Usually, when I go to the doctor, I leave feeling better. Maybe not 100% better but, at least, confident that there is a direction that will lead to healing. Didn't feel that way so much leaving the podiatrist today.
Today, leaving the doctor's office, I felt like the rug was being pulled out from under me. For nine weeks, I had been on track, holding steady, taking control of my health, and really beginning to enjoy running. Even after her initial assessment, the doctor seemed confident that it was probably just tendinitis. She had x-rays taken just to be sure it wasn't something with the bone.
Well, it was something with the bone. I saw the x-ray and thought, "What is that extra joint doing there?" Turns out, it wasn't an extra joint but an old fracture that had never been properly diagnosed or treated and had, therefore, not properly healed. In fact, the bone that broke didn't heal back together at all. You can clearly see the split in my x-ray. That means, that one of the bones in my foot is not bearing any weight at all - so the other bones and my muscles and tendons have to take up the slack. Which has led to tendinitis and the pain I've been experiencing. The doc hopes we can treat this with orthotic inserts but, if that doesn't work, surgery may be the next logical step. Surgery! On my foot! And I didn't think to ask whether she thought the inserts would be enough to get out running again or if that was just a measure to make me comfortable.
On the way home from the doctor, I started crying in my car. They were tears of anger and frustration. Some of it was frustration that I can't do what I want to right now, which is to exercise pretty intensely on a daily basis. Most of it was anger, though, that when I was fifteen, my mom had to consider her pocketbook when deciding whether I should receive medical care... anger that when I was fifteen, I knew how tight money was, and felt like I should downplay my pain to not stress/worry my mother... anger that whatever has to be done now to fix it will likely cost much more that it would have and be far more painful than it would have been to get it treated right away.
I know there are alternatives - I can find other activities to do - but right now it feels like they all involve gym memberships and/or expensive equipment that I can't afford. Running only requires a good pair of shoes and almost everything else is optional for the distances I can do. And aerobics requires a good floor space and a few DVDs borrowed from the library.
There are certain to be positive developments in this situation and I know there are lots of worse things that could have happened but, for today, I'm feeling down and I won't apologize for it.