About two months ago, for no reason whatsoever, I woke up one day with a throbbing pain on my inner right ankle. I didn’t notice it until I stepped out of bed and put my foot on the floor. As I did that, I let out a little “Ouch!” and hoped that wasn’t loud enough to wake my wife. As I hobbled into the bathroom I thought to myself, “Great! Another mysterious body pain to make me feel old.”
As I got into the shower I tried to account for anything I may have done the day before. I hadn’t been to the gym that day so I couldn’t have pulled a muscle. Slipped on the ice and maybe twisted it? That’s a possibility, but I couldn’t remember having done that. It was a mystery, but yet there was definitely more than just a minor pain. I thought to myself, “Oh well, maybe it will go away quickly.”
As I went to work and the day wore on, I sort of forgot about the pain, or more likely, just chose to ignore it I suppose. Unfortunately, the pain never really went away. That night I mentioned it to my wife and she gave me the standard questioning and suggested I go see the doctor. The next morning it felt a little better, so I didn’t give it much thought and went about my day.
Fast forward two more weeks and the pain was still there. Some days it was nothing more than a minor irritation and others it was a throbbing pain. When the pain started to move to the bottom of my foot and made it more difficult to walk without a limp, I finally decided to call my doctor.
Honestly, I love my doctor, but I hate going in there. Sick people all around you and it always takes much longer than what I feel like it should. He looked it over, asked a lot of questions, pinched here, prodded there. “Does that hurt when I do this?” He eventually took some x-rays, wrote me a pain prescription and told me to come back to see him in a week if it still hurt.
The next week I was back in his office. “Yes, it still hurts Doc”. He told me he looked at the x-rays and there wasn’t anything broken or cracked. Everything looked normal. This time he sent me next door to have a sonogram taken. Yes men, apparently sonograms are used for more than just checking the health of a baby in the womb. The technician running the machine told me she would be checking for blood clots and explained that sometimes they can cause problems. Ten minutes later, no blood clots and everything seamed perfectly fine.
After leaving that appointment and seeing the bill, I sat in my car and said what every red-blooded American man has said at least once in his life, “Well that was a waste of time and money. These doctors don’t know what they’re doing. I’m going back to work and maybe it will just go away!”
That was about a month ago and I’ll save you the details of my journey of pain over the last four weeks, but let’s just say the pain has not gone away. On Tuesday I visited my second podiatrist. The first one I went to a couple weeks ago didn’t seem to know what the problem was and wanted me to take more x-rays. His solution was to buy a fairly expensive “sports wrap” from him and wear it for 30 days. After two days of wearing that ankle wrap and figuring that it caused my pain to increase immensely, I made an executive decision to stop using it.
As I said, on Tuesday I went to see my second podiatrist. This is the doctor that operated on my wife’s feet five years ago and Elaine was very happy with the results. Because of that, there was already a built-in trust with me. I sat in his exam room, he asked a lot of great questions, and then proceeded to tell me exactly what was wrong. Not only did he tell me what the problem is, but he also gave me a solution and he said it with such confidence that I felt assured he knew what he was talking about.
As I hobbled out of the doctor’s office, I now had a plan. I was to get an MRI they’d pre-scheduled for me to make sure there were no muscle or tendon tears. For the next week I was to wear a big boot and the nurse showed me exactly how to put it on. Then next week he wanted me to come back into the office for a second visit to discuss the MRI and check the progress of my inflamed ankle. I was assured this was something he’s dealt with many times and that it was fixable, it would just take some time.
As I got to the car and climbed in, it occurred to me how nice it is to finally deal with a true professional. It also occurred to me that he hadn’t given me a bill or even told me what the cost of the boot would be, but I honestly didn’t care. By now I just wanted the pain to go away and my motivation to make that happen was very high. The cost of his services were worth it.
As I drove back to the office that morning, I was thinking about the clients we work with in our real estate business. For some, the pain of selling their home and moving is very high. They just want someone to tell them what to do. They want a professional that will solve their problems and they want someone with experience to help them through the process. I thought about the other doctors I met with previously. I’m sure they’re well educated and capable of helping me, but when you are in the presence of a true professional, it’s quite obvious he knows what he’s doing. There’s a clear level of confidence that the others don’t have.
I’m looking forward to my foot feeling better in a few weeks and being able to walk like a normal person again. I have a new feeling of confidence that will happen now and I’m so glad my wife knew someone to refer me to.