I had a full day yesterday. I met with my new primary care physician, a female. I really liked her. She insisted I get a handicapped sticker. I have been balking on sending the one in the surgeon gave me, so it was probably outdated. (Foolish pride?) She wrote another and told me to send it in.
I also had an appointment with my accountant to do my taxes at 1 p.m.
I was clear across town, when I just on a whim drove to my ankle surgeon’s office. I did not have an appointment. He might not even be there. I just could not take the pain in my ankle and back anymore. I can barely sleep from the back pain.
I went in and asked if there was any kind of insert that could be put in my other shoe so I wouldn’t be walking so lopsided. The surgeon was in a meeting out of town, but the nurse came around to the waiting room to talk to me.
She asked me about the shoe fitting. What shoe fitting? “Well, didn’t they send you to get a shoe fitting after the ankle brace came in?”
“No,” I said. “I’ve never heard about any shoe fitting. The guy who brought me the brace told me my regular sneakers just wouldn’t accommodate the brace, so to order shoes in a size larger.”
She stared at me. Then went to talk to the doctor filling in for my doctor.
You know that feeling you get when everyone seems to know what is going on but you? I had that feeling.
She came back. “He said for you to get out of that brace right now and go back to the boot.”
“But the doctor told me to get accustomed to the brace before I next see him at the end of the month, and to get out of the boot,” I told her. I was really confused now.
“We’re canceling that appointment because you need to see him immediately. The man from the brace company should never have told you to just order a shoe in a size larger, and we will be talking to him. Something doesn’t fit, and it may be the brace. And you don’t just get shoes in a larger size.”
Great. So I have purchased shoes in a size 8 when I’m a size 7, and maybe all for naught. Sneakers aren’t cheap.
“But this was the man who molded my leg for the ankle brace,” I said. “I just did what he said.”
“Well, he was just doing what he could to be done with it.”
Everyone working there was silent. I recalled that the man had come on a Thursday evening, because he was flying to Boston the next morning and would be gone through the weekend. I had thought it so kind of him to come to my home. I still do.
So they made an appointment for Monday morning.
I didn’t have time to go home and put the boot back on. She told me to walk as evenly as possible, because I was going to be looking at even more problems walking like that. (I know, you guys all told me this.)
Well, great. Here I was forcing myself to wear this thing, trying to ignore the pain. Truth be told, after the guy left here that brought me the brace, and had me put it on that first time, the pain was so bad that I wouldn’t even put it on for over a week.
Maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing.
I know you’re probably all bored hearing about the ankle thing. But I hope to help anyone out there going through something similar. It may be your sister or dad or aunt or uncle. I want to make sure you learn from my mistakes, and when to question what you’ve been told by someone you think knows better.
This has been a long and rocky road. And I just thought I had to suck it up and get used to the pain. And maybe that’s still true.
But I’m very glad that, on a whim, I drove back across town in lunch time traffic, even though my surgeon was out of town.
I just wish I’d listened to the pain and known when the threshold was too high, and called them before I got to this point. Live and learn.
Perhaps there still is light at the end of this nearly three year tunnel.