Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dual doctors and SHOES!

Today was a fun day, considering I had two doctor appointments within a single hour. The first was with my podiatrist at 10:40, followed by my PCP at 11:30. And here, boys and girls, is what happened...

First of all, my podiatrist was immediately impressed with my black and yellow cast. Becky seemed to insist on my becoming a Steelers fan for the next two weeks, and so it was that I fulfilled her request...only to have the yellow look somewhat green against the black. That, and because it's a striped pattern, it looks more like I'm prepared to dress as a bee with a broken leg for Halloween.

He then inspected the amputation site. I've been tending to it, placing only a band-aid over it because there's really nothing else to do there. It hasn't been draining. Any pain I feel in the area is nothing horrific; just the pains one might expect, (whatever those might be), from a toe freshly removed. A somewhat long scab has been along the residual toe, making it appear like the head of a fat worm with a smile. I haven't picked at it. I haven't scrubbed it. I have been doing that which was probably best: leaving it alone.

He felt no such need. He inspected the wound, did a little work on other "trouble spots" on my foot, and then went after the scab on the surgical site. He carefully peeled away the scab and revealed...NOTHING! There was, perhaps, a very tiny spot that needed just a wee bit more healing, but beyond that, it was HEALED!

I have to admit, I was greatly worried that this would turn into something worse. It's always possible when such surgeries are done. Hospitals, themselves, become breeding grounds for infection, despite their best efforts to keep the place sterile. MRSA, ("Mer-sah"), or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is altogether too common in hospitals. But my fears were for naught. I have healed miraculously well, and that's fairly good cause to be pleased wit the results of what started out as a radical method of "dealing with a boo boo."

Then I was off to the PCP, where I had a nice, long chat with the doctor about the pain in my hips and...some other stuff.

When I looked at my hip x-rays, I compared them to online pictures of other hip x-rays. And, y'know...because I'm an expert and all that...I didn't see much of anything from them. They don't appear arthritic at all. I voiced the entirely too normal appearance of the x-rays, and found myself being corrected immediately. They ALMOST look normal, except that the spacing between the bones has been reduced.

There are a number of potential causes for this. The first is that I may be developing arthritis in the joints, even if there aren't any blatantly obvious signs of it on the bones at this time. Another possible cause is that my hobbling around in this cast is exacerbating minor arthritis and/or...Charcot arthropathy.

Yes, once again, this could be that great mystery that is a complication of the complication of diabetes. Remember, arthropathy is a malfunction of the brain communicating with the soft tissues. Why? Well, even when I saw the neurologist, he hesitated to give me a cause. There seem to be plenty of working theories, but no one is absolutely sure of the cause. Whatever the case may be, the tissues deteriorate, and the result is a realignment of bones and PAIN!

The other stuff discussed with the doctor was about my emotional state. Everyone is in agreement that being trapped in a cast for 18 weeks can be frustrating, perhaps moreso when one suffers from depression, as I do. My question was whether or not my meds should be switched, which I expressed a desire NOT to do, (but was willing under his recommendation), or if something else should be added.

The result of this conversation was that he felt my pending freedom from the cast and my desire to start getting some exercise might well be what I need. Just to be able to get moving again could help with burning off some of the weight I've gained, as well as produce come much-needed endorphins. Said exercise might also be beneficial to my aching hips.

And so we wait. I need to get my shoes next week, and then start doing more than sitting/lying around all day long. Walk over to the college campus and meet Becky for lunch, use her long day of classes to wander over to the movie theater to see something she might not be interested in, or even try to find a cafe in the area to which I can stroll, sit and babble with a few strangers, and then walk home again. Not all of the answers to my problems come in pill form. =)

And speaking of the shoes...

SHOES!

This has become the rather excited battle cry around here since yesterday. At random, Becky or I will simply say loudly, "SHOES!" It's our way of beginning the celebration of the fact that I will soon have more freedom than I have for the last four months. Mind you, it won't be A LOT of freedom. With the exception of showering, I should be wearing the brace whenever I'm out of bed so as to keep the foot supported and protected. Still, a brace I can remove is far better than a cast I can't.

Oh...While I prepare to get the aforementioned shoes and start burning a few extra calories, I bought something that Becky has wanted for some time. Her dumb-ass ex, Shawn, often said of the game "Dance Dance Revolution" that they didn't have room in their apartment. Yet when the Wii came out, they had plenty of room for the game "Wii Fit." Becky has wanted a fun way to burn some calories of her own and trim down, if possible, and my motto remains, "What baby wants, baby gets." (When physically of financially possible, that is. "Why, yes, my love...I'll happily carry you over the threshold when the time comes, provided I can use a hand-truck, since I probably won't have it in me to do it without help.") And so I bought her the game, and she has already started putting it to good use. When she's not drowning in school assignments or required to run off to work, she'll fire up the PS2 and "boogey-oogey-oogey til she just can't boogey no more."

Y'know, it occurs to me that her reaction to receiving the game was the same as her current reaction about my shoes. Before, when the game arrived, Becky wandered about saying, "TOYS!" Now it's, "SHOES!" With this knowledge comes a thought...If I should stop posting some time after next Monday, assume Becky "played with me" until "I just couldn't boogey no more."

Be well, and DFTBA!

1 comment:

WalkingTarget said...

It's great to hear about good things happening, Rob. Here's hoping that the upcoming exercise helps with the hip pain as well.

-Jesse