The Bad, The Ugly, and the Good

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.


We decorated the post surgery boot for Christmas!


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.


The Ugly

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. 





About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
This entry was posted in My Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Bad, The Ugly, and the Good

  1. collaredmichael says:

    I’m glad things are looking up. Having constant pain and a recurring problem must be so frustrating. Stay safe!


  2. Catherine says:

    Hi Ruth,
    I am so glad for you and your husband! I had no idea.
    With ME/CFS I am still active in finding answers. I have a great primary care , in this experience it would seem each of the ‘specialists’ say your fine when they do not know the answer for treatments. It is harsh reality of legalities maybe?
    I would not expect a professional medical doc to know Everything, but a tiny bit of investigation by them could go a long way.
    Is the pain management process limited to foot issues or is it a larger movement? I have tried many things including acupuncture and medication but I would be grateful for relief in a long term sustained way. Oh, I am so glad you wrote this. I hope his story goes everywhere, with emphasis to the medical profession!! They could use some continuing education!
    I know ima going to share it. So glad for your hubby (and you bc when something like that happens to your spouse, it causes change to happen to you), wow, what a long journey.


    • Thank you Catherine. The pain management process is a larger movement, I believe. I do not know a lot about it, but Dr Ward mentioned that this group of doctors is based in Chicago ( but we are in Ohio) and I am pretty sure it involves more than just foot pain. I could give you the information for Dr Ward if you want to contact his office and see if he has referrals for other types of issues. Maybe private message? Email?


  3. My daughter-in-law suffered for five years with a wretchedly painful ankle, one that would ‘give out’ every now and again. She was told to (1) lose weight; (2) be more careful; (3) apply ice and elevate the foot whenever she ‘twisted her ankle’ … among other non-helpful, short term ‘treatments’. She was finally referred to a surgeon who sent her to physio where (as luck would have it) she ‘bumped into’ a different surgeon who she struck up a conversation with (he was there for his own physio and asked her about her ankle). He took an ‘unofficial’ look at her ankle (right here) and told her what her ‘condition’ (that caused her ankle to ‘let go’ every once in a while) was. He also said it was clear her tendon had been ripped from her ankle (probably 5 years earlier). She finally had an answer! She underwent surgery just before Christmas and is facing a long and painful recovery but the future looks good (she also learned from her new physiotherapist that her ‘condition’ is also evident in the other ankle and that she needs to strengthen it or she’s likely to suffer the same problem there some day; her brother has a similar problem with his knees). It astounds me that so many doctors, therapists, etc. simply do not have the ‘answers’ to problems so many of us face. I suppose some of it is due to so much information being available and them finding it hard to keep up, but its more than a little frightening to think so many people are misdiagnosed (or simply NOT diagnosed) on a fairly regular basis. I’m happy your husband found a solution and that you knew someone who could give you the recommendation you needed. Let’s hope more people keep asking questions and not taking ‘I don’t know’ as an answer from professionals in the medical field.


    • You are so right. Just bumping into the right person can make a difference. Unfortunately it takessso long for those bumps. I hope things go well with her recovery and prevention of a problem with the other foot. We were taught to trust our doctors but sometimes they do not look deep enough into the problem. Or are they afraid to admit they don’t know? Thanks for the comment.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s