18 September 2006


You'd think that considering what a hypochondriac I am, this would have been taken care a lot sooner. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

Over Labor Day weekend David and I went to the Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage New Play festival, which was great fun. We got to hear some plays get read that will be in full productions later on in the year and make some notes as to which ones we should try especially hard to see. At some point in the weekend, I noticed that my foot would randomly hurt. Nothing awful, it just .... hurt. I would grimace and limp for a second or two and then it would stop hurting and I'd mostly forget about it. It didn't hurt a lot. It sort of felt as though someone had snapped a rubber band on the top of my foot.

I figured that it would go away on its own and went about my business. The twinges got more frequent and began to hurt more, as though the rubber band were being snapped harder, but I persisted in believing that this would resolve on its own.

The following weekend I drove up to New Jersey to sing a lot of Gilbert and Sullivan, which (the singing, not the driving) is like eight hours at the seaside. I wore my cute medium-heeled sandals, although I kicked them off quite a bit and went barefoot because it was that kind of day. Not too many twinges that weekend as I was seated a lot from Friday afternoon when I left to Sunday morning when I got back. There was probably a twinge any time I walked more than 100 or so paces.

By Monday the twinges were coming any time I walked *anywhere* - like the 50 paces to the kitchen at my office and I began to dither about what I should do about it. So I told my supervisor that I might go to the doctor in the afternoon, but I was deeply ambivalent about which doctor I should see - was this bone related and I should go an osteopath? Should I see my GP? How about the emergency room? Wouldn't one of my regular doctors want to make an appointment three weeks away? What if this became a crisis before then? It was getting worse, after all. I was beginning to suspect that at some point my ankle would give way during a twinge, which seemed like a bad idea. Dither, dither, and more dither.

On Tuesday I came to my senses and went to the Emergency Room, even though I was afraid that they would find nothing wrong and think that I am an idiot. (I am, but that's not the point here.) If going to the ER is something that you have any flexibility about, go on a Tuesday afternoon. I got there around 3:00 and was out before 4:00. The ER triage nurse shunted me off to a PA who took me up to imaging where I had an X-ray in the hospital's brand new shiny imaging center.

I was sent out to wait for a few minutes (always bring your current script to the emergency room as it is an excellent time to run your lines) and then my PA came out and told me that I had a sprained ankle. I completely didn't expect that because when people on television have sprained ankles they can't put their weight on them. And the ankles are swollen and stuff. I realize that basing anything on the people on television is a pretty silly thing to do, but it seems that I had done it.

As I pondered the fact that I'd just spent several days walking around on a sprained ankle, including a several-hour stint in heels, he said the good news was that no bones were broken but they looked kind of thin on the X-ray. I went kind of cold and stammered that I have a malabsorbtion disorder and that osteoporosis is strongly tied to Celiac disease while the type of klaxons that you have in WWII movies or Star Trek: The Next Generation starting running in my head.

You see, the only reason that I stick to my boring, annoying, no-pizza-for-Leta diet is because I don't want Osteoporosis or Lymphoma.

And before you ask, everyone I've told this too has suggested that I start taking calcium supplements. I've been taking them for about the last 15 years. So thanks, but yeah, I've got that covered.

An RN wrapped my ankle and told me I should keep it wrapped until it felt better, which is sort of difficult because when it's not twinging, it feels just fine. So I've decided that once I go 24 hours with no twinges, I'll ditch the Ace bandage, which itches like anything. Several folks at the hospital asked me how I sprained it and my answer was --- I dunno. And I don't. I have no idea. I didn't trip over anything or turn my ankle or make some unexpected left turn while walking forward. I have no clue how I did this.

So the RN was explaining what I should do which I summarized with the RICE acronym: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The Ace bandage provides the compression and I'm supplying the rest by spending more time on the couch with my feet up.

It still twinges but the twinges are now very mild compared to what they were this past Tuesday. I don't wince and limp when one happens, I just frown and mentally reset the 24-hour twinge clock.

I'll probably have to follow up with my GP if it's not better pretty soon. Or rather, very soon.

And that bone density test that my Gastroenterologist recommended has moved from the "yeah, I should do that sometime" to "I need to schedule this for some time soon" pile. Sigh.

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