PC #43 – Foot final update (I hope!)

I had the MRI done today, then the plates and the report were sent to the Neurologist, and I had an appointment with him this arvo.

It seems there is a small “indentation” at the root of the S1 nerve on the lower spine. That's what's causing the numbness in the left foot evidently.

The Neurologist thinks this indentation was caused by aggravation during the walk. What's odd is that I had absolutely no back pain, even though I have two metal plates screwed into my lower spine from a car accident many years ago.

Anyway, the specialist believes it will heal itself in a few months. He wants to see me again in three months.

He told me not to walk long distances until then!

So it's a good outcome, and I have to say the health system worked very well. No waiting, consummate professionalism, and with the Medicare rebates, surprisingly it wasn't expensive.

Because of all the tests today, and driving back to Mudgee, I've been off the blog, but thanks to you all, especially Sister Clare and Steve, for furthering the debates in my absence!

(As I walked out of the doctors' rooms, I saw this on the road in front of me!)



38 thoughts on “PC #43 – Foot final update (I hope!)

  1. I’m so glad its not a serious problem!. Sounds like a nice lesson in patience for you.

    But why the sad and gruesome picture?


    • Hi Sister –

      It’s been an interesting exercise in watching my fears run away with me! I started to think the other foot was going numb too, then I thought one side of my face was losing sensitivity, then I thought I’d had, or was having a stroke… You have no idea how I let my fears run riot!

      Just loved the bird shot. You don’t often see a squashed bird so perfectly laid out, and certainly not a bite one!



  2. BTW, glad you did not have a dismal prognosis. Time does heal a lot, and you probably did jangle it by walking. It is hard to walk 500 miles and not feel some consequence.


    • Steve, you are so right, walking 500 miles is an awesome feat, and during that time it is so likely to “jangle” something especially when one is no longer 20 years old!


    • Hi Steve – I still do’t know how it could have happened. I had no back pain at all – except for once when I lowered down to take a photo – but that only lasted a day. So I’t a bit of a mystery. Now just got to get my knee right!


  3. I’ve had some leg and foot numbness in the past, due to nerve root impingement at the L5 and S1. Where the numbness occurs is an indication of which spinal nerves are being compressed, so no back pain is common. Mine resolved over time, I did lots of swimming, yoga, and anything that worked my core muscles. Like you, I was very concerned that I would have back issues on the Camino but never did. I think the weight of the backpack and the waistbelt being cinched up tightly forced everything to be in proper alignment.

    I can’t believe you had all the tests so quickly, Two days would NEVER happen in Canada, unless you are willing to pay out of pocket, and maybe not even then.


    • Hi Donna – (is it donna?)

      I must admit the treatment was swift.

      I met the Neurologist on the Tuesday afternoon and he did about an hour of tests on me. Very thorough. He was a venerable specialist, in his mid 70s. An extraordinary man.

      He then ordered an EMG, which I had the next day, Wednesday. One and a half hours. A specialist and a trainee Neurologist. They were unbelievably thorough. The EMG results were faxed straight to the office of my referring Neurologist and after the tests I went around there and he interpreted them for me.

      He then ordered an MRI. The appointment for the MRI today was for 1:30pm. I was in the MRI machine at 1:40pm. it took half an hour – I had the plates, or X-rays, or whatever you call them, as soon as I stepped out of the MRI, took them straight around to the Neurologist, who looked at them and gave me his opinion. By 4pm I was driving back to Mudgee.

      Everything, all up, will cost me about $500. And I got the best specialists and facilities in the city. Amazing really.



  4. So, now that you don’t have to expend huge amounts on energy on fear, what will you do with it? … hope something totally positive ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. What incredibly awesome news! So happy for you, Bill. I wonder if your body “knew” about the nerve issue and compensated your walking gait as a protective measure. This change could then have aggravated the knee. Oh, well, it really doesn’t matter so long as both the nerve and the knee mend! This is really good news today!


    • Hi Julie,

      The knee gave out first, on the second day. I then began favouring the left leg.

      As a consequence I then developed very painful shin splints on my left leg. This lasted about two and a half weeks, then it just stopped.

      I didn’t even notice the numbness until I finished the Camino, and at that point it was very mild and very localised.

      So not sure of its root cause, if I could be so bold…




  6. Root of the problem is exactly right. Those nerves are pretty damn important! I hope the recommended rest will fix what ails you!

    I am visualizing that swaying habit and beads, Sister Clare. A very soothing picture indeed! All we need now is a little music!


    • Hi Julie –

      you’re right. The last words the Neurologist said was: No more long walks for three months, at least!

      And yes, Sister Clare doing a jig? I’d put that up on YouTube!



      • You’d have to catch me first, Bill! And the music would be either Br. Timothy playing honky tonk piano, Br.Stephen playing Elgar on the baby grand, or a group of us doing chant.



    What great news that is Bill.
    Im so glad you get to let your body try healing itself rather than go under the knife.

    Outstanding news!!!!!! I can feel the weight that has been lifted off your shoulders from here.

    (Oh and not all Kiwi’s like to streak…….Poor Queensland…that sucked. )


    • Abbey, you’re so GORGEOUS.

      And FUNNY.

      Was that streaker a Kiwi? If so, he was shaped like one!!

      and than you for your exuberant congrats on my medical news! So so sweet and gorgeous of you!!



      • Why thank you sir. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Yes…he was a Kiwi. I agree he did have a very “unique” shape. :o)


  8. Bill, only 3 months without a long walk? When is your next Camino beginning?
    So glad the medical reports have all been completed and the news is good. Thanks be to God. Our medical system here in Australia can sometimes have a wonderful alignment and all goes like clockwork. Sometimes, however….
    It must have been your positive thought processes that made sure everything went well. Congratulations.


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