Back In The Boot

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 I have been balking on sending the one in the surgeon gave me, so it was probably outdated.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?" 

Huh?

"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.

61 comments

  1. I am so glad you stopped to see the doctor - something just never sat right in my mind about all the pain you are with something that is supposed to be helping you. I certainly hope they can get this all straightened out and you can get back on your feet again without pain - and use the handicap sticker - I hate seeing people use them when they don't need them- but you need it!!

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    1. Yeah, I'll send it in. I just finding reasons not to.

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  2. So sorry about all the pain you have been having. You would think that "experts" should know what they are doing, but you have had more than your share of incompetents. Hope that you will be feeling better soon!

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    1. Well, guess I am a learning curve for some!

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  3. I'm glad you stopped, too. I hope they get this all worked out, and soon!

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  4. Although it was nice of him to come to your place with the brace..it was not nice of him to tell you to do something that could make your condition worse..you have been through enough already Brenda..I hope somebody gets it right now..

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    1. My surgeon does not mince words (and I admire this trait, since I'm the same). He is a force to be reckoned with. He'll get it figured out Monday.

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  5. Brenda I am so glad you went to Doctors office and were given advice and help. Hugs.
    Joy

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    1. We need to learn to listen to our own bodies. I did not.

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  6. I'm not bored reading about your ankle. I'm so sorry this has happened. I think sometimes people become so short sided and rushed, that they don't realize their effects on others.

    When I was pregnant with baby number 2, I went to the emergency room for horrible pain that I knew wasn't normal. The ER doc did an ultrasound (that HURT), said the baby's fine and sent me home. I'll never forget his attitude and what he said "pregnant women come in all the time worried about their pregnancy, but we show them the baby, it's like a miracle and they're better). He was so certain that every pregnant woman who walked through the door was just overprotective of her pregnancy, that he completely missed the fact that I had appendicitis. Luckily, when I followed up with my doc the next day (Friday afternoon), he spotted it straight away and called the hospital to get me into surgery.

    I feel like your boot guy and my ER doctor had the same attitude, "I have other things to do. Just get this over with and move on. Everything will be fine." But obviously, it's not fine.

    I'm glad you stopped in to the doctor's office so they could tell you to stop walking on that, and I'm glad you hadn't worn it for that week earlier on. *hugs* and prayers. I hope this is the last slow down you have to getting better.

    There is a little silver lining though: You'll be able go back to wearing those shoes you liked ;)

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    1. I will probably be fitted for shoes somewhere. Another sneaker, I'm fairly certain.

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  7. I don't think a man who was nice enough to come to your home would be not nice by telling you something that wasn't right, at least in his mind. People make mistakes...but don't under estimate the cost to you. I'm sorry you've been in so much pain. How many times have we've been to different doctors and each one tells us something different. I'm so glad you stopped in and got to the bottom of it and hopefully you'll improve with the right shoes! Always listen to your pain!

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    1. Yes, if there's anything to be learned from the last few weeks, it's "LISTEN TO YOUR OWN PAIN." So often we listen to professionals about our pain and forget to listen to our bodies, and our bodies know better.

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  8. I am so glad you stopped and that they told you to get out of that brace. You were doing more damage then good it seems. Hoping that Monday the visit will give you some answers!

    Linda

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    1. Well, either I have the wrong brace, or the wrong shoe. Maybe both.

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  9. Brenda, We try to do the right thing and not whine...and it bites us in the butt. Is this injury, from when you trip on the back steps at the blue house?? I never knew you had a surgery. I sure hope you get good answers and some relief come Monday. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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    1. It was when I lived at the little blue house, and in July 2012 tripped over some steel landscaping that was probably an inch or so high. I've just had my second surgery.

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  10. I'm really glad you decided to stop by the doctor's office...we need to listen to what our bodies are telling us...xo

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    1. Yes, we do. And I was remiss in not doing that.

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  11. Keep hanging in there. It sounds like the nurse is another force to be reckoned with. Surely someone will figure out something to help your ankle. I have known nurses like that, and I think there is a special place in heaven for them.

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    1. I just wish I knew what person to listen to. I would have thought a man who works at a company that fits people for orthotics (is that the word?) would know best.

