Tuesday, March 11, 2014

haglund's deformity

Haglund's deformity sounds like a good name for a soft porn movie, don't you think? Especially in light of the fact that Haglund's deformity is a bone deformity, sometimes known as "pump bump"!

No. This is not my own hairy leg.
I am blonde.

Title aside, this little operation story is far more interesting than one of Uncle Arthur's slide nights because, operation story or not, it's about ME. [If that doesn't whet your appetite for more detail, nothing will.]

Reader, I cannot tell a lie. For several years I have been … well, observing is the word I would use but TO prefers to call it complaining… that I can't walk/run/move any faster because my foot hurts. My heel has been killing me.

For the most part I kept trying to ignore it, even though it grew progressively worse. [No, not TO's nagging - the pain. Please concentrate!] 
At one point [during a brief-lived "scabby" phase] I took my heel bump to a bulk bill GP.

"Eeece shoo," was his diagnosis. "Wear better shoo", was his prescription. I spoke about the burning searing pain that sometimes woke me at night. "Eeece shoo", he repeated, with no emotion but with a great deal of conviction.

I started wearing sensible shoes decades before I heard lesbians referred to as "women who wear sensible shoes", but I guess the point would have been lost on him. How he could tell me my sensible shoes were not sensible shoes is beyond me – especially when he sounded like he came from a country where, until recently, any shoe that was within coee of the right size was worth a cuppla months' food on the black market.

My heel problem began, I think, long ago when I decided to learn how to tap dance. Just once I managed a slap up from one foot while skipping gaily down Burke Rd Camberwell and on that single occasion did something ouchy to my heel. So endeth both my brilliant career as a foot percussionist, and my love affair with Brazilian boots.
If anyone says I gave up tap dancing because I kept falling in the sink, they lie.

For several years TO has been pushing me to see an orthopaedic surgeon about my heel. If she is winding down her hours and retiring by the end of 2014, we'd best make hay etc before "our time-share"* expires.

Off I goes to organise imaging of my "pump bump". This was my Christmas present to TO and Aunty – once we worked out what the problem is – other than "shoo" – there would be no more nagging/ nor even speaking of the heel again.

My regular GP [$36 gap payment] referred me to a private imaging place that bulk bills for Health Care Card holders [IFF the item is medicare rebateable**]. I thought if I was going to get images of my heel bump I might as well have a mammogram at the same time [having absolutely not a clue how long it has been since my last one.]

"Make sure you get an appointment for a day Dr CH is the radiologist", said my GP and I booked my appointment accordingly.

As if being bulk-billed wasn't enough, this private imaging mob have a new you-beaut mammo machine that did NOT leave me feeling like my threepenny bits had been run over by a road train – only by a Vespa which as many of you might appreciate was way more cool!

"Please wait here", says the radiographer with her mouth, while letting me know telepathically that Dr CH the radiologist is a control freak.
The radiographer came back a few minutes later and said more images were required. I was chuffed – nothing bugs me more than dressing and undressing and dressing and so on. Let's just do the whole bang lot in one go.
I didn't even have to change before heading into another room for ultrasound.
The radiographer made me feel better when she assured me what I saw on the screen was not twins, but did ask me to wait as Dr CH liked to double checked the ultrasounds.

"What about my heel?" asked I, just before leaving. "Oh, all right then" Dr CH might have thought to himself, and gave my request about 2 minutes' attention.

Now, dear reader, I must acknowledge that I now know what I did not know until quite recently – 1 in 8 women who live to 85 will get breast cancer. It's unbelievably common. [No, I am neither 85 nor common – but traces of breast cancer were found].
Breast cancer is less common in men. I'm sure there is someone in Australia who really does give a shit about breast cancer in men but I have not yet been able to find out who.

If any of you have NOT yet learned the hard way what I have recently learned the hard way, I might be able to offer some tips. But first, I have one more confession to make: I'm an idiot.
Every neurone in my brain said "You've got enough on your plate, ignore the heel for now, don't be so bloody stupid" but the part of me that compromises [i.e. gives in 'cos it's easier than arguing] gave in.

Apologies everyone - I was so concerned with not making a big deal out of having breast cancer that I forgot at first to make it clear whether or not I do have cancer and then even when I tried to fix it did not make it clear that the cancer was caught very, very, very early - all because I had a sore heel.
The link between the cancer and the heel continues if you have not already become sick of wondering what on earth I'm on about.

*The time-share = the private hospital where TO works, where TO knows others and is known, and where we all seem to spend an inordinate amount of time getting a lot of medical attention.

** Whether or not something is rebateable by medicare is a bit of a mystery at times. One might just as easily turn base metal into gold, or get a free cup of coffee from Gina Rinehart as work out the medicare system. Maybe Tony will simplify things and just scrap it when he flogs off Medibank Private. It's a thought.


  1. I am not sure if I am reading the right things into this post, but I will go for the easy humour. You are blonde? You may have been when you were three but now? Ok, it is just my mental image of you.

    1. Andrew, parts of my hair have, in my younger days, been strawberry blonde or even auburny reddish. The Freckled Carrot Top has all but disappeared from the family line.

      Much of my hair is now blonde, though I must confess a little white is revealing itself in places where I would rather it did not.

      I'm still waiting for you to show us your tatts.

    2. Sorry Andrew, I have been obscure. Yes, traces of breast cancer were found by the excitable but thorough Dr CH. Have amended text above to try and fix the problem, ta.

  2. It does seem like almost every woman out there gets breast cancer. I'm kind of almost surprised it's only 1/8.

    I hope you're okay, and they're able to clear you of those few traces. I can't tell if you have a case that's not too severe, or you're just downplaying things.

    1. Thanks for your kind wishes, Dina. In my attempt to make fun of the situation I've confused everyone - but I was very lucky it was found and treated early.

  3. I'm glad Andrew asked because when I first read your post I thought is she saying the test showed positive and because I wasn't sure I didn't like to comment but coming back I see the mystery is resolved. I'm sure your heel would be a less worrying problem but may as well deal with the lot all aat once if possible. Sorry to hear of the cancer diagnosis it must be a horrible feeling. I hope you can be cured like so many are these days. Good luck.

    1. Thanks Diane. I didn't have time to feel horrible about the diagnosis! And, as you say, medicine is advancing at a phenomenal rate.
      Will feel better about the heel when I can drive again!

  4. But what about the heel?
    I'm sorry but I'm confused FC. Do you have breast cancer?

    1. Yes Rubye, though it was caught early and with further treatment I have much better odds than most people that it will not recur.
      As for the heel... I'm getting there.

  5. 1 in 8 is pretty high odds, quite often going to the doc about one thing reveals another that you might not have otherwise found out about. I hope the treatment isn't too harsh, will it be chemotherapy? Must have given you quite a shock, it's not the words any woman wants to hear FC.. you ok?

    1. Hi Grace, I'm OK thanks. You are right, the odds ARE pretty high, aren't they? Which is why I was surprised that I found myself re-inventing the wheel in terms of trying to work out what was going on.
      So over the next few posts, as well as laughing about my foot predicament, you might pick up some tips that could be useful to a friend one day about how health insurance really works and so on.