Friday, September 7, 2007

my right foot; a brief yet tedious history

When I was six years old, I got fitted out with my very first pair of glasses. By the time I passed out of school, I was wearing the equivalent of a pair of small telescopes on my eyes. Having a pair of glasses that fell off my face at slightest provocation due to their weight and without whom I was nearly blind meant that I tended to avoid strenuous sports in favour of tamer and more elegant pursuits; the kind where the chances of, e.g., me getting hit in the head because I couldn't see to defend myself (at least, the chance of getting hit in the head literally...) were fewer. *

I compromised on this tragic scenario by walking. Walking was a way to keep moving without the fear of bodily harm, and this appealed to me. (I am not a fan of bodily harm.) I walked a lot - to school and back, to the houses of friends, up and down stairs - everywhere I could, really.
When I was fifteen years old, however, I took a wrong step and fell down the stairs in my house.
Yes, really.
Slipped at the top of a flight, slithered down, and landed on the side of my right foot, twisting it to a crazy and unnatural degree. (it was perhaps the only time I actually remember screaming in pain.)
The ankle was in a cast for two months, and the ligament was never the same again.

A few years later, in my second year in college, I twisted the foot again. (There was an incident, sometime between the two aforementioned, involving my left foot as well. It featured such salient points as a game of basketball with the neighbours, a hole in the ground, and a wildly swollen foot. Also a cast and a scrape on my leg when the attendant used the electric saw carelessly; but I digress.)
It still counted only as a sprain, but the previous injury had left my ankle prone to injury at the least twist, and not noticing a change in levels a step while running around strange buildings surely counted as one.

After that, I had mild aches in my foot for a long time, but assumed it was because of all the walking I was doing - to and from bus stops; between bus stops, around the college campus, around sites... I had frequent visions of acupuncture, Ayurvedic oil massages and amputation, and finally did visit a renowned chiropractor. He, however, put me on to a series of painful and seemingly meaningless therapy sessions that emptied my parents' pockets and did nothing for the foot. Besides, he never once told me what he thought was wrong with my foot, and I just cannot trust doctors who do that.

This year, my foot returned to the forefront in splendour and glory. On April 29, I took a step forward and my foot took a step down, and the confusion in gravity proved too much for the ligament, which promptly tore again. This time I was in a cast for a month. It was large, heavy and orange. Here is a picture.
Once the cast was off, I was adjured to walk around with my foot in a bandage and put as little weight on the ankle as possible. And all was fine and dandy, and I limped gamely around town; going so far as to run behind buses and skip merrily in public; until the foot suddenly began sending me alarming signals of pain on an almost daily basis.

Finally, after a few months of tying the foot up in new and interesting ways, we visited another doctor who then introduced me to my new pet medical term - sesamoid. With the little that the doctors shared and some perusing of articles on the internet (yes, i know, i know. but still) I figured out that my medial sesamoid is either bipartate or fractured.
This makes for fun times and daily physiotherapy and plenty of pain and a constant, passionate desire to shoot myself through the foot.

And now I am on the verge of my next appointment with the doctor to find out if I need a cast, or a bone scan, or (oh, help) surgery. Hurrah for modern medicine!

* I did eventually get corrective eye surgery, which meant I could no longer hide behind the glass and was exposed to the world and boys might want to ask me out etc but they never did. But now I can run without fear.
Unless I am
a. running because of fear,
b. still in possession of a broken sesamoid bone,
c. wearing loose clothes, or
d. wearing tight clothes.

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