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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My left foot

Today I saw a specialist for a pesky, 16 year old ailment and I think I’m finally going to see progress. In early 1996 I took a fencing class and had an unfortunate accident when lunging. It felt like a tendon on the bottom of my left foot got stretched or torn. I ended up limping around for several weeks, but I never felt it was serious enough to see a doctor for treatment.

Ever since that accident my left ankle has had chronic edema. The swelling starts by mid-morning and steadily gets worse throughout the day. At first, I just thought it would go away…I really wasn’t too concerned as I had no pain. Eventually, I saw an orthopedist who took x-rays. Nothing was broken, so he recommended physical therapy. I also did yoga. Exercises didn’t seem to help.
Acupuncture, lymphatic drainage and compression stockings came next. Intuitively I felt like there was something structurally wrong that these alternative therapies were not addressing. Losing weight seemed to help the ankle, but I wanted a cure.

A week ago I was referred to a chiropractor who specializes in feet, Dr. Roxanne Smith. She uses laser therapy and an Activator which is a hand held device that applies a direct force to your joints. She apologized for any pain she may cause before slamming my talus bone back into place. “This guy has his own zip code!” she exclaimed in wonder at how far up and away the bone was misaligned. She was laughing in astonishment at my predicament and calling my foot bones “guys.” It made me chuckle.
Dr. Smith was also amazed at how well I was taking the treatment. It actually felt good to have the Activator hammer my bones back. Finally, someone understood exactly what was going on with my left foot! With my face pressed against the treatment table, I was grinning with happiness. Once the swelling abated, the pounding started to sting. But I felt so filled with gratitude for her work that I didn’t complain.
The swelling was down but she wasn’t quite finished. I will have to go back again within the week and then she believes it’ll be fine. It’s interesting to me that Dr. Smith and her husband moved to Austin the same year we did, and opened their office just a few blocks down the road from our first apartment. It took me sixteen years to get me and my wayward talus (and the other guys) to her door.
I’m glad we found the way.

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