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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

A Foot Divided Cannot Stand, Particularly

I’ve often wondered whether anything could possibly make Mondays more unbearable. For a long time, I decided the answer was ‘no’. With the weekend ending, the workaday grind picking up, the fuzzy morning fog, the time for playing and resting and sleeping until noon over with, I figured nothing could make Mondays any miserabler than they already were.

As usual, I was wrong.

Turns out throbbing, swelly foot pain can make a Monday worse. And considerably so. These are not the sorts of discoveries you’d like to make the hard way. If only someone had explained that to my wonky big toe at seven o’clock this morning. But no.

So I found myself nursing a hot and bothered wheel first thing to start the week. To be fair, I was pretty certain the foot was going to hurt today. It’s been swollen and achy for just about a whole week, leading into the day. I even worked at home on Friday, when it flared up hot that morning.

“You grit your teeth to Monday pain, you know what you get? Gritty teeth, more pain, and a big fat Monday to deal with. That’s not helping anybody.”

But that was Friday pain. Friday pain is tolerable. You can grit your teeth to Friday pain, grab a couple of happy hour drinks, and use the whole weekend to recuperate. No problem. But today’s pain was Monday pain. Totally different. You grit your teeth to Monday pain, you know what you get? Gritty teeth, more pain, and a big fat Monday to deal with. That’s not helping anybody.

The thing for me was, whatever the hell was going on down there this morning was a full two or three frowny faces on the chart worse than what I’d gone to bed with. You hear the horror stories of single guys taking a ’10’ to bed and waking up with a ‘2’. Well, I went to bed with about a ‘3’, pain-wise, and woke up with at least a ‘7’. And it was no freaking picnic. I’d go so far as to say it was ‘coyote hurty’. If I could have reached my toe to gnaw it off and get away, I think I would have.

(Of course, if I could reach my toes with my mouth, I might never leave the house, either. That’s a story for another time, probably.)

Anyway, it wasn’t pretty. So unpretty, in fact, that I finally broke down, gimped over to the phone, and called for a doctor’s appointment. A week of moderate foot pain is ‘inconvenient’, it seems. But stabbing toe pains searing enough to (further) ruin a Monday? Time for professional help.

Truth be told, I’ve limped this little dance before, just a couple of years ago. At that point, I waited only three or four days to make the call, and the pain never got quite so bad. I just didn’t know quite what was happening, or why the big toe on my right foot was, apparently, attempting to secede the body. Possibly to set up a new government with its own organism, for all I know. Maybe I should’ve let my toe practice its religion of choice, and not taxed it quite so heavily. Lessons learned, I guess.

Meanwhile, I’d like to actually keep this toe, what with all the strolling and sauntering I have planned for the next few decades. So I’m going back to visit the doctor tomorrow. Last time, the diagnosis was a little… fuzzy. Essentially, the guy told me three things:

1. It’s not gout.

2. It’s not an infection.

3. If the swelling persists, I should come back and they’ll drain my toe.

In other words, I’m not a decrepit fragile old man, I’m not a filthy squalor-living foot parasite-infested hippie, and I do not — repeat, do NOT — want to see any damned toes drained of fluid. Particularly not if they’re still attached to me.

So, I got better, and fast. But that was a couple of years ago, and I don’t remember quite how I managed it. This time around, I’ve done a little homework up front, to see if we can’t nail down whatever it is holding my toe hostage. Without actually, you know, nailing it down. That’s almost as bad as draining it. Yikes.

What have I discovered in my amateur medical sleuthing? Based on the symptoms, it seems possible now that I have a bunion.

Nice. So now I’m a decrepit fragile old woman. In high heels, apparently. Outstanding.

Gout’s still got an outside shot — and I am a bit older and more decrepit than when it was last ruled out — but I’m holding out for something really juicy. Like a toe sprain, or a metatarsal fracture, or maybe swine flu of the toe. Something sexy like that.

At any rate, I should find out tomorrow. Hopefully, it won’t involve any sort of draining or scraping or the throwing away of my fabulous loafers. And it will include walking out of the office, pain-free or nearly so, on a complete set of non-rebellious, throb-free, untender toes.

Because otherwise, I’ll have to get my wife to chew the damned thing off. Well, either her or the doctor. Whichever has a stronger set of choppers. We’ll just have to see.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “A Foot Divided Cannot Stand, Particularly”

  1. Jenn Thorson says:

    Maybe you have toelesterol. See, remember how when you were a kid, and you ate a lot, your parents would say, “Why, Charlie’s got a hollow leg!”

    Well, all the greasy kid-food was actually going into that leg, and the fat has settled in your toe.

    You’re going to need a biggustoetalius stent procedure. Very simple.

    Just you ask your doctor about it tomorrow. See what he says. (Or the expression on his face.)

  2. Chris says:

    Coulda just called a toe truck.

    Sorry, that sucked.

    Funniest toe-related post I’ve seen this week . . . very clever.

    I hope it doesn’t require amputation.

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