Jonesing for Answers

There it is. My second Jones fracture. When did the first one happen, you ask? Well, it all started when I was walking across my parents’ land three and a half months ago and I slipped. I felt a kind of tear in the side of my foot and thought “Uh-oh, I think I just sprained it.” It had to be a sprain. I mean, I broke my foot twice in 2017. What are the odds of a third break less than three years after the first? Besides, I was walking–limping quite a bit, but full weight bearing and range of motion and all that–so it couldn’t have been broken. I even had an x-ray done a few days later, which showed no new breaks.

Two weeks ago, I felt that same tear again, this time while I was standing still. I just shifted my weight and r-r-r-r-i-i-i-i-p-p-p-p. Okay. Sprain again, right? Except this time there was a hard, painful lump on the side of my foot. Guess it was time to see my good friend the podiatrist.

Scheduling with him is difficult, because I have to work around my work schedule. He sees clinic patients Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday and Thursday are surgery days for me–and there’s no one to cover my position–so those are out. Wednesdays are usually busy in clinic, but I guess I can be spared for an hour or so at the end of the day if it’s important–and this new pain was pretty important. So yesterday afternoon, I left work at 4pm to drive across our little town to my 4:15 appointment.

They did the usual. Took a history, asked questions, updated my meds. They did x-rays.

Dear Gods, those x-rays.

As highlighted in the image above, I have a fracture all right. It’s called a Jones fracture, and the podiatrist explained to me that the x-rays are showing calcifications around the break, which means it’s not just a break–it’s a rebreak. Yeah, apparently the injury three and a half months ago was indeed my first Jones fracture, only the x-ray was done too soon for the break to show. It’s a thing that happens, I guess.

Boot is in place, and it’ll pretty much stay there (minus clothing changes and showering) for six weeks–minimum. Yeah, depending on how it heals in the next six weeks, I might have to wear the boot longer. On my right foot. No driving. No rapier practice, even though with the keto diet I was starting to feel up to easing back into it. No strenuous exercise. Just a lot of lumbering around in this stupid, irritating boot.

My problem now, after the initial shock of finding out I have now had four breaks in that foot in less than three years, is that I don’t know what’s causing these breaks. I mean sure, the first Jones was from slipping and the second was apparently a common rebreak, but the crushing fracture I had in early 2017 and the stress fracture I had in the fall of 2017 were mysteries. I still to this day have no clue how I broke off a chunk of bone on the top of my foot, and the theory of the “stepping on a rock wrong” is no more than speculation for the stress fracture.

Because of the risk of fractures and what have you from the rheumatoid arthritis, my rheumatologist ordered a DEXA bone scan in 2017 to rule out osteoporosis. Scan came back clear. Blood work’s fine, everything’s fine–except for these damn breaks.

My husband is angry. Not at me, but at the situation. He wants to know why no one knows why, and he wants to know now. Me? I was a little in shock yesterday when I found out. My exact words when I found out were “Holy frijoles!” (because I didn’t want to be disrespectful and cuss in the doctor’s office), which caused the podiatrist to double over in laughter. I was so out of it that I just couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of it all. Now, though, I’ve had time to think about it and mull it over, and I’m concerned.

I am not the most athletic of individuals. Hell, I’m pretty damn sedentary outside of work, and even at work I sit every chance I get, few those chances may be. I don’t do anything overly exciting as far as physical exertion. But I also don’t tend to stumble into things, drop things on my foot, or otherwise put my foot in danger. The slip on my parents’ land was a fluke. Aside from that slip, I haven’t done anything (to my knowledge) that falls into the risk factor category for these fractures.

Why does my right foot keep breaking? I’d be concerned about some sort of degenerative condition, but logically it would seem to me that something like that would show up on all these x-rays I’ve had, not to mention the low probability that it’s just one body part affected. I’d be concerned about my weight being the issue, but I weighed less with the first two injuries, and besides, there are plenty of people who weigh much more than I who don’t randomly break their feet on a regular basis.

My current crackpot theory is that I have some weird, ultra-rare bone disease that is localized to my right foot and doesn’t show up on a standard x-ray. Not likely, I know, but that’s what an author’s mind does: it imagines the fantastical. Another crackpot theory that is at the back of my mind is some kind of genetic disorder. After all, my mom has had random breaks and even a Jones fracture of her own, though the majority of her injuries were apparent at the time. My little sister broke her foot the other day, too, when she fell on Mom and Dad’s land while out with the dogs. (Did Mom and Dad buy an old Indian burial ground?)

I might try to call my podiatrist on my lunch break today and see if I can ask some questions, now that my mind has caught up to the reality of the situation. Find out what might be causing this, or what I can do to possibly try to prevent future breaks. I mean, I can’t just stop walking around. What do you expect me to do, get one of those scooters and tool around on it, avoiding putting my foot down on solid ground? Not gonna happen. Even if I have to give up rapier, even if I can’t exercise in addition to the keto to work on this weight loss, I’m going to keep working and doing the things I want to do. I just may have to take extra precautions.

Why, why, why? Why me, why my foot, why again? I suspect there may be more testing in my future, unless the podiatrist truly isn’t concerned. I mean, he didn’t seem to think that there was anything else going on besides a clumsy patient with a high pain threshold, but maybe he was in as much shock as I was.

I suppose it’s not going to do me any good right now to try to diagnose myself. I don’t have the medical training for it, and Google is no help in narrowing things down for me. I’ll just have to get up, lug the boot around, and keep doing my job until I know more from the professionals.