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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

gravity works and the return of the ankle monster

I may have mentioned before that I have a slight phobia of making phone calls. I don't actually have a problem talking on the phone, I just get mild panic attacks when I have to call anyone. This is almost universal. I can call my mother, or my closest friend (if I know she is going to answer). I can call my husband's cell phone. I can call other places if I don't mind rehearsing the conversation for hours before making the call, breaking out in cold sweats, forcing myself to recall breathing techniques from childbirths (which is a bit difficult since the dh would pant/blow to the tune of the Ukranian Bell Carol every time the instructor tried to teach a new pattern...but that is a tangent for another day), and tripping over my tongue for the first 30-second eternity of the conversation. This might explain why I never called the doctor back. I was supposed to take the anti-inflammatories for a week and watch the ankle. I did. In fact, I even measured it with a tape measure to make sure I was watching it with the rational part of my brain and not the hypochondriacal part.

You know, when your ankle has been swollen long enough, a few things start to impress themselves upon you. Firstly, it is so much easier to shave your legs when there is no little hollow behind the ankle bone to navigate around. Secondly, after awhile, the swollen ankle begins to look normal, and you start worrying that the other one is really going through a state of atrophy. But, I watched it just the same. If anything, it actually swelled a little more. The meds also did nothing for the pain, and I got a few headaches I couldn't medicate (negative interaction and all that jazz). So, after a week, I stopped the anti-inflamatories, took some OTC ibuprofen, and stayed off my feet for an entire day. I kept expecting the doc to call and check in. He HAD said that, if it didn't completely go away, he would want to pursue further action. I then had the excuse that, after staying off my feet, the swelling did go down some for a week. Yes, it went right back up after that week when I started actually using my foot for such strenuous things as walking and standing, but still....

I had to develop a new excuse for not calling. Grumpiness ensued about the state of the medical system and the fact that so much of what was formerly the doctor's job now falls to the patient. Why should the patient have to make the follow-up calls? Aren't we the ones paying them? Shouldn't they be calling us?

I let it slide a little longer. I started making hints to the dh before we left to go away. I guess I thought he might call to get it taken care of for me, wuss that I am. He didn't. However, after walking around with me for a whole week with no office escape, he did call yesterday. He even gave the doc's office my cell phone number in case they couldn't reach me at home. Of course, they called yesterday while I was out. I just happened to be at a homeschooler's lunch at church where, you guessed it, there is no cell phone service. They left me a message to call them back. I didn't. I had two excuses this time. I didn't have a minute of free time yesterday, and the message the nurse left made me a trifle grumpy.

Imagine my surprise when the doc called me on my cell tonight at 9:40 (he was still at the office). Looks like I get to make a visit to a rheumatologist. If he can't expedite things and get me in to see one in a week or less, he wants to put me on prednisone in the interim. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Other than that, the day has been full of repeated lessons in the truth of gravitational law. Another way to convey this to you would be to simply admit the truth. Everything I have touched today, I have dropped. In fact, many of those things, I have dropped repeatedly (pick it up, set it on counter, it falls over and drops to the floor again). Apparently, I am in need of much intensive study on these physical laws. Even as I type, I hear from above the telltale thump. A child has fallen out of bed.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day for flight training instead.....



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