Hot Mess and the Podiatrist


This is a longer than normal post so I did you guys a solid and read the post for you. If you’d like a break from reading, click here as I’ve read to you!

I get debilitating foot cramps in my right foot. I’ve tried everything including a doctor, blood work. using pressure points, supplements, hot packs and eating bananas despite my aversion to them. When I couldn’t drive yesterday because of the cramp, I knew it was time to visit a specialist.

I did the responsible thing and did absolutely no research. I simply Googled Podiatrist and added the suburb I work in so it would be close. I should have seen the red flags including:

  • Being in a strip mall between Family Dollar and the Thirsty Lizard.
  • Their ability to schedule me in less than 24 hours from my phone call.
  • They are open 3 out of 7 days.
  • The hobo begging for money, up and down the sidewalk.

I entered the lobby of 6 black chairs and a reception desk to the left. There was an ivy border that was peeling on each wall. The lady in front of me was hanging on to the oddly high reception desk as if she were a stunt woman hanging on to the feet of a flying helicopter. I looked down to see if I could guess her foot problem only to discover she was wearing slippers. I looked back up at her bowl cut then back down to her slippers. Apparently it was pajama day and I hadn’t received the email.

By now we were on about minute 3 of Slippers just standing there. What was she waiting on? Shoes? There were other admins because I could hear them in the next room and why they weren’t getting me started with the 10 pages of paperwork was beyond me. One came out of the adjoining room and could have been an excellent extra on Orange is the New Black. In lieu of handing me a clip board, she waved at me as if I had been staring at her too long.

When I was finally handed my papers, I walked back over to the chairs. It’s important to note that not only did the chairs have white hairs all over them, the waiting room had a distinct cat smell.

‘This must have been a veterinarian office before,’ I said to myself.

Examining Room

“Angela, we can see you now,” I heard from the back.

Obviously walking into the waiting room to walk me back was too much of an ask. My nurse (I use this term loosely) introduced herself as Susan and the doctor’s assistant. She was morbidly obese and wore all black scrubs with white sneakers.

My first thought upon entering the examining room is that I was at an illegal brothel. It was dingy and messy. Someone was gonna get a happy ending and it sure as shit wasn’t me. When Susan left to get my x-ray set up, I snapped the following pics:


Apparently in addition to addressing foot issues, they see horses too.


examining room

Was this a dorm room or an examining room?


The “x-ray” I had is what I like to refer to as comedic gold. Normally when either of my sons or myself have an x-ray, it’s borderline futuristic. We are left in this huge, sterile, white room while the x-ray tech stands behind a glass viewing area.

Not at this shit hole.

Susan lead me through the hall then at the back, we veered to our right where we passed several banker boxes stacked up on each other. Then, in a little cubby was a contraption that I was certain was from 1953. Apparently this would be photographing my foot. But really, this isn’t what made it special.

Not only was I getting an x-ray in what was essentially a nook, I took a step back and gasped when this was one of the “walls” of the x-ray area:

shower curtainThank the baby Jesus, I was able to find the EXACT shower curtain that made up one of the walls. And not only did they have a shower curtain as one of the walls, they also had matching shower hooks.

“Is there any chance you could be pregnant?” Susan asked.

“God no!” I blurted out. “I had my husband fixed years ago. Learned my lesson after the first 2.”

She put a plate down on 2 tiles held together with duct tape.

“Why do people always say it like that?” She said. “I had 9 children.”

“9?” I asked in shock. “Were you insane?”

“Nope, I didn’t give birth to any of them but they were my children.”

Ok Susan, thanks for making me feel like a real ass hole because I birthed my kids. I thought we were bonding over medical antiquities but obviously I misread the signs.

The Diagnosis

When I initially confirmed my insurance, I also confirmed which doctor(s) were in network. Not surprisingly, the only doctor in network and taking new patients was the 14-year-old physician. I didn’t worry too much though as my foot is farthest from all important limbs and organs. If she accidentally amputated my foot, I could always cover up the prosthetic with cute boots.

Since my x-ray turned out fine, the parolee I mentioned earlier, rolled this contraption into my examining room…..on lunch cart: sonogram

With this 1983 machine, it was determined I have neuroma. It’s a ball of inflamed nerves between my ligaments.

“And we can treat this with a cortisone shot,” the doctor said.

“I would like to choose what’s behind door number 2,” I said in all seriousness. Look, I can semi-handle a shot in my ass or my arm, those are fatty areas. But when you start getting into injections into bonier areas, that creeps me out.

After several minutes of negotiation, she settled with prescribing me steroids and if they didn’t work after 2 weeks, I would agree to the cortisone shot.

Electric Shock Therapy

As a bonus to this marvelous trip, they wheeled in 2 new gadgets. This was getting interesting! Susan lubed up what looked to be a futuristic vibrator and began to rub it on the ball of my foot.

“Is this supposed to hurt?” I asked. My foot had began to twitch.

“No. I’ll turn it down,” she responded. She had to turn it down 2 more times till she decided to move on to the next therapy.

Susan applied to my foot what looked to be what one gets during an EKG. She then turned the knob but I didn’t feel anything. Then I did. And more so. So much so I told her it was giving me little shocks. I protested a few more times till she dramatically turned off the machine and yelled out,

“Her foot couldn’t take it.”

I apologized but Susan was clearly pissed. She made a bitchy ass comment that makes me have 0 fucks for posting this about her,

“Well, at least you got through the x-ray.”

So that’s my story. I have to go back in 2 weeks and see if the steroids helped. I also have to wear this wrap thing on my foot for 2 weeks. I hope this is the final chapter of the foot cramps!



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