I have another visit to the Orthopaedic Specialist on Monday and as I promised last time I would go to the medical supply store and pick up a foam pad for my ankle I thought I'd better get on to it. The OS assured me that I could pick up an Achilles foam support anywhere. He described it as a larger padded version of those bunion pads that are sold in the foot care department of any pharmacy. The padding would keep the back of my shoes away from the bump allowing me to wear boots and closed shoes in the winter.
A combination of unseasonably warm weather and this diabetic's fear of surgical supply stores meant I was able to put off the purchase until the last possible moment. But I couldn't wait any longer so I started my search at the local store. I weaved my way around half a dozen wheelchairs and a display of canes until I reached the salesperson. I really thought that I could just grab one off the shelf but no such luck. She only had heel cups and arch supports - the same that I could buy at CVS but at a 50% upcharge. She suggested an orthopedic supply store and I limped off imagining once again that I could pick up this surgical aid in a couple of minutes.
Yeah, a five minute trip turned into a nightmare where I had to force myself to go into a building that advertised "Prosthetics" in neon lights. Inside there were no prosthetics on display, thank goodness, but also no foam donuts. Half hour later an orthopedic specialist came to look at my ankle and declare that they would have to have something made because they only dealt in made-to-measure orthotics, preferably charged to my insurance. They would be happy to make one, perhaps included in a lace-up shoe, but maybe I could manufacture something myself out of lambswool and adhesive? What the f***? Do I look like Martha Stewart? And I'm not about to go clumping about in some old person's frumpy shoe either. Strike two but I did leave with the address of another surgical supply place so I got back into the car and drove another five miles.
This place was a regular pharmacy with a surgical supply department that had leg braces, knee braces, covers for plaster casts, even a sling to support the pregnant bulge for mums-to-be but no donut, foam or otherwise. The pharmacist even got out the catalog and the only thing that was remotely suitable was this decidedly unsexy sock, which will look great with my stilletos. Strike three. Empty-handed and footed and two and a half hours out of my day later I decided that the foam donut was a figment of the OS's imagination. However, given how common this injury is I'm sure there's an opportunity for someone to develop something. Perhaps with interchangeable diamond edging?