Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Instant Internet Diagnosis

Frustrated by the thought of waiting another three weeks for a diagnosis of the ankle/heel pain I did a little web research last night. What a fascinating hour can be spent by typing "ankle/heel pain" into google and trawling through the results.
I rejected gout because the pain hasn't flared up and gone away but gradually increased. I also rejected it because the cure involves giving up beef, shrimp and most importantly alcohol and it's the gin martini that is getting me through this at the moment.
I also rejected arthritis because it hasn't behaved like the arthritis in my wrists or hands: it's just one ankle and the lump is red and tender. The ones on my hands don't hurt, it's the joint itself that hurts and the lumps are symmetrical. Likewise I dismissed tendonitis because that is supposed to flare up and, in most cases, disappear after a couple of weeks, and because of the nasty hard lump. I liked bursitis better, well actually I hated it but it seemed a better diagnosis. And then I found this article and it was a perfect match for my symptoms. The clincher was this sentence: "Another possible contributor to Haglund's deformity is a tendency to walk on the outside of the heel."
Always, all my walking life. When I was a toddler I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon and one of my earliest memories is walking up and down his huge mahogany desk so he could examine the way my foot "rolled". My other early recollections involve falling down flights of stairs because I couldn't bend my leg in the steel calipers he had prescribed. Eventually my mother decreed that given the choice between a child that couldn't walk straight and one that was brain damaged due to the number of times she knocked myself out falling down the stairs, she'd take the deformed child. After that it was a dozen years of built-up shoes to try and correct the problem. Hey Mom, I think you wasted your money!
Of course, I'll wait and see what the doctor says but I pretty sure even if the diagnosis is different the cure will be the same. I already ice it (although not 20 minutes out of each waking hour, I mean I have a life to get on with) I've been using the heel inserts and lifts for a month now, and stretching and Advil are part of the daily routine. I guess what remains is physio and ultrasound. I certainly won't be going down the cast and surgery route if I can help it.

1 comment:

art-sweet said...

"it's the gin martini that is getting me through this at the moment"

Jane, have I mentioned that I adore you? Or more accurately, that I adore this sentence?

God bless the gin martini.