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  12. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have to believe that for you and for others as well. My gosh, this is like something out of horrible novel. But it's not. Things have to get better. I think that man made a horrible mistake.

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    1. Well, I guess I'll be finding out. Remember after the first surgery, no one told me to pump up the boot, and so I didn't for another year and a half till I was told different.

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  13. Ah Brenda...this is terrible..and each time we think you might see that light at the end of what has been a awfully black tunnel...there's another curve. I'm upset for you...no one should have to go through this, and those pain levels are inhumane.

    Thank goodness the nurse didn't just shoo you out the door...I hope that they can do something for you now.

    Jen

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    1. I'm wondering: Does one ask more questions? How do you even know what questions to ask? Leads to great frustration.

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  14. Brenda, I cannot tell you how important it is have your walk balanced. I had surgery for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon problems. That pain went away after the surgery, but a new and worse one developed in my ankle. The MRI showed nothing wrong. I switched orthopedists and fortunately, the day of my appointment a gentleman from a business that makes prosthetics was there on a clinic day. He watched me walk and told me to come into their office for a complete evaluation. While there, he video taped me walking. To my utter surprise, I was turning one foot at a 45 degree, outward angle when I walked! "On the next step, I tried to bring it back into correct position. Over and over I was doing this with no clue.No wonder your ankle is hurting!" he said. He made me new, full length orthodics in their lab on the spot (my old ones were only three quarter length) and after wearing them for only a day, all the pain went away! I wear them in my Brooke's running shoes (by the way, Brooke's is the only running shoe that will allow you to buy a pair of them and each can be a different size! Great for me since one foot is about half a size longer than the other.) I have MS and use my handicapped hang tag ALL the time. I am still mobile but after walking a store, I am quite fatigued and so happy to see my car right up front in a parking lot. Do NOT feel guilty about that handicapped tag, Brenda! Use it. Hope you can be pain-free soon. Good luck.

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    1. Boy, you sure were in the right place at the right time!

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  15. Oh Brenda, I'm so sorry to hear that you've been dealing with so much pain and confusion over your ankle problem. I hope the doctor can get you settled the way you're supposed to be soon.

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  16. Oh, my goodness. I can't tell you how glad I am you followed that whim to the doctor's office. I hope you will soon have satisfaction and less pain. You have certainly been through it all.

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    1. There's always someone going through a worse trial, I keep telling myself.

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  17. No dear Brenda....I certainly do not get bored with reading about peoples lives! You have certainly struggled with this ankle injury. I have been in Medical Managment for over thirty years. Retired about 4 years ago. I am afraid the medical community is a whirlwind and sometimes I am just speechless over the way offices are managed these days. We all must be in charge of our own health directives at all times. The expense is incredible! I applaud you for asking questions and sharing all of this with your readers. Best wishes to getting some relief and quality care very soon!

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    1. So many professionals are involved that one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing.

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  18. Frankly this just ticks me off. You have been mis-informed / mis-guided / SCREWED so many times it isn't even funny.

    I am glad that you followed your intuition today.

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  19. OMG, Brenda...I feel so bad for you. It just goes to show you though, how good your intuition is. I'm so glad you stopped in at your surgeon's office on a whim.

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  20. Wow ~ well I certainly hope this will clear up a LOT of your pain. Sorry it had to go this way, but maybe help is on its way.
    Mary

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  21. I hope you get relief and soon!! You've had quite enough of this, I know. Sending positive thoughts your way!

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  22. Your experience with this, is why you MUST talk about it and keep talking ,, as it may spare many the pain and frustration you've been through.. its pitiful that its taken this long for doctors or nurses to stop and really HEAR you.. You've paid dearly , monetarilly- physically and mentally and its time you get whatever you need to have the best quality of life possible...

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  23. Good gosh. What a story and what went wrong and where. I'm sorry you suffered all of this time in vain. I think that while we do have to trust in the doctor's suggestions, there are times that they, the pill or in this case the shoe, are just not right for the problem. Fingers crossed that Monday will bring you even more foot comfort.

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  24. So glad you went to see the Dr., Brenda. In my opinion, that wasn't just a coincidence! Praying for a complete recovery, peace and patience during this long process... Hang in there! It does feel good to know this wasn't just your normal pain, doesn't it?

