“I’m not going to lose my leg! I’m not going to lose my leg”! That is what was repeated in my mind over and over again earlier today.
It started about 3 weeks ago when I began having pain in my lower right leg. I didn’t do anything to injure it so it pretty much started out of the blue. It trickles down to my ankle/foot area at times. The pain is at its peak when I walk. It’s not to the point that I cannot walk but it does hurt something fierce. To some people, this may not seem like a big deal. Some people may be able to grin and bear it. But I have diabetes. And there are so many things that can go wrong with my legs. I first went to a walk-in-kind-of-place to have it looked at last weekend and they sent me to the ER where I waited hours and hours to have a Doppler test to check for a blood clot. That test came back okay thank goodness. But it didn’t explain the pain. Since I wasn’t sure what type of doctor to see, I listened to my hubby’s suggestion of seeing an orthopedic doctor. I had been to an office already 2 years ago when I had my trigger thumb surgery so it’s not like I had to find a new place. So today I went.
Although I had been to this office before, I was seeing a new doctor. They brought me in to the exam room and gave me paper shorts to wear. (And yes, I looked really sexy! 😉 ) When the doctor came in, I immediately liked her. She was so pleasant and I can actually see her listening as I described my symptoms. The first thing she did was feel my leg and she knew exactly where to touch it that hurt the worst! She said she knew exactly what it was. Shin splints. After finishing my exam, she sent me down the hall for x rays. I was sitting there in my bright blue paper shorts and Ugg boots. An older woman came out of the x ray room, looked at me and said “boy don’t you look cute!” We exchanged some laughs and nice words and she was on her way. After she left, I sat there by myself and the thought of all the pain I’ve been having being from shin splints weighed on my mind. And the notion that this was something treatable, not life threatening and most importantly not something that was going to put the life of my leg in jeopardy, brought tears to my eyes. I still tear up thinking of how scared I was. How I was thinking there was something seriously wrong with my leg. That is was the start of diabetes complications. That it may lead to me losing my leg. And the relief I feel that it is not what I was imagining, is indescribable.
The x rays didn’t show anything which is good. She said there is a very slight chance I could have a stress fracture but she doesn’t think it’s likely. I need to limit my activities (bummer!), take some pain relievers and begin physical therapy. This is going to be a pain in the a** but definitely something I can deal with. And hopefully the therapy will help the pain let up so that I can get back to normal. This is one doctor I really, really liked and one visit that I really, really appreciated. There is something wrong with my leg and it does hurt. But the fact that it is only shin splints, is great news.