Extremities

Doctors thought it was a simple foot infection. They were so wrong.

By Sandra G. Boodman – August 22, 2016

Melissa Curley Bogner was baffled: Why did her feet feel suddenly hot — in January?

The 41-year-old management analyst for the Navy had grown accustomed to periodic bouts of neuropathy — numbness in her hands and feet — the apparent legacy of a severe allergic reaction to a drug she took in 2000 to treat a gynecological infection.

But this 2015 episode was different. Along with the sensation that her feet felt unusually warm, the skin on the second toe of her right foot looked inflamed. Weeks later, she noticed a small blister.

Bogner, who lives in Southern Maryland, initially shrugged it off. She figured that whatever was wrong would go away on its own.

“I didn’t go to the doctor because it didn’t hurt,” she recalled. But eight months later, Bogner would learn that her foot problems were classic signs of a condition that was neither temporary nor trivial.

“It’s been life-altering,” Bogner said of the diagnosis. Summer, a time of year Bogner once eagerly anticipated, has become the season she finds hardest to endure. To cope with her new reality, she has sought to channel her energy into a self-help group for people diagnosed with the little-known malady.

A fungal infection?

At first, Bogner tried to largely ignore the problem, assuming that her shoes were to blame. Changing footwear didn’t help. Sometimes her toe would itch and feel tingly. At other times, the redness seemed to lessen, but it never disappeared entirely.

 

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Drue De Angelis

Drue is Managing Partner for The De Angelis Group, Executive Search firm exclusively for the Ortho & Spine industry.

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