Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A date with Doogie Howser, MD

For the past nine days, I’ve been fantasizing about what my date with the podiatrist would be like. The referring doctor described him as “young” and said I would “really like him.”

Of course, I interpreted that to mean the foot doctor was young and tall and charming and funny and smart. And available. And hot.

I pictured him as a young Robert Redford, like the way he was in The Way We Were. You know, thick blonde hair, crinkly eyes, killer smile. I imagined walking into the hot doctor’s office and hitting it off immediately. The room would be crackling with electricity. Suddenly, he’d look at his watch and realize we had been talking for hours. He’d shake his head and say, “I’m sorry. Looks like we’ll have to schedule another appointment. An appointment for dinner, that is.”

And then he’d pull out a pad of paper and write down the name and number of another doctor.

“I’m going to have to refer you to someone else,” he’d say. “The way I feel about you isn’t ethical.”

Um…yeah. Didn’t quite go like that. I met the real doctor this morning. He was cute, but more Doogie Howser than Robert Redford. He was young, somewhere between 30 and 39. But his braces, glasses, pierced ear and generous use of hair product made it hard to pinpoint an exact age. Or sexual orientation.

The setting wasn’t conducive to romance either. He had two posters on the wall. One was a poster of nail infections, the other featured foot disorders. Both contained very graphic and disturbing photos. Who the hell puts disgusting posters like that up on their walls? Not someone I’d want to date, that’s for sure.

Anyway, Dr. Howser fondled my foot a little bit and gave me the grim diagnosis. My foot is fucked (my words, not his). He said the nerve was so damaged and inflamed that he could actually feel it.

Then he told me he has Morton’s neuroma too. The way he said it reminded me of that guy in the hair-loss commercial (“I’m not just the president, I’m a client”). At least he feels my pain (maybe that explains why he has a huge picture of Bill Clinton in the reception area).

I won’t get into all the gory details of my neuroma. He’s going to try to treat it conservatively for the first few months with orthotics and cortisone injections. And if that fails, then I will have to have surgery to remove the nerve.

In the meantime, I’m supposed to limit “pain inducing activities” like running and cycling and walking and pretty much just standing around. Which leaves me feeling frustrated and more than a little bummed. The 2005 triathlon season is a complete write-off. I won’t be able to do any hiking either. For some people, that’s not a big deal. But for me, it’s huge.

I don’t want to adapt. I want to run and cycle and hike and walk. On the upside, the only time my foot doesn’t hurt is when I swim. So at least I still have that.


thestraightpoop said...


This post, like a good movie, had everything...laughter, tears, sadness and hope.

I am sorry the doctor wasn't your dream doctor yet I am more convinced than ever that you HAVE to get into romance novel writing. I understand it can be quite lucrative.

Anyway, I am more sorry about your diagnosis...not good news indeed. You know I know what medication and treatment is all about, but I have always said it would be worse for someone like you (active and healthy up til this injury) to suddenly face it, than it has been for me to grow up with debilitation since age 6. I've just adapted, for the most part.

It plain sucks. Treat it well though, give it your all so that you can indeed run, and bike, and hike next summer without a problem. This could become something that could ruin many a summer if not treated well, and I do hope you won't have to get a surgery. Removing a nerve sounds really drastic, but this is also coming from a girl with two titanium toe joints...

Do something with your energy and frustration that you'll feel missing the great outdoors. Swim, swim, swim. Cruise with me in my new VW Cabrio. Write that romance novel.

Big hug from me.

Brian Feltham said...

Hey Sarah:

Be sure to rest up that foot and get all the treatment you need before you come to Newfoundland. You may not be well enough to hike by then but at least get your foot in good enough shape so you can keep up on George St.

By the way, I didn't mean to offend anyone with my comment on individual vs. team sports. It was a quirky comment gone bad.

Sarah said...

Thanks guys. But writing romance novels? I don't think so. More like bad porn movies ;)

Brian...as for Newfoundland. Might be a change in plans as all the flight prices have skyrocketed thanks to the whole JetsGo debacle. I'll give it some time and see if prices come down.


Callie said...

That sucks! I'm currently in physio with a bum knee while this season's training goes down the tubes, so I know how it feels. My physio's words were "Well, it might be your first sports injury, but it won't be your last!" GR! Unfortunately, he is probably right... double GR!

Here's the little mantra I'm trying to adopt:

Do only what your body allows and be patient and respectful of it's limitations. Have confidence in your body's adaptability now and it's memory for when you are swim, bike and run again!

Sarah said...

I know. I'm trying very hard to be patient but it doesn't come naturally :)


Anonymous said...

Sarah, I'm sorry things didn't go as you would have liked on all accounts. My theory on life's little detours is that you learn what you can from them and move forward. Yah, this tri season may not be what you had hoped for but the extra swimming may just put you into the next level. There is no point trying to control what you have no control over. But do keep in control of your attitude and get rid of any useless self pity. I never planned to be in a serious car accident three weeks before signing up for IronMan but I was. And I took took my unplanned detour and still made it to the start of IronMan. Hopefully this "Doogie Howser" will get you back moving again soon and your 2006 triathlon season will ROCK! PSTC K

Brian Lavery said...

I'm really sorry your Morton's Neuroma is bothering you so much. Hope the cortisone treatment works. Take care

Sarah said...

Thanks guys. Hope to be out riding with you soon.