By Kirstin Rizk
Leonard Whitworth, 63, had been experiencing terrible, unpredictable cramping in his legs and feet for 20 years. When asked about what brought on the pain, Leonard said, “it could be sitting in my chair watching tv, it could be driving down the road, it could be walking through a grocery store or at my job, it would just come on.”
The pain would even wake Leonard up in the middle of the night. He recounts, “I would have to get up and walk the cramp out of the bottom of my feet a couple times a night, about 3-4 times a week. It would hurt so bad it would bring tears to my eyes.”
For 20 years, Leonard attributed his leg and foot pain to getting older and working on his feet for much of his life. He described these terrible cramps recently when he visited a podiatrist. He also explained another symptom he was having: His feet were so cold that he wore battery-operated heated socks. He recalls, “I had to wear one on my right foot even if it were 90 degrees out.” Because of these symptoms and a heart attack and stroke, Leonard experienced two years before, his podiatrist knew that he was at risk for peripheral artery disease and referred him to Modern Vascular.
After evaluating Leonard, it was clear to Dr. Stephen Leschak and his team that Leonard had significant blockage of the blood flow in his legs. What made Leonard’s case even more tricky was an injury he had as a child. At 12, Leonard’s dad was doing construction on a house while Leonard helped on the roof. Young Leonard made a mistake that caused him to jump off, where he landed on a glass beer bottle. The injury was so severe that he nearly lost his foot. 51 years later, this made it more complicated to clear blockages in the arteries of that same foot.
The first time I spoke with Leonard, it was a few weeks after the procedure on his right leg. When asked about his experience getting a procedure from Dr. Leschak, Leonard says, “I feel like a brand new man… I can’t say enough about how much they’ve done for me. I’ve been in pain for a long time and now my right leg is 100%. I can’t wait to get the other one done.”
A few weeks later, I checked in with Leonard the day after his procedure on the left leg. He said, “my foot’s not cold, the cramping went away, I couldn’t ask for anything better.” In fact, he was returning to work the day after our conversation, where he works on his feet all day as a manager.
Leonard summed up his experience at Modern Vascular in Southaven saying, “Couldn’t ask for a better staff than you have right there. From the moment I went in, in the surgery, all of it.”
Finally, I asked him if he still uses his battery-operated heated socks. “No,” Leonard said, “I put them away and we’re getting rid of them. My feet stay warm.”
I also asked if his sleep has improved, and was happy to hear that now Leonard actually has to use an alarm clock, since his foot pain no longer wakes him up.
Check out Leonard’s Patient Testimonial: