Last July, I attended my second annual wellness appointment with the cardiac interventionist my family doctor referred me to the year before. The consultation lasted maybe 20 minutes with the interventionist’s physician’s assistant., not the cardiac interventionist, and the most sophisticated test the staff conducted was to take my blood pressure. The price tag, covered by insurance, mercifully, was about $400.
For my $400, I only asked one question: I had been suffering for some months with a chronic heel aggravation: inflammation, swelling, all irritated by the running routine I try to maintain for cardiac wellness. I took off my shoe and sock, I pointed to the swelling and pain, and asked about the condition. The physician’s assistant looked disinterestedly but never as much as reached out to touch or examine the foot. He made a few general comments about maybe taking an anti-inflammatory but more or less dismissed my ailment, never suggesting what I should do or could do to alleviate the pain to continue my workout routine. I felt sort of betrayed, even ripped off, considering the cost.
Anyway, no relief. In the months since, the heel more or less worsened. In the morning early, I could barely walk, and my former jogging routine fell on the hard times of chronic pain. I was on the verge lately of giving up.
But last week, I visited a Calcasieu Parish high school where one of the coaches teaches an athletic training class that my college offers for dual high school and college credit. I was so impressed with Coach D’s athletic injury lesson that after class, as we visited casually, I mentioned my heel. I described the pain and showed him where it hurts when I press on the heel. Coach D listened sympathetically and theorized, after my description and showing from where the pain emanated, that the pain results from bursitis. He prescribed a stretching exercise and two to three twenty-minute ice therapy treatments per day.
I’ve followed that regimen since, and the immediate results have been astounding. The chronic pain is lessened dramatically, I can walk normally in the morning when I get out of bed, and I find myself able to jog without feeling crippled. 100 %, no, but getting there.
At the end of the day, “Teacher knows best!” (And charges least–Coach D didn’t send me a bill).
Leave a Response »