Well, for those of you who have been losing sleep for the last three weeks wondering about the health of my swollen foot - and for those who are just tired of me bitching about it - I finally went to the doctor today.
I, of course, went to the Indian Clinic. I arrived at the clinic shortly before 10 and sat down to read. I was surrounded by relatively few people for a Monday morning. Mornings are bad days at the clinic. So to myself I'm thinking "Whoo hoo I'm gettin' in and outta here quick today!" Well, they must've been hiding a shitload of people in a secret waiting room somewhere because I didn't get called to even be evaluated till after 11. My BP was a little high, but whose wouldn't be after sitting in a waiting room surrounded by the Croup, various weekend injuries, (I overheard a conversation about an) case of acute acne, allergies and tons of folks complaining about the wait for the optometry and dental clinics. Even the Pope's BP would raise some, trust me.
When I entered the triage clinic the nurse set about weighing me, taking my BP, temp and pulse ox. Then she quizzed me on my foot. When she asked me, on a scale of one to ten how bad did it hurt and I said "Eh, about a five or so today" I immediately wished I'd said "Eleven! Maybe TWELVE! Oh merciful goodness THE PAAAAAAAIN!!!" because I'm pretty sure I'd have gotten seen quicker. But with a mere five on the pain scale I was sent back to Waiting and reading. Fortunately the neighbor lady was there also (Not fortunate she was sick, just fortunate I had someone to converse with) and we traded gambling stories, cat stories and light conversation. When one of us would get called back to triage, lab or wherever we'd congratulate the other one, wishing them luck at getting the heck out of there before sundown.
Around 11:30 I was called back to a room, only to sit there and wait for another 20 minutes. When the doctor came in he seemed nice enough. Not the usual sullen, hateful, apathetic government-paid physician. Not a overly boisterous bedside manner, but still much more tolerable than some I've had. I told him I'd had suggestions of Gout and a stress fracture. While poking on my foot (The pain scale revved up to about 37 then) he grunted and said, "Hmh. Gout, I highly doubt. Stress fracture, highly likely. In fact, I'm betting that's what it is. We'll test for the Gout, we'll x-ray for the fracture. Go back to Waiting, someone will call you." Argh. So back to the reading and waiting. At least when I got back to Waiting that time, a rather large, and obviously exhausted, Native American fella was snoring to beat the band. He was so cute, sitting there with his chin on his chest, hands folded around his ample belly, sawing some serious logs. I could've easily done the same since I got in bed around 4 this morning. Gambling. What else.
Anyway, I heard my name called for x-ray and wound my way through the labyrinth of doors to find it. He turned me into a contortionist and I was really wishing I'd gotten more into yoga or something. He had my foot in the strangest, most uncomfortable positions, but at least he was friendly. Back to Waiting. I was called to Lab. She then asked me if I'd had breakfast. Well, duh. Then she tells me the uric acid test is a fasting test. Had I eaten in the last 4 hours? Hell no, I've been here. So she starts to draw blood. As she's putting on the second vial I cracked my gum. She stopped jabbering about how busy it'd been all morning and said, "Do you have GUM in your mouth?" "Uhhhhh, yeah?" "Well, that's going to mess up the test." Well shit. But then she said it was only gum and she would note it on the report. Here's hoping it doesn't botch the results. It was sugar-free, but I'm not sure that will help.
Back to Waiting. I was then called back to triage to find out that no, my foot is not broken. The blood work is a send out and I'd have to come back. In the meantime he rattles off something about how he sure hopes it isn't plantar fasciitis, which apparently Shaquille O'Neal has. This is what WebMD had to say about plantar fasciitis:
Plantar fasciitis is a common injury, plaguing runners, basketball players,
and other athletes who do a lot of running and jumping during games and
practice. The term "plantar" refers to the sole of the foot, and the "fascia,"
or strong connective tissue running from the heel to the base of the toes, can
suffer tiny tears during activity. The body tries to heal the injury, triggering
swelling and inflammation. The result is often pain and movement limitation.
...rest and proper exercise are often enough to allow the inflammation to
subside. Ice can be used right after activity to fight swelling and pain, but
only for short periods at a time...Slow, gentle stretching can speed recovery.
Heel dips at the edge of a step can be used to work the surrounding leg and foot
muscles. Often, other stretches are used to work the toes and other parts of the
foot...Stretching and strengthening the surrounding muscles and connective
tissue in the foot can prevent some of the tiny tears that lead to plantar
fasciitis. The individual shape of the feet can make a person more susceptible
to this injury as well.
I'm certainly not an athlete. Go figure.
I left the clinic at 12:45 with an appointment to see the doctor again tomorrow and he'll go over the labwork and well, who knows. In the meantime, my Michelin foot and I are off to gamble!! *sings "Oh yes it's Ladies' Night..."*