I've learned from my farrier that some vets and farriers in these parts of the state aren't really comfortable with digging into the abscess tract. They call him all the time to dig them out. Foxhunter, in this regard I guess I'm lucky in that our vet is also a farrier and isn't afraid to dig; and our other vets use my farrier to dig, so the abscesses will drain from below whenever they can find the pocket.
I had one experience with an abscess in my mare from a stone bruise (fingers crossed that it's my last). In that instance, our former vet was near retirement, a solid country vet with horse experience, and bringing along a new partner. He covered the sole of the foot with some purple liquid antibiotic, let it seep in (holding foot's sole upward). When he freshened the sole, he could follow the purple track right to the abscess. Then he just kept digging slowly until the hit the pocket of pus. The young vet had started out the exam but hadn't been able to locate the abscess with the hoof testers. He also wasn't watching when the senior put the purple stuff on. When senior vet found the pocket and showed him, the junior thought it was almost magic but he was really upset with himself. It wasn't until after they were finishing up the trip that senior let junior in on the secret of the purple magic potion. The horse drained from below, I dug it out every day and packed it, and she healed nicely.
PS - Foxhunter, I noticed you called Stan a Kiwi again. You know he takes exception to that, naughy lady! Maybe he won't notice.
CW, waiting to hear how your doctor's visit went, to get the paperwork completed? I'm excited for you and hope everything is a snap to complete!