I Am Not Amused

Uncle! I give!! Enough already!!! This isn't funny anymore...if it ever WAS a laughing matter. Title says it all.  Not. Amused.

First, some background, which I have mentioned in this space before: I used to shake my head and chuckle at Nana/Momma/Edith, who could come down with some of the most obscure health problems in the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR). There for a while, it seemed she was playing "Stump the Doc." And Daddy was no piker either; I mean, really...aplastic anemia? Good grief.

So, I guess as I age, you could say the chances I would start repeating my family history are high.  Oh, not repeating the diagnoses, mind you. Just repeating the "odd and bizarre" part of the family legacy. 

Well, here I go again. Actually, I'm not going anywhere...

In my last post (which was ostensibly written about my odd and bizarre diagnosis of Bell's Palsy and its legacy, synkinesis), I may have mentioned learning what sesamoid bones are...and that I had a "chronic" stress fracture of one in my left foot. Not entirely sure how or when it happened, but I'm blaming gardening: at least the practice I had (past tense, please note) of using a kneeler while working on my raised beds and hyper-flexing my toes (which were encased in fairly stiff garden clogs, mind you) when I sat back on my heels...in order to relieve the pressure on my aching back. I probably aggravated whatever I did gardening when we went to a Braves Game to celebrate Father's Day...and walked a "nice stretch of the legs" from the parking lot to our seats in the stands on the third base side. Oh my aching ball-of-the-foot!

Trip to the foot doc (same one who treated Momma for Morton's neuroma...had to look that one up at the time...:-), X-rays, diagnosis, and directions to RI_E...which is the usual RICE, without the compression. "Self-correcting in 4-6 weeks," says he. "If the rest, ice, and elevation don't resolve the pain in two weeks, come back for a steroid injection." Right. And knowing how much I despise needles, you can imagine how fast I wanted to run from the building, right?  Hampered by the aching ball-of-my-foot pain, I limped away as quickly as I could...putting distance between me and the doc.  That was on a Wednesday. 

After being a sloth for a whole weekend, I realized that not only was my ball-of-foot pain still there, I now had top-of-foot pain...but higher up than the toe area. Ball-of-foot pain = "bruised-like, pressure-pain." Top-of-foot pain = "sharp, stinging, sensitive-to-the-least-touch pain." As in, I was having difficulty tolerating the ice pack touching my foot. Simply put, it hurt. I was reluctant to leave the confines of my recliner because walking was becoming difficult...even the crab-like forward progress I was employing to get from the recliner to the bathroom...my only real destination for days...even after I broke down and started using a cane. And, in addition to the daily dose of Celebrex I already take for arthritis and back problems, I was now consuming way too much Tylenol and aspirin for the foot pain (I can't take Advil or Motrin, unfortunately). Back to the doctor on Monday.

And he says, "well you have another problem unrelated to the first." Say what?  It seems I had somehow managed to develop a ganglion cyst...same foot, different place.  (Ganglion cyst of the foot...explained here. ) And this time, I wasn't getting out without having close encounters with his needles. Plural.  

Sigh.  Double sigh. Triple sigh, even. Actually, I "sighed" 11 times, for pity's sake. Which, I suppose is better than CRYING 11 times. But not by much. It took 9 shots of Novocain to deaden the nerves and tendon where the cyst was located before he finally aspirated the thing and gave me the steroid injection. Three sets of three, none of which seemed to do the trick. Sigh...again.

Picture taken after the second set of three shots. OW!

Funny story: so, I'm on the exam table, which was arranged quite comfortably to allow me to lean back while my feet were propped up for the procedure. And then I remember my "focal point" training from childbirth classes, way back in the day: select a stationary object to focus your attention upon in order to calm your breathing, decrease anxiety, and help get you through "temporary" pain like a contraction. Looking out the window next to the exam table, I spot a perfect object to focus my attention while he gives me the first series of three "deadening" shots. Eyes locked on my focal point...breathe in, breath out, breathe in, breathe out. OWWWWWWW...stop! Focus...breath in, breath out, breathe in, breathe out. OWWWWWWW...stop! Focus...breath in, breath out, breathe in, breathe out. OWWWWWWW...stop! 

And then, I had to laugh. I realized that the object I'd selected for my focal point was the bright, red STOP sign at the end of the parking lot. Subliminal message. Stop...indeed!

I survived. And I have been a halfway decent patient since. Ok, so I'm restless, but I've done very little requiring me to walk or stand for long periods. And I seem to be making progress, slowly but surely. Of course, I tend to focus on the "slowly" part and ignore the "surely" part. Still, I think I might make it to the finish line in a couple of weeks...limping much less visibly. 

Mr. T gets a gold star for going above and beyond, plain and simple. Plus two or three medals for bravery and valor.  He has shouldered everything...and put up with me, the least patient patient on the planet. Bravo! He's doing his own work while putting the "in sickness and in health" vow to a test. He's stepped in to the role of Chief Gardener, as you can read about here. Oh, and he's gotten pretty good at all manner of cooking chores. Just ask him how to cook rice!

Himself in the kitchen? Now, that is amusing.

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