A Trip to Podiatry Hell

Today I finally went to the podiatrist for my broken pinkie toe. Nothing in life prepared me for what a gigantic waste of time and money that trip would turn out to be. But I guess I need to back up in order to make this a proper story with any semblance of coherence…

I kicked the wall last month. No, I was not aiming for Mike. It’s funny how many people asked that question. I took the corner in our hallway too sharply and the little guy, just hanging off the edge, caught it and bent in ways toes aren’t meant to bend. Oddly enough, this was on the day that I launched this very blog. Is that an auspicious omen or what? I knew it was broken by the pathetic little snap I heard and the subsequent colorful bruises that appeared on the bottom of my foot. It looked like a lovely Rorschach blot. Except it hurt a lot. I followed everyone’s advice and iced it, then taped it to its larger sibling, limping around for the first week until the swelling subsided. Then I patiently waited.

Fast-forward five weeks: I’ve used an entire roll of medical tape, and I still can’t wear shoes, because the toe sticks out in a wrong-ish direction. This means I can’t jog, I can’t do pilates – basically I can’t do anything that requires me to wear shoes or be on my feet too much. Greeeeaaaaat. That means minimal exercise for me, just what a girl with a boring office job and a sweet tooth who’s trying to shed twenty pounds needs: more obstacles to fitness enterprises. At least I can still swim. Although I don’t have a pool, so…no, I can’t swim.

With the New York wedding coming up, I was naturally concerned about the type of shoes I’d be able to sport. Shoes are a piece of the ensemble dear to my heart, and since I have to buy new ones as I am in the bridal party, I want them to be amazing, naturally, and in my present state my foot cannot physically handle heels of any variety. Thus, I finally pointed out the askew toe to my GP when I was in for my sinus infection. She looked at it, scratched her head, said “Huh,” and ordered x-rays.

I finally got around to getting the x-rays on Monday, and on Tuesday they told me what I already knew: yep, broken. Thank you, medical science. Hairline fracture yada yada. Frankly, the most interesting part of the whole diagnosis was the part when they described the deformity in my toe.

Yes, didn’t I tell you I have a deformed little toe? It’s kind of adorable. It’s missing the middle bone, so basically it’s like a little nubbin that doesn’t bend right. The report called it a “congenital variant, which has no relationship to the injury.” Hee hee. I didn’t expect them to name my deformity like that, but it was amusing. I should give it a real name. Like Hank. Or Phyllis (no, my toe has no gender).

Anywho, the doctor referred me to a podiatrist, who I visited today on my lunch break.

Big fat frickin’ waste of time.

I sat in the waiting room for exactly an hour. By the time I handed over my insurance card, I’d already burned through my half hour of lunch break, so this endeavor was losing me money before I even forked over my copay.

In a nutshell, he told me it would probably hurt for another six months, and the tendons will pull it back into place.

So…you’re telling me you can’t just pop that sucker back into place? That I just spent sixty bucks for you to tell me you can’t do anything? (No, that’s not my copay – I’m factoring in lost wages, too).

Just another typical day at the doctor.

This is why I don’t go to doctors. This is why I prefer the self-diagnosing method enabled by WebMD and my residual knowledge from high school anatomy.

I knew I should have just amputated it. It really is the most pathetic of all my toes. Poor Phyllis…



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