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  25. Glad you took that trip to see the Dr. heaven only knows how worse if could have gotten because someone didn't do their job correctly. Hopefully all will be straightened out and you will get some relief from the pain soon.

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  26. What an ordeal you've been going through with that boot, etc. Let's hope this new turn in the road has you feeling better. Keep listening to your inner self, be your own advocate and thank God you made the decision to stop by the doctors. Good for you. You must feel better knowing that you can get back some more control of your life.

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  27. Sorry to hear of your unfitting experience. You may be one of those people like me. I have learned to ask for closer follow up and/or ask for a call to check about progress from the nurse. I use a fifteen minute sit in the doctor's office limit. After that I ask them a question. At home if I have pain or do not feel progress in three days, I give the nurse a call. Some conversations can be done through an online portal. Hope you get well soon.

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  28. Hi Brenda, What a mess you have been through. I am so sorry you have the wrong boot!! I used to work for a foot and ankle surgeon when we lived in Michigan our home state. I have never seen this before. But you did the right thing to go in. At least you know that with the right fittings and shoes, you will improve and be in less pain. In the end, we are our own best advocates and your experience will help another who may be reading this. Best wishes for all to go better from this point.
    Happy Weekend!
    CM

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  29. I've learned as I get older that I am the best judge of how my body is responding to any kind of treatment and I question right away if thinags don't seem right. What a blessing you got the urge to stop by your doctor's office. Sometimes the doctor has no way of knowing what is happening with the patient unless they speak up. Sounds like he's the kind of person that will deal with the brace maker too. Hopefully Monday you will get some helpful answers.

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  30. So sorry you are in this situation! Praying things go better with your ankle real soon!

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  31. Don't ever feel we are tired of hearing about your journey with this issue...we are all going through various medical issues and we will feel more compelled to share and get advice if just one person opens up on their blog.

    Feel well soon.

    Jane x

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  32. I'm so glad you felt the need to go to the doctor's office. Turned out to be to your advantage. Hopefully the dr will make sense of it all on Monday. I know how long you've suffered w/it. Just doesn't take much to tweak our bodies out of alignment and then we suffer.

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  33. Ugh, it is so hard to know who to trust, but I think the bottom line is know your body and go with your gut instinct. Sorry that you are going through so much pain. xo Laura

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  34. Brenda, I am a doctor. You must ask more questions. Do not,I repeat, do not assume that everyone knows your full history and what is the next step. It's not humanly possible in this healthcare system. You must be an advocate. Do not wait on the nurse, follow up. The boot guy is overdue for your lawsuit, his company should be appalled at what he did. Once you find out what he should have done and didn't do, call a lawyer.

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  35. I meant the brace guy that came to your house, not the boot guy.

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  36. I meant the brace guy that came to your house, not the boot guy.

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  37. Your ankle problems are not boring. Your readers are concerned about you.

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  38. Sure hope they get everything figured out...so you aren't in so much pain anymore.
    ~Cindy

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  39. That was such a great idea to stop by the doctor. I hope things get figured it out and that it's at least less painful.

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  40. Oh my, that sucks Brenda, but I'm glad you've got another appointment, I hope they get it figured out. To me there is nothing worse that doctors or health care people contradicting each other! I mean these are supposed to be the people who KNOW and when they can't agree it just makes you feel helpless!

    Tania

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  41. Oh Brenda, I'm just heartbroken because of all the pain and suffering you've so bravely endured. I feel so helpless, because there's nothing I can do to help you. Truly hoping the worst of this ankle ordeal will soon be behind you. Thinking of you...

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  42. I think the fellow that did your ankle brace might have been mistaken in some way. Maybe confusing two clients with similar issues but different physician orders. I think he acted honourably but a mistake was made.
    Who was the person who should have ordered the shoe fitting? The doctor? A nurse? Who! Perhaps the brace man gave you that advise because, when you asked, he thought you had no shoe fitting order. Maybe the brace in question isn't even the one that was molded for you! And should it even have been dispensed without a physician analyzing the fit? (The politicians and the lobbies fight so hard to prevent a national health service for the U.S.saying that with it we will receive second class care. We've been receiving second class care all along and paying top rates for it!)

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