Cut to 4 weeks later. It's now February of 2009, and my "sprained ankle" is still a nightmare. I never really had any swelling or bruising, just this pain that lasted from the time I woke up til the time I went to bed. Except for the times it didn't hurt at all. Was I crazy? How could it hurt sometimes, but not hurt other times? And why didn't it hurt the same way each time? Sometimes it ached. Sometimes it was a burning pain. Sometimes, if I was super lucky, it felt like a jolt of electricity shooting through me. Maybe it really was nothing but a sprain. I mean, I could still walk on it. As my boss so kindly put it "if it was really hurt, you wouldn't be able to walk on it". Still, if it was just a sprain, shouldn't it at least START to get better after 4 weeks? I decided it was time for a visit to my primary care physician, and during the appointment, I explained the whole story to her. Her official diagnosis was "sprained ankle", and she asked me if I had tried taking Tylenol. It was a pretty defeating moment, because I knew *something* was wrong with me, and this month long chronic pain situation was really starting to interfere with my life (side note: I was so cute and naive back then. If I had only known....). I think she could tell from my demeanor after her diagnosis that I was not happy with what she was telling me. Ha! Who am I kidding....I can't remember exactly, but I know myself pretty well, and I'm guessing that it was pretty blatantly obvious that I thought her medical degree was the prize from a cereal box. She told me that if the pain didn't go away in another 4 weeks, that I should call her back and she would refer me to a Sports Medicine Specialist. A week later, and I could.not.take. the pain anymore. I had a lightbulb moment. I HAVE THE EXPENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE! I DON'T NEED A REFERRAL! It was another week til I could get in to see the specialist. For those who are keeping track (and you should, there will be a quiz later) we are now 6 weeks out from the ankle snap night.
So doctor number 3 is a Sports Medicine Specialist. I figure, if this really is a sprained ankle, it is the *WORST* sprained ankle in the history of mankind, and this guy treats athletes, so he will be able to help. So I'm sitting in the room, and he starts the exam. It's a whole bunch of moving my ankle around into various positions and asking if it hurts. Just like the other two doctors. And, as with the previous 2 doctors, my answer is always "no". So I'm starting to break out into that cold sweat where you start thinking that no one is ever going to figure out what is wrong with you, and you're going to be like this for the rest of your life, and why doesn't anyone believe you that it's not a sprained ankle, and.....ok, so I'm a little dramatic. But, then the most magical thing happened. My doctor tells me "Yeah, I didn't think those things would hurt, but I'm guessing this will..." and with that he turns and pushes and I come off the table in the most excrutiating, 10 on the pain scale, I thought pain like this was reserved for childbirth, can't remember to this day how I ended up curled in the fetal position pain. But when I recovered from that, I was happy. Because this doctor knew where to look. He knew something the other doctors didn't, and I knew he wasn't going to tell me that I had a sprained ankle. He didn't.
Am I really gonna leave you on the edge of your seat like that? Damn straight!