Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Return of Hurty

Remember at the beginning of the summer I recounted our heroic trek to California's Kearsage Pass?

It was a grueling 5 mile walk up hundreds of switchbacks and slippery trails made muddy by the Sierra snowpack. The hike started at 9,000 feet above sea level and climbed 2,760 feet to hook up with trails providing back door access to Mt. Whitney.

The 5 miles up was difficult. But the 5 mile descent was even tougher. And it turns out, it aggravated the bone spur in my heel, nicknamed Hurty, which I thought had sufficiently healed.

As a result, I have been limping around the entire summer. And experiencing excruciating Marathon Man-like pain. Particularly when waking up in the morning. And even more so when making nocturnal trips to the bathroom at night. Thank you enlarged prostate.

Now normally I have a high tolerance for pain.

I work in advertising.
I have two teenage daughters.
And I live in neighborhood populated by yappy dogs and neighbors who don't seem to understand they have neighbors.

But there is almost nothing in the world as tortuous as a heel spur. Imagine you had stepped on one of those old timey railroad spikes, and for unknown reasons, were told it would be impossible to remove.

I say almost, because ironically enough there is one thing more painful than a heel spur and that is the cure for a heel spur.

If a podiatrist, or any other doctor for that matter, tells you that you need a cortisone shot, run.
Run fast.
Even if you have to limp on one good leg, run away.

You see, to properly administer a cortisone shot the doctor must use a needle that is longer than a meat thermometer. Once the drill bit....uh needle, is inserted, he has to work it around to all the affected fleshy areas.  The doctor promised it would take no longer than 20 seconds, but I'm sure the battery on his Casio wristwatch was on its last legs.

When it was over, Dr. FeelBad said, "that wasn't too bad was it?" It wasn't bad for you, you weren't on the sticking end of that javelin.

Then he took another look at the X-ray, pictured above.

Adding, "I can see why you needed multiple shots of cortisone. I've been in the business for more than 30 years. That could be the biggest heel spur I've seen in my entire life."

Oddly enough I felt of surge of pride.
And then I grew sad.

Earlier in the week, I had paid a visit to the urologist. He didn't have any similar comments about my schmeckel.


Bob said...

You should have gone back to Dr. Weed instead.

Jeff said...

After an excruciating bout of plantar fasciitis a few years ago, I've become a big fan of cortisone. I tried physical therapy, stretching, orthotics, everything. The cortisone shot was the last resort. And maybe it was a thinner needle, but the shot didn't hurt nearly as bad as I'd imagined it would Once I had it, the bottom of my foot swelled up like a golf ball for half a day, and then the pain was gone. Forever. I've now been in physical therapy for tennis elbow four months because my doctor doesn't want to use cortisone. Apparently, neither of us have learned the most important lesson: cortisone is your friend.

Berk said...

Yes, Dr. Weed is your answer. You'll feel better about your foot and maybe your schmekle as well. You know, you only get the one so you may as well make friends with it... the Dr., of course. What did you think I meant?