Wednesday, December 14, 2005

toe job

Upon deciding to "retire" I quickly contacted an orthopedist in Brookline (reminiscent of J'aurais voulu avoir un marchand d'épingles a cheveux en Belgique--I would like to contact a hairpin salesman in Belgium) to whack off that cause of much pedestrian grief, the excess bone at the base of the right big toe, that looked like a bunion but was not. Known as a "dorsal" bunion because it looks in X-ray like the dorsal fin of a fish, it is not in fact a bunion at all but rather a bone spur, a byproduct of hallux rigidus which is Latin for "stiff toe". Latin can make anything sound impressive.

So it is a faux bunion. Change the first and last letters and you get a Paul Bunion. (Ya I know, he was a Bunyan.)

The deed was done as an outpatient, at a remarkably efficient orthopedic clinic/factory (saws buzzing, knees, feet and elbows flying every which way), on Sept 13, using local anaesthesia. I was able to recuperate on the company nickel with a few days off, followed by a few days of "working" at home.

The picture at left was the unveiling two weeks later.

The surgery fell into a gray area--not cosmetic, but strictly speaking not necessary either. "Elective"--the sort of thing you could live without, if you don't mind wearing sneakers for the rest of your life. How about showing up for that job interview in sneakers! Well Mr Keefe we would have offered you the job but your footwear, I'm afraid, does not meet the high standards we set here at Bratwurst, Longjohnson and Feen... However it is cosmetic in the sense that it does not repair the underlying ailment, which is arthritis of the joint, and of which ze bump is but a mere symptom.

I had had the left one done two years earlier, by a different hairpin salesman. The most famous victim of this ailment is Shaquille O'Neal.

Now a mere 90 days later, I hobble carefree again! Well not quite. The joint still hurts when wearing shoes or standing en pointe in my tutu, but tant pis, more motion is gained, and I was sick of looking at it anyway. And if not then, never. Complete benefit of the surgery takes six months. I got some Percocets out of the deal at least and the urge, for some reason, to toss high-school French about.

Meanwhile other arthritis advances. Gains a toehold. The neck is going a bit stiff when turning to the right, a condition most obvious when backing up the car. Soon I will be one of those old coots who backs up using the rearview mirror instead of turning around to look.

Attention, un vieil imbécile conduit!

1 comment:

nickensr said...

Do us all a favor and drop the images of your deformed toe.