Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A pain in my... big toe

Definitely a case of the Mondays yesterday. I was standing at the kitchen counter slicing bread when the cabinet door, which hides our washing machine, fell off its hinges and directly onto my big toe. I was just in the right place at the right time. Thankfully it was me and not 6 month pregnant Maria or Marshall.

The scene of the crime

Like a good patient, I immediately began the RICE regime. Then I wondered when I can go to Bikram Yoga again. I've been going almost daily for awhile and you really need your big toe to balance!

This morning the swelling and bruising hadn't gotten any better. It was painful and hard to walk.

As I have travel medical insurance, Seven Corners, I looked online for the nearest healthcare provider. They cover private hospitals! (The NHS, National Healthcare Service, which was so strangely celebrated in the Opening Ceremonies can only help you so much.) I called and was able to get a lunchtime appointment with a foot surgeon. Lucky me!

The Wellington Hospital's Platinum Medical Centre was like a posh hotel. After taking the bus, I limped up to be greeted by the doorman in a 3-piece suit and top hat! He would have valeted my car if I had driven. I proceeded to the Welcome Desk where a suited woman directed me to the Reception Desk. More smartly dressed staff at computers ready to check me in. I took my paperwork upstairs to the Outpatient floor.

The nurses were chatting away pleasantly at the desk like any other doctor's office. They asked me to take a seat in a sleek white leather chair as the doctor was running a few minutes later. 10 minutes later, a nurse showed me to his office. Doctor Herron or "Mr. Herron" as they are called here, was in a blazer seated at his desk. The small exam area was to the right. I sat in an arm chair answering his questions about myself - work, hobbies, etc. (Wait is this a date?) All before getting to my medical issue.

When I explained the situation, I was treated to British humor, medical style.
Doctor: "Was the cabinet door heavy?"
Wynne: "It was to me!"
Doc: "I bet that hurt."
Wynne: "It did."
Doc: "Let's have a look then... I suspect it's just soft tissue that's injured."

He sent me down to X-ray conveniently located in the basement. After a brief wait, the cheery technician had me hop on the table for 2 quick X-rays. When I returned to the Outpatient area to wait for the X-rays to be emailed to the doctor, the nurse offered me tea or coffee. Not even 3 minutes later a friendly woman presented a little tray with a full coffee set-up including Walkers shortbread cookies. Not a bad way to wait for your results!

X-rays confirmed it's broken. Non-displaced fracture between the knuckle and the foot joint. The bone should set fine and heal straight in 3 weeks.

Doctor: "You know the Crunchie bar - hard on the outside with a soft honeycomb center? Well your toe is like that. The break is in the honeycomb but hasn't gone all the way through the chocolate."

Big toes are like Crunchie bars.

Doctor: "Does it hurt to walk? Now's not the time to be brave."
Wynne: "Yes."
Doctor: "I can prescribe a walking boot air cast."
Wynne: "I walk a lot. I would like that protection (from both myself and strangers)."
Doctor: "Ok. Wear it for 3 weeks. It's rather thick soled so you'll need to wear a thick soled shoe  to balance you out.  Like a trainer (sneaker) or wedge."
Wynne: "And after 3 weeks?"
Doctor: "Be careful with it. The bone will have set but you'll need to wait another 3 weeks before doing anything high impact like running."
Wynne: "Ok, so 3 weeks in the walking boot then another 3 weeks before high impact exercise."
Doctor: "Right, no kicking people for another 6 weeks. Well small children in 3 weeks."

Yes, both the wedge suggestion and the kicking of small children comments came out of the Doctor's mouth!

Giggling, I hobbled off to see the Physio (Physical Therapist) for my air cast fitting. A chatty Kiwi, he instructed me on strapping my foot into the brace. Complete with an instruction manual and a  "hand bulb" for inflating and deflating the aircells, my SP Walker Air Cast is very comfortable. Like a pillow for my toes. And interestingly enough, the "device" was imported from America and made in Mexico. Point for North America.

SP Walker Air Cast - Fall's must-have footwear

Hands down, the best hospital visit I've ever had. Can't wait to see the bill.

1 comment:

  1. OMG...too funny, Wynne! I hope you get better soon! And, six weeks until you can run...HOORAY! By the way, I too experienced "Injury Monday". Rode 35 miles at Stone Mountain, went to the restroom to change clothes, set clothes and bag under the hand dryer to wash hands, crouched down to pick up clothes and bag, stood up and flogged my noggin on the edge of silver part of hand dryer! Blood, dizziness and headache for the rest of the day. Boo! Hiss! Anyway, LOVE YOU and MISS YOU!