Let’s just get to the punchline, shall we? I’d like to get this section of the blog over with so I can move on to more entertaining subjects…<grin>
Lest you think I was idle between “Doctor A” and “Doctor B,” let me assure you I was not. When I say taking control of my health, I mean it. Realizing that I was doing everything horribly wrong was the first step, and I never needed a doctor to tell me how to fix that. I just needed the motivation.
Since the first appointment with my hubby’s doctor, I have lost at least 35 lbs. (It’s now been months since I’ve weighed myself, it is likely more by now. I’m even getting the excess skin wrinkles around my elbows and knees…ewww!). I immedately stopped drinking soda (for those of you who know me, this was no easy task!), and fast food hasn’t passed my lips since March. I’ve increased my vegetable intake, as well as fiber (which from zero wasn’t really that hard to increase!) hoping to get my body some badly needed vitamins and minerals. I also began religiously taking a multi-vitamin, just to make sure I don’t miss any. Gradually, about the house, I’ve been enforcing my own work-hardening program. Knowing that a part-time job in retail would involve a minimum of 4 hours on my feet, my goal is to eventually build up my ability to stand/walk/stay active for at least 4 hours. I’m only up to 1 1/2 hours to 2 at best, but I’m progressing.
So…I made the appointment with the new doctor and arrived with eager anticipation…and anxiety. There’s always the chance that this will be just another bad experience, just another quack. The office is in a small strip of offices, most of which are vacant, in an area of town which is largely vacant. It was a little bizarre. Add to that the friendly police officer parked in the lot looking for speeders…and I think my heart rate went up. It’s been twenty years or so since I’ve done anything to warrant a policeman’s notice, but the knee jerk reaction is well bred into me!
I entered the very small, very cozy office hesitantly, not knowing exactly what to expect. The lobby was, indeed, very cozy. Complete with one of those electric fireplaces and a television, even though there were maybe five seats in the waiting room altogether. It was very comfortable and yet…
I caught a glimpse of the plaques on the wall and realized that this doctor sub-specializes in alzheimers. Maybe I was in the wrong place after all? The receptionist hadn’t asked me what the appointment was for, although I had mentioned my feet…and I’d given her my birthday, hadn’t I? Questions ran rampant, and I almost bolted. But at the moment of my greatest insecurities, the nurse called me to bring me to the exam room. Obviously, I was not one of the alzheimer’s patients, that was obvious to me, and she didn’t say anything, so I began to become a little more comfortable.
I made a joke about being a little younger than their average patient, but the nurse (who was ADORABLE, energetic, friendly, happy and kind…a good sign altogether!) assured me I was in the right place. She didn’t have me disrobe, which didn’t bother me as it was my feet that needed the exam, and I knew that the doctor might want to conduct an initial consultation before we got down to business anyway. I gave the nurse a little of my medical history, and she went out to let the doctor know I was ready.
The doctor…is an eccentric-looking, very kind woman. I liked her instantly, and trusted her intuitively, which was just what I was looking for. I again made a joke about being a bit younger than her regular patients, but she assured me she was a general practice doctor, and liked very much to have both ends of the spectrum for her practice. I was very relieved. Turns out she not just specializes in alzheimer’s but in women’s depression as well. It’ s not something I suffer from at the moment, but nice to know nonetheless.
Her bedside manner was excellent, she really is a kind person. She conducted a basic exam, looking into my ears, nose and throat, checking my breathing and blood pressure. Then she asked me if I had anything serious I needed her to look at. I told her about my feet. Again, to my relief, she did ask me to take off my shoes and socks. Finally! A doctor who listened to me!
She proceeded to run a few checks. I stood up, and she discovered I was flat-footed, something I’d never noticed before. So she recommended shoe inserts and told me which ones to get. She tested me with a needle, pricking to see if I had sensation. Which I do…that’s the odd thing. I have tingly feet, but they actually hurt more not less. They’re not numb. It’s been ages since I’ve been able to walk barefoot (a true hardship!). Well, after poking and prodding a bit, and asking some questions (between which she at no point looked to a laptop) she determined that I also have plantar fasciitis. For this, she wrote me an order for physical therapy.
Then suddenly inspired, she got up and left the room, returning with a tuning fork. This was bizarre–she twanged the tuning fork and held it against my feet and legs in various places. Apparently, she was checking to see if I was able to sense the vibrations. Here’s the odd part…I felt the vibration more in my feet and less in my legs. Curious. She thought it was possible that I might have a vitamin B…or some other deficiency…so that was added to the blood work that I need to have done.
If the blood work doesn’t turn up the answer, there’s a chance I’ll have to go in for further nerve evaluation. There’s also the chance…as she told me at my last visit…that we may not find the answer any time soon. Apparently, there’s a 60% chance that we’ll be able to figure this out, all depending on whether the knowledge is out there to find yet or not. Oddly enough, I wasn’t discouraged about that. Well, I was a little at first. But it was a bit of a relief for her to actually say it. So often, I’ve seen doctors making pronouncements when they were, at best, guessing. She actually told me the truth. I trust her more now. Besides, when I was in high school and had my arm surgery, there was only a 50% chance that it was going to work, and here I am…many years later, with full use of my arm.
So that’s the story so far. I have a doctor I trust completely. I may not be healthy yet, but I’m on the right path. I’ve taken responsibility for my own health. It will only get better from here.