Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Doctor Gave me the Boot!

The pictures in this post have nothing to do with the "story." Except for the last few, they are images taken during our time in San Diego.

My beautiful daughter
Over the last year our daughter has lost over twenty pounds and is really looking great. Most of her weight loss can be attributed to taking long daily walks. She has also cut back a bit on treats, but is not really on a "diet."

Walking is one exercise I also enjoy, and I had looked forward to going out with her frequently this month.

But it was not to be. 

I first started experiencing some slight discomfort in my right foot while walking on the treadmill at Jojoba Hills. I knew I needed new walking shoes and assumed that was the problem. As the weeks went by it started to hurt more and more, even under normal walking situations.

On the first day of our visit, I went on a 3 1/2 mile walk with my daughter and had to ice it when we got back. I did not have on my good hiking boots, so that is what I blamed. 

This image is totally untouched! This IS what the sunset can look like from the roof deck of my daughter's home in Sunset Cliffs.

It's not that I didn't want to see a doctor about my problems, it is more that I think I know what is going on and how to treat myself! In this case I thought I might have a bit of tendonitis that would get better with rest and weight loss.


Craig helps with the cooking
As the days passed, I felt no improvement, and admitted I needed to see a podiatrist.  My AARP supplemental insurance plan lets me see any specialist who takes Medicare without a referral. So, on the 23rd I called the Scripps Foot Care center, and asked for an appointment for the following week. 
Since our upcoming plans include Mexico and  Quartzsite, neither of which would be an easy place to find a good foot doctor, I hoped I could get in before we leave the area on January 4. Much to my surprise I was offered an appointment the next day, Christmas Eve.

One evening our daughter and her son made homemade ravioli
Although we are not part of their HMO, Scripps is our medical home and where our regular doctor practices, which is why I looked there first. Their medical clinic buildings are quite extensive, and on every other visit have been bustling with activity. Normally the close parking lot cost $4. Not much if you are sick and don't want to walk. On Christmas Eve day the gate was open and there was no charge. Craig did drop me off at the door and found parking quite easily. Inside, the clinic was almost deserted. The waiting areas were empty, and although the pharmacy was open, there was no line.

I checked in at the Foot Care Center desk and was the only patient in the waiting area. A nurse quickly took me into a room and after hearing my story sent me across the hall for an x-ray. Again no wait. I think the x-ray tech was reading a book while waiting for a patient. Through the magic of digital imagery my x-rays were immediately available on the screen in the exam room, and I only
Teenagers after Thanksgiving Turkey
waited for a few minutes for the doctor to review them with me.

The x-ray showed my problem was not tendonitis. The doctor showed me three fractures in the bones of my foot. They are not large. He called them stress fractures, and showed me the bone shadows that indicated they were probably a few months old and that my body had tried to heal them, but with repeated walking the bone could not build up enough to stabilize.

Cause? Unknown. 

A few days before Christmas, almost full.

The injury might have occurred on our "race to the top" in Canyon De Chelly, or on the long walk along the river in Bullhead City. Weight and old shoes may have contributed, as might my thinning old bones. I had a bone density test some years ago, and it was fine, but perhaps I should get another done next time I'm in town or if I continue to have problems like this. My sister has osteoporosis.

In any event, the treatment is simple: the BOOT!

I will be wearing it for the next three weeks at all time except in bed or in the shower. When the bones are healed, I am to take it "easy" for a while and build up my walking distance and intensity slowly. 

The purpose of the boot is to stabilize the foot so the bones can knit together. It is really comfortable, and the foot no longer hurts at all.

I am standing up straight, my good foot cannot reach the floor
But, while wearing it my other foot cannot quite touch the ground. In fact there is a 1.5 inch difference. It turns out this causes me to have an almost instant, sharp pain in my back. Just standing at the sink to do dishes for a short time really hurts.

I used one of these at Target last spring 
when I had a sprained ankle

On Sunday, Craig tried to help me with this by taking a couple of trips to Walmart looking for shoes with a thick platform sole. After he brought home two different pair that didn't quite fit, I went back to the store with him. 

I think these shoes also look OK

We ended up at a Payless and found a pair of shoes that although not perfect, will allow me to walk for short distances without extreme pain in the back.

One final image from the days before Christmas:

On one evening our daughter made Summer Rolls, Thai Chicken Saté and Thai Beef Saté.  She is such a good cook!


  1. Absolutely no fun but I'm glad it's not worse. I knew there was a reason I didn't like to walk. lol As long as the boot is comfortable that makes it a lot easier and I like the looks of your new shoe.

  2. Wish I had a daughter that cooked like that! My back has improved a bit since I put a lifter in my left shoe. If it continues to improve I'll go get an official orthotic.

  3. Glad you've found the cause... my goodness! broken bones! Sure hope you heal fast. And... your daughter sure is beautiful! (and a great cook as well)

  4. Good thing you went to the doc and got that checked out. Hope it won't be too long you'll have to baby it so you can get back to walking.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about the bones in your foot. You got a really cute shoe to level you out. Hope this clears up for you quickly.

  6. So sorry to hear about your foot problems. Good thing you went in to get it checked out.

  7. That's a shocker! Good luck with the new shoe and taking it easy. Not always as simple as it sounds with your lifestyle. Your daughter is beautiful and looks just like her parents.

  8. Your daughter looks just like her Mom. I'll bet that ravioli was delicious. Now, I'v got a craving for it. I doubt I'll be making any, so I guess we need to head to Carrabba's.

    Sorry to hear about your foot, but at least you are on the road to recovery. Too bad they couldn't just give you two boots! Al has trouble with his feet, and like you has tried to treat it himself. Maybe a doctor would be a good idea for him as well.

  9. Well, goodness gracious, a foot broken in three places? No wonder it hurt. Our bodies do a pretty good job notifying us when something is off.

    The sunset is phenomenal! What a gorgeous photo!!!

    Take care of yourself, Merikay.

    This is a very good excuse for me to get some new walking shoes with all the walking I do.

  10. It is amazing to me that broken bones in your foot would not have hurt baf enough to prevent you from walking at all. Glad there is a non-surgery fix.

  11. Very nice post, impressive. its quite different from other posts. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Dave had to wear the same boot, we looked online at the manufacture site and found what is called (I think) an even up that goes on your shoe to raise your foot to the level of the boot.


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