Health issues can make life a real struggle. For almost 8 years my husband has been dealing with foot pain. He’s not diabetic, which is the first question that doctors ask. His foot pain story is unusual. It involves heel pain which has beeb excruciating, and a wound on his heel that appeared usually in the month of November and finally subsided in April. Year after year.
Of course, you always start looking for treatments with your primary care physician. He really didn’t have any answers except to send us to a podiatrist. We went to five or six different foot doctors, none of which really could give us and answers or any relief from the pain. We then went the nerve route because the pain he felt was similar to the pain you see in the TV ads for diabetic nerve pain. He also had tests to check circulation in his legs and feet. Next on the list was a neurologist who repeated some of the same tests he had already had with still no answers. Then we tried a wound clinic to get the heel wound to heal. Let me tell you this. All wound clinics are not created equal. In the midst of all these doctor appointments, we also were trying Pain Management. For two years, my husband went through a series of injections in his spine and other nerve locations. He had at least eight different injections.None worked. Each time we would return and they would want to try a different location to inject. It was futile. I won’t go into detail on the aggravations and frustrations with doctors throughout the process. I would have to write a book.
After none of these visits proved beneficial, we were considering going to the Cleveland Clinic to see what they could come up with. Then I had lunch with Pat, who told me about her husband’s podiatrist who was also head of a wound clinic (not the one we had already visited) We made an appointment.
From the very start, this appointment was different. Dr. Ward had numerous ideas as to what this condition was and why it was recurring. He said he had similar conditions that he had treated. He gave my husband an injection in the office and there was immediate, though temporary, relief. We were on the right track.
My husband had surgery on December 23 and since then has had pain relief! He is not completely healed but the pain is so much improved. We are hopeful that this is the answer and that we can do the other foot as well. The surgery included restructuring his high arch, injecting a nerve to deaden the pain, and straightening his big toe to give him more stablilty. He’s been wearing an air boot for support and is transitioning out of the boot.
One of the first questions my husband asked was, “If you can give me a simple injection in your office that gives me immediate relief, why couldn’t Pain Management do the same thing?” Dr. Ward explained that he is a member of a group of physicians who for several years have been treating pain issues differently and using methods that differ from Pain Management Centers. And they have been successful. He has attempted to educate Pain Centers with the procedures they are using, but says they are not open to change. He then said that the best way to let others know about this is word of mouth.
I understand that hospitals, pain management centers, and physicians have their own set of procedures. But when new ideas and methods come along, I hope that others are open to at least discussing the new methods. Pat gave me a message that certainly helped. My objective in writing this article is the hope that someone who needs the information will see it. And to encourage people to keep looking when you think you have tried the last possible solution.