Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What a mess...

...at the end of my leg. Really, I was hoping the visit to the podiatrist today would bring about solutions of some kind, but I only have more worries now.

When I got to the doctor's office, I handed over the disc with the x-rays to the receptionist. She printed the pictures and eventually handed the disc back to me, along with the radiology report. I read said report, and kind of wondered if it was an actual radiologist who looked at the pictures. I mean, there was mention of the previous break in the third metatarsal of my right foot, but no mention of evidence that I had osteomyellitis. When I look at the x-rays, I can see said evidence, and I'm not trained to see such things. So why didn't the radiologist say anything about it?

When the podiatrist came in, I explained that aspect, and how I was concerned that we'd received an accurate reading at all. The doc didn't actually say anything to that, but went on to read the x-rays himself, admiring the progressive damage occurring in my foot. The x-rays were negative for fractures and the like, although micro-fractures are probably what's occurring in my ankle. The result is what appears to be the instant onset of severe osteoarthritis along the top of my foot, right by the ankle. The micro-fractures, however, cannot be seen at the moment; not until they become large fractures. A bone scan might show it, but no one seems to be rushing for that.

As a side note, the osteoarthritis in my big toe is now official, without there being anymore "moderate" arthritis to speak of.

I discussed the discomfort I've been experiencing, and the doc was in fair agreement of what I was saying. I don't want MORE medication, but MORE EFFECTIVE meds. I asked about a morphine drip at home, to which the doctor said such a thing was possible, but that he didn't do such things. He recommended I talk to my PCP about it during my upcoming appointment on Friday. He even mentioned that a morphine pump that could be surgically installed, but said such a thing was only possible to get in Philadelphia. Again, it's something to be discussed with my PCP.

We also talked about the fact that I still have over six weeks until I can get in to see the ankle specialist. My podiatrist is concerned, and would like me to be seen sooner, but the best that can be done is, in fact, being done. I'm on a waiting list in case anyone cancels. I was then offered the chance to see another specialist, but the alternate was over two hours away. I would be unconcerned if it was a one-shot visit, but my condition will require follow-up visits and the like, which becomes difficult to pull off at such a distance. At first I was ready to jump at the idea, as faster is better...but what if this other doctor wanted to hospitalize me? It would probably have to be at a facility nearer to his office, and that wouldn't work very well for Becky and I.

"But Rob...This is serious. Couldn't you just sacrifice time with Becky and get this foot addressed?" No, I couldn't. Because Becky is the person holding me together at this moment. I'm frustrated that there's so little I can do, and because of all the discomfort I'm experiencing. If Becky were two hours away, unable to visit at a moment's notice, I'd probably start coming apart emotionally. I need her in much the same way I need oxygen.

My confidence in the alternative doctor was also shaken by a story my doc told me about a woman who developed Charcot's foot instantaneously. The local doctor was unable to do...whatever, but the alternate was willing. But he decided to cut corners when it came to insurance, and so the woman was to go for various tests before making the two-hour trip to him. The process took too long, and the result was the woman requiring the amputation of her foot.

And that's what's hanging over my head at this moment in time. I fear that the swelling will become so bad that it will literally choke off the blood supply to my foot, resulting in toes turning green on me overnight. Green toes are not good to have unless you've clicked with the zombie set. Thus, I need to be examining my foot daily...which is something I don't actually like to do, as seeing how swollen it's become is disturbing enough.

Friday can't come along soon enough. This sensation of nails and spikes, as opposed to pin and needles, is making me a bit crazier each day. I discussed the possibility of going to the ER with the podiatrist, and he said he would back my claims should I have a greater need for hospitalized pain management...something I'm trying to establish at home, as taking up a hospital bed just because I hurt doesn't seem fair.

I need to get back to bed, folks. Be well, and DFTBA!

1 comment:

The Scrabbler said...

If this were the DT, I would be slapping you with a goat right now. At this point, the hospital bed wouldn't be just for pain. You're at the point where you are almost totally unable to get around, and I think that means that a hospital is an option. I'm not saying that you need to go there, because I don't know the situation as well as you do, but if you feel that it would be a good idea, then I at least would trust your judgment that you need it.