Surgery is the next step.
Tomorrow, I return to the Ottawa Hospital for my third round of steroid injections for my feet, and I have my fingers crossed that they'll be as successful as the last round, which haven't quite worn off but are just—oh, so very slowly—starting to.
It's a vast change from the first round.
When I received my first shots, in September, I was told that they could last for as little as six weeks and as long as six months. I was hopeful that they'd fall somewhere in the middle, lasting me as much as three months. Three months is, by the way, the minimum period I had to safely wait between shots.
They started to wear off at the seven-week mark, and were completely spent at week eight.
Through a communication issue with my surgeon, who will eventually treat the secondary problem, my Köhler Disease, I had to wait until January 19 to receive my second round of arthritis-numbing shots. By then, my feet were unbearably painful. I had picked out my bridge, just in case.
My January shots scared the hell out of me. Two days after my very first injections, I experienced zero pain for the first time since my late teens. It was euphoric. Two days after my second shots, however, the pain in both feet was more severe than when I had entered the hospital to receive the injections.
I remembered one of the assistants, for the first shots, saying to me that in addition to the six-week to six-month duration, the injections might also not work at all.
The conditions under my bridge were perfect: dozens and dozens of metres below, the ice was frozen solid.
It took two weeks for the meds to kick in. When I had told the surgeon that her first round of shots had lasted only eight weeks, she informed me that she could double the dosage, to the maximum allowed.
I said "go for it."
Perhaps, in changing the amount of steroid that she admitted that she had to "pack in," the time that was required for the active ingredients to kick in was altered?
So, once again, by the end of January, my feet had become pain-free.
Except for the Köhler Disease, in my left foot, and a third factor, two bones grinding together, also in my left foot. The pain that these conditions inflict are unaffected by steroids.
My arthritis, hopefully, will be dealt with again, tomorrow. With fingers crossed, they'll last the four months, or more, that the last round lasted. I meet with my other surgeon, who will operate on the Köhler's and whatever is making those bones rub, mid-June.
"Surgery," I'll tell him: "get on with the surgery."
That bridge isn't going anywhere, and it's calling me.