My Trip to the Foot Doctor

So, as many of you know, or, you know, don’t, I’ve been having a lot of trouble with a foot injury lately. It’s been hurt for about four months now, and, given my frequent dance classes and theatre rehearsals, this was quite frustrating for me. It’s hard to use your foot extensively when it, you know, hurts.

When it first started hurting I saw my general practitioner, who basically went on a rant about how ballet and dance is oustandingly destructive to the body, frequently injures dancers, and is just a general scourge on humanity.

Well, maybe not that, specifically, but that’s kind of what it felt like.

Long story short, my general practitioner told me that the best way for this to heal was to take two weeks or more completely off any dance. This was while I was in a show, as well as my standard dance classes, so that was not happening. I told him as much. In that case, he said, take it easy for maybe a week, buy some inserts for my shoes to get arch support, and ice my foot like a foot-icing maniac.

So, I did. For. Four. Months.

After four months of doing just as I was told, and seeing absolutely no results, and being in constant pain, I was pretty discouraged.

So, my lovely mother contacted the office and got a referral to a podiatrist. (But it’s much more fun to call him a foot doctor. Podiatrist, so Latin, so science. “Foot doctor” is a way better time.)

So, I went in to see the Foot Doctor last Friday.

The experience was very different from my first appointment about this injury.

I went back, gave the spiel about how I’m broken and would like to be fixed, please, got x-rayed, and waited for the doctor while thinking about all the totally plausible explanations for my foot pain. Stress fracture? Snapped tendon? Torn muscle or ligament? A cancerous foot tumor of doom? Now, it’s not like I’m a doctor, or anything, but my money was riding on the cancerous foot tumor; definitely seemed the most plausible.

The doctor came in, and, had I made a bet on that foot tumor, I would have lost. After entering the room and bringing a general atmosphere of good humor and relaxation, he explained to me the problem.

So, I have Plantar Fasciitis, which is basically when the ligament connecting your heel to your toes gets strained and all pain-y. Solution: tape that foot up and stretch the tendon (or was it a muscle? Pretty sure it was a tendon. I’m not a doctor, guys, I’m pretty proud of how much of this I’m actually remembering) that’s in your calf and extends past the knee.

The limited flexibility I’ve developed in that tendon (or maybe not-tendon) due to compensating for the Plantar Fasciitis has made is so that when I walk, my foot itself doesn’t have the flexibility to roll forward through the ball of the foot and through the toes like it usually would. Instead, my ligament is collapsing in compensation for my lack of flexibility, aggravating the situation.

All of this was explained very clearly and helpfully, so I could actually understand what was wrong with my foot and how to fix it. To stretch the tendon (or not tendon) that was messing up my foot flexibility, I was given a boot that stretches it.

I’m not supposed to walk in this. They were very clear. Only wear when RESTING.

That’s not my foot, I’m pretty sure that’s a boy foot, but anyway.

As well as being immensely helpful, the appointment was also very relaxed and about as enjoyable as an experience at a medical office can get. My doctor was nice, funny, and, unless he’s a very good actor, genuine. It was a very good experience, overall, and everything seems to be working out so far.

I also realized that my doctor asked if there are any good shows to watch, and I forgot to tell him any. So, if anyone’s looking for a good show, I’d recommend Leverage and/or Elementary. Leverage is on Netflix, conveniently, and Elementary is probably still on Hulu…? Not sure, though.

Anyway, have a lovely day, here’s hoping you don’t need to see a podiatrist, but, if you do, your experience is as good as mine. 🙂

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