Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Official Ankle Verdict…. I’m on the DL
Saw the doctor this morning about my ankle… Actually I saw a nurse and two doctors about my ankle. I'm not exactly sure how doctors get their own nurses that travel around to their various offices, or how they get resident doctors assigned to their services either…. But this doc has both.
I arrived, filled out the needed paperwork, waited about 10 minutes and was ushered into the office to wait. Then a very nice x-ray technician came in and brought me to the x-ray room where we took three x-rays. We then walked back to my designated holding pen and my x-rays were immediately brought up on a monitor (very cool technology). I was then left to wait and contemplate the images before me. I was expecting to see something odd our out of place… you'd think after 14 weeks of trying to nurse this ankle back to health I'd see something on the x-ray. I don't know exactly what a normal ankle looks like… but I gotta tell ya, my ankle looked pretty normal on the bone structure level.
After waiting and contemplating a little bit longer my Doctor's nurse Lucy comes in. She interviews me… it started with "You're 31 right?" after which I knew this was going to be a lot of blah de blah nonsense about information she already had in my file. She didn't seem overly friendly on this particular occasion either. Meh… I wanted to see the doc.
Then he walked in… I looked up from dangling my feet from the table and looked him straight in the eye and shook his hand… the most attractive doctor I have ever seen in my life! DRAT… why did I decide to wear the slumpy jeans and a sweatshirt! Probably because I never expected to see anyone remotely attractive in a doctor's office! This was Dr. Steve… and he works with the doctor I had my appt with (must be a resident or something)… He tested the resistance on my ankle… inquired about previous ankle surgery (I have a particularly nasty scar on my injured ankle from a previously unrelated shaving mishap… don't ask) which he mistook for a surgery scar… he joked with me about possibly needing surgery and informing me that flip flops from Old Navy were not good choices for footwear he then he walked out. Sadly… without taking my phone number (but… it's in my file should he ever feel the need to call).
About five minutes after the glorious Dr. Steve left, the main Doctor came in, we'll call him Dr. P., and he reviewed much the same information that both Lucy and Dr. Steve reviewed, only thankfully in slightly greater detail I finally felt after my third time around at telling the saga of my ankle all the words were finally being heard. I also mentioned for the third time that getting back to the dance floor is what I needed most of all. I can already walk; it's the dancing part I can't seem to get right at the moment. So there was some more "push this way, and back that way, good, and again" to test my current range of motion. Also after reviewing the x-rays which look pretty much normal Dr. P. informed me that I have a very normal extra bone in my foot. How, that's normal I'm not exactly sure… but the fact that I got an observation of "everything looks pretty normal except this common extra bone you have here." Is actually normal… it seems that I always have a slightly left of perfect status on most of my anatomy.
Moving on to the plan of attack so that I can get back on the dance floor full time to both mine, and Largo's satisfaction:
I am to take 750mg twice daily of some kind of super strong anti inflammatory which Dr. Steve says will knock out any swelling.
I am to proceed directly to my nearest Physical Therapy (PT) facility in workout clothes and explain to the Physical Therapist that I require an athletic training variety of therapy so that I can return to dance.
I am to do visit this PT facility 3 x weekly for 4 weeks and also perform at home exercises (that I've already been doing for at least 8 weeks myself already) at which time I am to asses my own ankle.
IF after these 4 weeks I am showing marked improvement I am to proceed with my PT for two more weeks and start introducing dance again (at the Physical Therapist's discretion).
IF after these 4 weeks I am NOT showing any marked signs of improvement and strength in my ankle I am to proceed to an MRI facility and make an appt with Dr. P. to consult on possible surgery. (An MRI takes images of the soft tissue such as tendons in the body for a better assessment of what is going on.)
So this leads me to ask "Ok, that's a plan, but what about dancing…. Am I off the floor or what?"
Dr. P looks at my x-ray, looks at me and says "Well I'm not about to tell you not to dance, but it's not going to help you heal."
"Ok… so spell it out for me what does that mean?"
"How about go to some PT, take the meds, and MAKE SURE your therapist knows you have to dance so you get the proper type of PT and decide for yourself when you can go back."
Based on my performance in my last lesson… I'm on the DL (Disabled List)… Which means:
No dancing of any kind for 4 weeks not at studio parties or anything… I will work my ankles at PT and my upper body at the gym and if the swelling starts to improve, I will also include walking on the treadmill (or whichever form of cardio my PT will advise). This is my 4 week plan to see if I can actually get some RESULTS.
Also, after speaking at length with my friend Horace, I will also be looking into a second opinion.
I am sick of feeling like this year is slipping by and all I have to show for it is the remarkable ability to sit at my desk.