Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Even for "little things" - get a second opinion if the first opinion seems wrong to you...

So I already posted this as a "note" on Facebook, but I decided to include it on my blog also, especially since it's been such a long time since I blogged anything at all...

I have been having pain in my right foot for a long time. Hurts to walk, so I don't walk much anymore (although I'm on my feet for 8 hours a lot of days lately). I also quit walking on the treadmill, much to the detriment of my body. I also limp when I walk, sometimes worse than others, buy I fight it because I don't like it when people kept asking me what was wrong (because I was crazy, apparently....)

Anyway, I've complained to my family doctor every checkup and he manipulates my foot this way and that, but doesn't really know what the problem is, and so referred me to a podiatrist. (He had taken an x-ray many years ago, but it didn't show anything)

So about 6 months ago, I went to a local podiatrist, who pretty much treated me like I was a hypochondriac and browbeat me because I couldn't specifically pinpoint the time when my foot started hurting a lot...(it had built up over a number of years). He also manipulated my foot this way and that, and said "you're 'asymptomatic and don't even know when it started' so he threw his hands in the air and pretty much yelled at me. He said "we'll try taping your foot and see if that helps" and left, whereupon his office aide taped up the bottom of my foot and also taped across the top (where my main complaint was) and told me to let it on for 3 or 4 days and see if it helped the pain.

When I went out to my car, I just sobbed, I felt like I was beaten up and treated so badly, a feeling I never had at a doctor's office before. Anyway, I kept the tape on for 3 days, but it made my foot feel so much worse, especially the tape across the top of my foot, I had to take it off. I also cancelled my scheduled followup appointment, and didn't give a reason. I just didn't want to go back there anymore.

Fast forward to the future, when I had my regular 6 months appointment with my family doctor. I told him about the podiatrist visit, and also that my foot was REALLY hurting worse all the time now. By now I was almost making excuses for the podiatrist, saying "maybe he just had a bad day", etc., but my doctor said there was NO excuse for that behavior and referred me to a different podiatrist in the next county.

So yesterday I had the appt. with Podiatrist #2, and it was a whole new world for me. He actually listened to my explanation, manipulated my foot in the same way as the first doctor, and examined the TOP of my foot, which the first doctor did not do, even though I explained things exactly the same. He also took x-rays, which the first doctor didn't even bother to do.

It turns out I have a bone spur sticking out of the top of my foot which is pressing on a central nerve in my foot. It feels like I get electric shocks when I push down on my toes (which I explained to the first podiatrist, too.) Dr. #2 said that everything I told him confirms that diagnosis, and that the nerve damage that's been done due to the bone spur may take a long time to heal. But he started by re-stringing my work shoes, to take the pressure off of the bony protrusion, and also made a soft insert to cushion that area a bit. It already feels somewhat better, though still painful, just because the tied shoestrings were pressing the spur into the nerves.

Next I'll go back and see if a cortisone shot will relieve some of the pain I'm experiencing, and if that doesn't help, there will be surgery to remove the spur.

Once again, I almost sobbed when I left the podiatrist's office, but this time it was from relief at not being a crazy hypochondriac, and having someone explain something to me that seems like such a simple explanation.

I just can't understand why Dr. #1 was so inept at diagnosing this - I told him the same things, and he didn't listen to me, or even touch the bump on top of my foot - even though I pointed it out to him and said it was bothering me - he just brushed it off like I was an idiot.

The moral of the story is: Don't be bullied by someone just because he/she has "Dr." in front of their name. A bully is a bully, no matter how educated they profess to be.


Trvlguy80 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trvlguy80 said...

Glad to hear you finally found someone willing to listen and really help you get better. Too many doctors today lack the passion or desire to help and only work for the high pay. I have two parents who are doctors and they are more passionate about healing the sick then the financial rewards and I often hear them voice their frustrations to each other about colleagues who don’t have those skills and fail to understand that it’s needed in order to be a great doctor.