An update on my foot because I finally took my little piggy’s to the ER

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“I started [blood-glucose] testing again because I’ve had a pain of varying intensity in my right foot for more than a month now. Surprisingly my plan of doing nothing hasn’t worked, and it has only gotten worse. It’s a burning sensation along the right side, but also more than that.
Basically, my foot hurts. And it has me thinking about the possibility of losing a foot, a leg, my life to this disease.”

“Live by the blood glucose meter, die by the blood glucose meter”, Me; February 18, 2011

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“Time won’t save our souls / Time won’t save my soul / I never thought I’d see it coming / I never thought I’d ever know / Nothing seems to take me over / Nothing seems to let me go…”
“Shuffle Your Feet”, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; ‘Howl’ (2005)

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Turns out foot pain, or, in layman’s terms, the throbbing pain in my foot, has more than one cause. And, funny thing, in order to find that cause it’s almost a necessity to find a medical professional.

Sitting around with your girlfriend, waving randomly at your foot and whimpering is not, it turns out, a recommended diagnostic procedure. Even if it’s done during House.

Tuesday morning I called my family doctor, thinking I could get an emergency appointment. I told the nurse my foot had been throbbing for over a month, and I thought it was because of the diabetes.

She asked what the numbers were, I told her I was averaging in the low-20’s. She told me to get to the Emergency Room immediately. Then she told me my family doctor would see me… in four months. There’s an entire month’s worth of posts about the Canadian medical system in that sentence.

On Tuesday afternoon, after waiting in the ER for five hours, I finally had x-ray’s done. Initially the doctor told me there was nothing wrong, but gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory called Naproxen and almost doubled my Metformin prescription.

The next day I received a call from the radiologist, who told me that, whoops, my foot was broken.

Tomorrow (Thursday morning) I return to the ER to be fitted for an “Aircast”, which is essentially a large plastic, adjustable boot. I’m also going to ask for a cane.

The Aircast will cost me $140, but the only other option is a plaster cast, which would be free, but… they’re just too inconvenient. I had to borrow the money from a family member, which I’m not happy about because she’s calling it a gift, and I just kind of got out from under that particular power trip… so, yeah.

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The diabetes is still widely out of control… my previous four numbers are 21.7, 17.6, 14.1 and 13.6, which actually aren’t that horrible for me, but I was above 25 a couple of times on Tuesday.

I’m now taking the Metformin five times a day, instead of three. So that’s 2500mg instead of the previously prescribed 1500mg. It’s an even bigger jump considering I’ve only been taking 1000mg for eight months or so.

The ER doctor agreed with me that getting on insulin would be a good idea, but he referred me back to my family doctor because he wasn’t willing to prescribe it based on a ten minute ER consultation.

Which means that’ll have to wait until May. Again, there’s a lot of posts about Canadian health care in that sentence.

I did get to the grocery store on Tuesday evening, and again on Wednesday, so my cupboards and freezer are nearly full again with real food, thanks to $50 in grocery certificates I found on top of one of my bookcases — they were birthday and Christmas gifts I had forgotten about.

I did discover something weird about diabetes treatments on Wednesday. At 1500mgs, the Metformin is free, thanks to the Ontario Disability Support Plan, but at 2500mgs I have to start paying for it. So, the worse the disease gets, the more likely it is you’ll be paying out-of-pocket.

This just seems weird. My pharmacists were cool though, they reworked the prescription somehow, so ODSP is still on the hook.

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So my foot hurts, but it’s going to get better… and my blood-glucose is still mostly glucose, but I’ve still got a chance to beat the diabetes. Lucky break.

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...thanks.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Mental Health, Poverty. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to An update on my foot because I finally took my little piggy’s to the ER

  1. zoom says:

    Good for you for going and taking care of your foot and your diabetes and your grocery situation. I’m happy that you did that.

    But I’m shocked that ODSP only pays for essential drugs until your illness is severe enough that you need a high dose. That’s insane.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Hi zoom… I’m shocked as well. I’ll have to confirm it with my pharmacist, but from what I heard that’s how it works.

      It’s only been a couple of days, but so far having groceries in my cupboard is working out. I have to work on having healthy snacks available. I usually have apples around, but I used to have unsweetened applesauce and yogurt around as well… unfortunately yogurt is now $4 for a Litre, which is too much. So I have to find a cheaper substitute.

      It’s amazing how the possibility of losing a limb can focus the mind on the little things.

  2. Rae says:

    Glad you had it checked out and it’s a break instead of a foot needing to come off.

    • Gabriel... says:

      …I don’t know, I was just starting to put together some really funny stump jokes, plus I thought the idea of having one of those prosthetic blade legs was pretty cool. Those things look awesome.

      Thanks for commenting, Rae. It’s great to see you.

  3. Do what you must to take care of yourself! You are loved and needed. It’s not an accident that you are loved and needed.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks Clare… I really like the way you put that.

      I have the AirCast, and it’s awesome. As soon as I put it on the pain in my foot went down about 70%. It’s a big plastic boot, kind of like a downhill ski boot, only it comes up to my knee. There’s also a couple of air bladders inside the boot so I can adjust the fit.

      I also have a cane as well, and it helps a lot. I don’t know why I wait so long, when I’m in pain, to find help. I think I just accept it as something everyone goes through, so I should just grin and bear it. I’ve been walking around for almost a month as though I’ve been shot in the leg, when all along I could have had this boot and cane and taken some painkillers and been just fine.

      Thanks Clare…

  4. Melanie says:

    I’m proud of you. 🙂
    Take care of yourself dear friend.

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