Hi friends, have you ever had a bad injury or been so sick you felt helpless? That’s how I felt yesterday. Our bodies are a precious commodity & when something goes wrong it can turn your whole world upside down.
If you’ve been following my posts the last couple days, you know I started having Heel Pain while working out on the elliptical Friday morning. Late Friday night I had a Visit to Urgent Care where they told me it was probably bursitis of the foot (inflammation in the foot). I was skeptical of their diagnosis, but was trying to be optimistic that my pain would quickly subside. I was wrong. Very wrong.
Sunday morning I felt good when I woke up. I told you about my Mom staying in Arizona another week & that I was going to the gym to bike. So the little walking I did to get to & from the gym was enough to aggravate my foot. When I got home, I was in tears. I was in severe pain with each step I took. I felt crippled & helpless. I had Mom take me to the emergency room.
Why did I to go to the ER and not wait until Monday to make an Orthopedic appointment? I realized while on the bike at the gym that I had no pain in my foot when I wasn’t on my feet. The pain was isolated to weight-bearing activities – i.e. walking, climbing, running, elliptical, etc. Seated activities like driving or biking didn’t aggravate my foot. The weight-bearing symptom is usually an indication of stress fracture. Something I know all too well.
Fourteen years ago, I suffered a femur fracture as the result of a stress fracture. It was the same deal back then – went to urgent care, had x-rays done, nothing showed on the x-rays, went home & a 2-3 days later the femur fractured completely. I had emergency surgery to pin my femur back together.
A stress fracture, in my opinion, feels worse than a break. The affected extremity feels tight, stressed like a knife jabbing through it & the pain is crippling often debilitating. The pain can feel so severe, you almost wish the bone would break to give you relief.
When I started thinking through my previous experience on the bike with my femur breaking, the surgery, the recovery & years of painful rehabilitation, I decided I wasn’t going to risk fracturing my foot or injuring it more. I needed my foot immobilized immediately & I needed meds to control the pain.
Mom drove me to the hospital & I couldn’t walk into the ER. A medic had to get a wheelchair to get me inside. The wait was relatively short (for ER standards). They brought me back to an evaluation room where a doctor met me right away. She examined my foot then ordered pain meds & x-rays. A cool thing about the ER….the x-ray technicians have an x-ray cart they roll around to patient’s rooms to take the x-rays.
The prognosis? Well, the x-rays showed nothing which I expected. However, the doctor confirmed stress fractures don’t show on x-rays and an MRI or bone scan was needed. This was the case with my femur too.
The treatment? Immobilize the joint with a boot & crutches as if it were a calcaneus (heel) stress fracture. Follow-up with an orthopedic specialist. I have an appointment to see one Wednesday.
After leaving the hospital, I felt much better. The meds kicked in & I could walk without pain. I stayed home from work today to rest & get my bearings together, figure out how to get around this way. I will be faced with new challenges the next few weeks. I’m so glad Mom is here to help or things would be even more difficult & I might temporarily, go crazy!
As for working out? I’m planning to stay active by biking & swimming every morning. I A few months ago, a guy in my spin class told me I should do a Triathalon (he’s done several Ironman competitions). My response to him? “I don’t like to swim.” Guess that remark has bit me in the you know what…. 😉
Questions – When was a time you felt helpless by an injury or sickness? How did you know you needed it checked right away? Any interesting emergency room experiences?
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