Allison & Joplin
However, I believe that Pod #2 has given us the correct diagnosis for the foot issue.
Apparently, I have Joplin's Neuroma. Or, as the scientists put it, perineural fibrosis of the proper digital nerve to the hallux. And I have it in both feet. So put 'bilateral' in front of that big long latin sounding phrase, and you have it. Also, you can substitute 'compression neuropathy' or 'entrapment neuropathy' for the phrase 'perinural fibrosis', and still be correct, I think.
Pod #2 injected lidocaine solution into each foot, specifically into the nerve she believed involved. She then had my try and trigger the foot pain. I squatted, resting all my weight and balancing on the balls and toes of my feet. (Hyper-extended? I don't know the correct term.) This would normally trigger severe pain within two or three minutes, which would then last for days.
The good news is: I think Pod #2 has nailed the diagnosis. Pod #2 also spoke very highly about Pod #1, so I can go back to Pod #1 for treatment options. Also, correct diagnosis allowed the acupuncturist to adjust his treatment, and the feet feel much better.
The bad news is: damage like this to the nerves is, apparently, very difficult to actually heal. Also the delay in correct diagnosis, may have allowed the fibrosis to progress. The fibrosis, scar tissue, can almost strangle the nerve. Also, there is very little information on this particular location of neuroma on the web; most information is about Morton's neuroma, which is further in between the toes. (And yes, I found this article, and this site, too. Great site, I must say, but not specific information about the Joplin's neuroma.)
So, treatment options: surgical removal of the neuroma. Also, alcohol injections to damage/calm/cauterize the nerve. (Couldn't they use Botox for this, I wonder?) They may adjust the orthotics further. I'll also ask if the medications should have any adjustment, now that we know the nature of the source of the pain.
I'm troubled by surgery and by the injections to damage the nerve. Although I'm very attracted to life without pain, and to regaining at least a normal activity level for a person my age (41), I'm deeply troubled by the idea of deliberately creating numbness in a diabetic foot. Wouldn't that just set me up for trouble in future years (hopefully 20 or so)? We shall see. We shall see.