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Putting Your Flat Foot In Your Mouth

, , , , , | Healthy | April 11, 2022

I’ve been having heel and arch pain for a couple of months. A relative suggests that I may have plantar fasciitis, as she has it and my symptoms are identical. She recommends a particular shoe brand that her podiatrist suggested a few years ago.

This brand has a variety of cute shoes with a built-in insole that’s famous for helping plantar fasciitis patients. I buy a couple of pairs, and they are very helpful.

I get into a podiatrist and am wearing a pair of flip-flops by this brand. I’m also the youngest patient in the waiting room by about thirty years. The nurse calls my name, does a double-take when I stand up, and points me to a room.

Nurse: “So, why are you here?”

I am surprised by her tone, but I describe the pain I’ve been having and explain that I suspect plantar fasciitis after chatting with a relative who has it, so I am here to see if it’s that or something else. The nurse eyes my shoes.

Nurse: “The arches on those shoes are very high, and you have flat feet. That’s causing your pain.”

I think that maybe she can’t tell what they are, as they do look like normal flip-flops, just with a better arch.

Me: “Oh, sorry, they are actually [Brand].”

I slide them off and show her the brand name on the sole.

Nurse: “You can’t wear shoes like that with flat feet. Stop wearing them.”

Me: “They’re helping the pain. Are [Brand] shoes not recommended for foot problems anymore?”

Nurse: “But the arches are too high. They can’t be helping.”

I’m annoyed and let my tone show it.

Me: “That’s the point! They have extra support to help stabilize the arch and heel. Therefore, I have less pain when I walk.”

Nurse: “Your only problem is flat feet, but whatever. The doctor will be in soon. She’ll tell you.”

She rolls her eyes and walks out. The doctor comes in soon after. After a few minutes of chat, she starts checking my feet. I flinch as she pushes on my left arch.

Me: “I felt that!

Doctor: “Yep, plantar fasciitis. Your paperwork said the right foot is worse, right?”

Me: “Yep.”

Doctor: “Okay. Hold on to something. I’ll be as gentle as I can.”

She lightly pushes on my problem arch, causing pain to shoot all throughout the foot. I yelp.

Doctor: “Plantar fasciitis confirmed in both feet.”

She writes something on my chart, and then she looks at my shoes on the floor.

Doctor: “Hey, those are [Brand]!”

I nod.

Doctor: “Fantastic. They’re top of the line for plantar fasciitis, so keep wearing those. I always recommend them.”

She talks to me about other shoe brands I should try and some stretches I need to do daily. She asks if I have any questions.

Me: “Um, yes. I don’t necessarily want to get anyone in trouble, but…”

I briefly recap the conversation with the nurse. The doctor sighs and shakes her head.

Doctor: “I’m sorry about that. I’ll take care of it.”

She gives me some additional instructions and exits. Another nurse comes in to check me out, and she is much friendlier. I go back for a follow-up several weeks later, and guess which nurse calls me back again? She makes a face and mutters something under her breath as I walk in.

Nurse: “So, you’re back for your flat feet?”

Me: “No. I’m following up on my plantar fasciitis.”

She looks at my chart and her expression immediately changes.

Nurse: “Oh. Yep, it’s right here. Plantar fasciitis. Uh… the doctor will be in soon.”

Exit nurse, stage left.

Who’s Panicking?!

, , , | Healthy | April 8, 2022

I have a chronic disease, so I have blood tests like twice a year. I’m used to it and not afraid of needles or blood at all. This particular day, I have to get some more tests at the hospital so I’m here for the day. A nurse puts a catheter in my arm so they can get blood several times.

At the end of the day, another nurse comes by to take it off.

Nurse: “Okay, I’m gonna take it off. It might bleed a little bit, so please stay calm.”

Me: “Sure.”

She gets the needle out, and maybe because I moved too much during the day, some blood gets out and runs along my arm. It’s more than I expected but it’s really not a big deal. I don’t say a word, thinking she’s going to give me something to wipe it with.

Nurse: “OKAY! STAY CALM, PLEASE! DON’T PANIC!”

Me: “Well, I—”

Nurse: “IT’S OKAY, MA’AM! IT’S GONNA BE OKAY!”

Me: “I… know?”

She frantically wipes my arm and takes my hand.

Nurse: *Gently* “Calm down. It’s over… It’s okay…”

Me: “Errr… thanks?”

Nurse: “Yeah, everything is fine now. I know, this was kind of stressful, right? Just a little bit of blood.”

Me: “Yeah… sure.”

Maybe she just wanted to add a dramatic touch to her day? She was very nice, though.

You’ve Got To Be Kidneying Me

, , , , , | Healthy | March 3, 2022

I donated a kidney a while back. For the most part, this isn’t much of a problem; the only side effect of the donation, other than not being allowed to do some obscure medical test with radioactive dyes that I’ll likely never need, is that I should avoid NSAIDs like aspirin.

A few years back, I went to a new dentist due to dental pain and they told me I would need a tooth removed. They didn’t have me fill out anything about my medical history before I went in for the dental surgery, so I made sure to briefly mention that I’d donated a kidney to my dentist just so he was aware of it.

