I am at the sports complex. I am about nine years old and I’m about ready to start my first lacrosse camp. I was super excited about it. We started our first lap around the indoor turf. I feel a pain in my foot, but I kept going. It's like a pain that I've never felt before. Soon after it is over I run over to my mom, “My foot hurts really bad, Mom.” I whined as I told my mom.
“You're probably just growing,” she then replied not thinking much about it. About 2 weeks passed, and my foot still hurts. So, my mom scheduled a doctor's appointment. I was kinda nervous.
When we got there we had to sign in. “Emma?” they called out after waiting for a little bit. I followed them to the X-ray area, my mom trailing behind. They took many X-rays. After that, they took me to a tiny room and I was talking with my mom.
“Mom, I'm scared,” I told her.
“It's going to be ok,” she told me in a calm voice. We just talked about random things until the doctor came in. “Ok, let's take a look what we have here,” he said. He then put the X-ray up.
“I think she might have tarsal coalition.” Me, being 9, had no clue what that was.
“What is that?” my mom questioned.
“It's where the bones in the back of her foot didn't break apart as she grew, like they were supposed to, so she now has limited motion in her foot. It’s supposed to break up by the time she turns 9,” he explained to my mom. My mom listened intently. “I think she'll need to have surgery, and they'll cut into her foot.” That's all I heard, as fear filled into my head. My mom then noticed how scared I got. After many doctor referrals and planning our next steps on what we were going to do, we walked out.
I had to go to the hospital to get a CAT scan of my foot. One of my parent’s friends told me that they cut up your foot and took pictures of it. I knew he was joking but was a little freaked out when I got in the room and the name of the CAT scan machine was the Multi-Slicer.
“We’re going to a new doctor in Wisconsin,” she told me. A week or two passed and we headed to Wisconsin. I can remember practicing my cursive and short conversations with my mom. This doctor confirmed the first doctor’s diagnosis. He then proceeded to tell us in great detail how he was going to cut my foot open and break the bones. “Mom, we're never going to him again.” I told her how he freaked me out. Thankfully, she soon calmed me down. But, after that appointment, I got a really uncomfortable boot but it actually helped with walking. But that doctor wasn't for us either.
My Grandpa, who pulled a few strings, because he practically knows everyone, got us an appointment with Shriners Hospital. So early one morning we headed to Shriners. Once everything was done there was a lot of waiting. But once we got into the doctor's room, I was asked a lot of questions.
“How would you describe the pain on a scale from 1-10, is it a sharp shooting pain or a dull throbbing pain?” the nice nurse said. I looked at mom. “Umm about a 7-8. What’s sharp or dull pain?” I then replied
“Does it feel like being stabbed with a pencil or is it not as sharp of a pain?” my mom said.
“Ummmm, I think it's a sharp pain.” I said a little unsure. After a few more tests, the nurse left. My mom, dad, and I waited for the doctor. Soon the doctor came in. I had to walk in the hall and they felt my foot. The resident doctor was really nice, his name was Dr. Nick. Then I was sent to the X-ray room. They took more and we headed back to the room. They told us that we would be able to get in to have the surgery sometime in April or May. “We can put you on the waiting list if someone can't make their date,” the doctor said.
“Ok, that’s fine,” my mom replied. Then we got a tour. It's a really nice place, and everyone is very nice and friendly. Then we left.
Now it's the end of January. And we got a call saying someone can't make their date. So we would be heading down in 2 days. I would be getting it done early February.
“Ok, Emma, eat a lot tonight because you won't get to eat tomorrow,” my mom had told me the night before.
“Ok mom.” I replied then I ate the most I possibly could. When I woke up it's about 5 because we have to be there early. When we get there they were behind. So I actually don't get in till about 11 a.m. But they are nice enough to let me have something to drink. I remember after the surgery, Dr. Nick asked me if my cast was too tight and I said yes, but that's all I really remember. But when I woke up, I find out my family had come, I felt bad because I had only woke up to say hi and fell back asleep. After a sleepless night, which was full of pain and puking, I got to go home after meeting with my doctor and trying to learn to walk with it.
I think after this experience I learned to be strong and not be afraid as much. And this will always be part of who I am.
P.S - I was a “lucky” one and the surgery didn't work, and I have tarsal coalition in both feet so yay!