, just a bit more.
The pain is still there. Now I am scheduled for therapy to release a trapped, twisted nerve which has become bound up in angry scar tissue inside my heel. I am now in for ultrasonic masage, manipulation (yikes) and strength training, as I still cannot go down steps normally or wear shoes with backs on them.

This is my foot today:

A small open area, thick and angry scar tissue, a weak tendon and a trapped nerve. I am too young to feel this old.


LauraHinNJ said...

Ouch that looks sore! Hope you find some solution and a permanent fix.

Susan Gets Native said...

Thanks! I've told my doctor that when foot transplants are available, I will be first in line.

Ever-Helpful-Father-in-Law said...

Susan, You are a great daughter-in-law and I feel it is my obligation to warn you of an oversight that could potentially have you following in Martha Stewart's footsteps to the Big House. The music and motion picture industries have become VERY tough recently on people who intentionally or unintentionally violate copyright law.

It appears that you have, without attribution, used an image on your website that came from the Hollywood horror movie: Return of the Zombie Foot.

No need to thank me for pointing this out!

MojoMan said...

Ouch. Stories like this make my little aches and pains seem insignificant. I hope you find a permanent fix soon.

What are blogs for? It's good to have a place to vent. I'm very new to the world of blogs and find it interesting how different bloggers decide what to post. I hope you found writing this theraputic.

Susan Gets Native said...

It did...it really did. If nothing else, I remembered that it's not all a lost cause, and maybe therapy will help. I will keep everyone posted, of course.

Susan Gets Native said...

Ever-helpful-father in law:
No thanks forthcoming.

But it is nice to have you back on my blog...sure was quiet.

Sam the Smithy said...

I would suggest that you need a second opinion, from a good orthopedic surgeon or at least a skilled blacksmith, on the necessary treatment for your foot.