Recently I asked my doctor, Matt Freeman, about a painful lump on the side of my right ankle. (Matt is actually a nurse practitioner, but as far as I am concerned he is my doctor, since he is the one I always see when I go to the doctor’s office.) I asked Matt about this same lump almost three years ago, but at the time I was busy getting a piece of my colon removed and we agreed the lump on my ankle was, in the grand scope (no pun intended) of things, something that could wait.
My colon rectified, I was back again with the sore lump on my ankle, and Matt, after examining it and saying “Does this hurt?” (Answer: “Yes!”) suggested I see a podiatrist.
So, off I went to Dr. Jenny Sanders, foot and ankle doctor. After a thorough examination (“Does this hurt?” “Yes!”) Dr. Sanders went to work on my lump, sticking it with various needles (“This may hurt a little.” “Ouch!”) and setting up a return visit. We went through three visits, at which point she suggested getting an MRI to determine what was really going on with this lump, as it wasn’t responding to the simpler solutions involving needles that “might” hurt.
It was on this third visit that I thought to bring up the pain on my left foot. For some time now—four months, or half a year, I have had this dull-to-sharp pain on the outside of my left foot and ankle. You may be wondering why I hadn’t mentioned this to Dr. Sanders on the first or second visit, in which case you do not understand the male psyche and doctoring. If you feel pain, the best thing you can do is walk it off, assuming your foot is still more or less attached to your body. On the other hand, if the injury is particularly painful, you are expected to “power through” it. It’s my understanding that many doctors do exactly this, rather than seeking medical treatment for their ailments.
But after eight months I was beginning to suspect the pain in my left foot was not going away, and there I was in the room with an actual foot doctor, so I thought I’d mention it. And just as I feared, Dr. Sanders became very interested in this new information.
“Does this hurt?” “Yes!” “And this? “YES!!” It was like we were having sadomasochistic sex. After determining to her satisfaction that something was clearly wrong with my left foot, Dr. Sanders said I would need an MRI on that foot, too. And of course they can’t do an MRI on both feet at once, so I was in the MRI place long enough to fall asleep and start snoring. But at least that didn’t hurt.
In the end Dr. Sanders determined that I had a torn ligament in my left foot and now I am wearing an air cast for at least four weeks. I think it looks a lot like the boots worn by the Storm Troopers in Star Wars, only stupider, but you can judge for yourself. It is certainly a lot larger than Bombo the Yorkie.
As for the lump on my other ankle—Dr. Sanders has lost interest. She says I can get it cut off if I want, but aside from the discomfort it isn’t doing me any harm. One thing is certain: before any surgery, the doctor will want to do extensive testing to determine if it hurts.