After the surgery was over, I was sent to talk to a nurse about post-care and given a prescription for pain relief. I didn’t recognize the medication name, but to be safe:

Me: *To the nurse* “I’ve donated a kidney, so I cannot take NSAIDs. Is this prescription safe for me?”

Nurse: “Yes, it is.”

However, while I was going to pick up my medication, I read through the paperwork they handed me. There was a note saying that it wasn’t safe to take a certain medication if you had kidney problems. The medication mentioned on the paperwork was different than the one I was prescribed, but just the fact that the paperwork called out potential risk concerned me. I figured I should be safe since I’d made sure everyone knew the risk and had been assured it was fine, but I was uncertain enough that I decided to double-check.

Lo and behold, even a quick Google search was enough to learn that the medication I was prescribed was listed as a generic version of the medication the paperwork said I shouldn’t take, and a quick check on [Health Website] explicitly said that this medication was not safe if you had kidney problems.

I called the dentist back explaining the problem, but they never returned my call, leaving me to suffer through the pain with nothing more than Tylenol. I opted not to go back to that dentist for the follow-up surgery to get a replacement tooth installed; I have a general rule of never allowing medical organizations more than one attempt at destroying any of my organs.

About a year and a half later, I got a letter from the dentist saying they were going out of business and I should contact them now if I needed to get any of my medical records. I can’t say I considered their being out of business much of a loss.

I Just Learned Something New

, , , , , , | Healthy | February 10, 2022

My cat passes away, and in the stress of dealing with his illness, I do forget to wear a mask outside a couple of times. The following days after his death, I suddenly get very sick, and naturally, all I can think of is that I caught something when I forgot to wear a mask. I have almost entirely lost my voice. So, I decide to get tested.

The nurse looks down my throat.

Nurse: “Yeah, you look a bit torn up in there from coughing. Let’s get the tests started.”

She swabs for a couple of different things, and while we are waiting for the results, she says:

Nurse: “Also, your tonsils looked kind of inflamed and oddly shaped…”

Me: *Croaking* “My what?!”

Nurse: “Tonsils, in the back of your throat?”

Me: *Coughing* “I had a tonsillectomy seven years ago!”

Nurse: *Pauses* “That would explain the odd shape they’re in. Well, you’re negative for [contagious illness], strep, and flu, so it’s probably tonsillitis.”

It turns out that, much like if you have part of your liver cut off, your tonsils can grow back, too. I’m the first person I know to have tonsillitis after getting tonsils removed. Good grief!

Don’t Sprain Yourself Trying To Be Helpful

, , , , | Healthy | February 1, 2022

I am about fifteen and in high school, and cell phones aren’t really a thing yet. Yesterday, I sprained my ankle. It’s very painful and swollen, but an x-ray shows no breaks. I have a chemistry test, but it’s second period, so I figure I can limp around until then. My mom tells me to go to the office when I finish the test and call her, and she’ll come get me. She says she’ll call if she doesn’t hear from me by a certain time. I finish my test, which takes longer than I thought, and my teacher dismisses me to the office. I hobble in. The nurse is at the front desk.

Nurse: “Did you hurt yourself?”

Me: “I sprained my ankle yesterday. I came in to take my chem test, but I need to go home. It really hurts. Can I call my mom?”

Nurse: “Oh, a Tylenol will fix you right up. I’ve got some in my office. What’s your name?”

Me: “[My Full Name]. My mom said I could call her after the test and she’d come get me.”

Nurse: “No, no. All you need is Tylenol. Can’t have you missing class.”

Me: “Look, it’s really swollen and it hurts and—”

Nurse: “I know what you’re trying to do. You’re not going to skip.”

Me: “What?! I’m not skipping! It really hurts! I need to ice it!”

The phone rings.

Nurse: “Don’t even think about leaving. Sit down.”

I sit and pop my foot up on a chair. The nurse answers the phone.

Nurse: “[School].” *Pauses* “You need to pick your daughter up early?” *Pauses* “Sure, what’s your name?” *Pauses* “And her name?” *Pauses* “Oh.”

She glares daggers at me.

Nurse: “She’s in the office now.” *Pauses* “Due to the number of students skipping, we had to be sure before we called.” *Pauses* “Yes, she says she’s in pain.” *Pauses* “Yes, she says it’s swollen.” *Pauses* “Uh-huh.” *Pauses* “Okay.” *Pauses* “You’ll need to come in with ID.” *Pauses* “Thank you.”

She hangs up.

Nurse: “Don’t move. Your mom is on her way.”

Less than ten minutes later, my mom comes running in. My ankle has ballooned up at this point. There are now other office staff around. She waves her ID at the nurse and signs me out. Then, she helps me out of the chair and I hang on to her for balance.

Mom: *Loudly* “Don’t accuse a kid of trying to skip when she’s very clearly hurting. All you had to do was look at her foot to see she wasn’t faking.”

Nurse: “I’m sorry—”

Mom: “Nope. We are leaving.”

She took me home, where I iced and elevated my foot for the rest of the day. I didn’t see that nurse again!