Thursday, July 18, 2013

Feet and Dr. Ron Swanson

            Warning: this story involves feet and foot related paraphernalia.

I hate feet. Or rather, I strongly dislike them. I reserve the word hate for more serious matters such as bad drivers, mannequins, ski lifts, and something I like to call “improper line etiquette” (which involves people who don’t understand what lines are and how to wait in them). My dislike of feet may stem from their inherent grossness or from my personally horrendous foot history; nonetheless, it survives in some deep, dark recess of my brain comparable to the fungus monster lurking under toenails in those awful Lamisil commercials.
I come from what I can only assume is a long line of Thompsons with weird, misshapen feet. I base this solely off the fact that my father and brother both have weird feet. This is another gift from the Thompson genetic pool in addition to my giant freak head that doesn’t fit into women’s hats. That episode of Seinfeld where Elaine becomes convinced her head is too big really hit home for me.

Why do I harbor such antipathy for my poor feet? What tragedies have befallen them that may seem inconsequential to others but I have blown completely out of proportion? Well let me tell you! First of all, my feet are very wide and have a high arch, making it extremely difficult for me to find shoes that fit well. This may have come in handy for my ancestors while traversing the half-frozen hills of Scotland, but not so much for someone who wants to wear non-orthopedic styles. I have also inherited an oddly small and low set pinky toe for which I am consistently mocked by heartless peers and other normal footed family members. The rest of my toes, perhaps trying to compensate, are overly long. In addition to all of this, the nail of my second toe curves over in an attempt to be a particularly ineffectual talon.
This all wouldn’t be quite such a big deal if I wasn’t so prone to foot injuries. Foot injuries are the worst of all because no one gives you much sympathy and no one wants to hear you talk about them because, again, feet are gross. They are also fairly common, and as I came to learn, hard to diagnose.
I have had three ingrown toenails on the same toe. Yes, this is essential knowledge for me to share. This toe is a total drama queen. During the second mishap, the doctor purported to perform a procedure which would prevent all future such incidents. During said procedure, local anesthesia was applied to the drama queen toe. “Yes!” I thought. This thought came too soon because two seconds later a very long needle was shoved halfway into the side of my toe, bent in half, and shoved up into the top of my toe. I had no idea that was even possible! Needles definitely shouldn’t be able to do that! Needless (pun?) to say, the entire procedure, which involved acid on a wooden skewer, was extremely painful and the next year the ingrown toenail of doom return anyway.
During the most recent incarnation of said growth, I went to a different doctor. He said that he didn’t need to use anesthesia because this procedure was “relatively simple”. He then proceeded to chop out a fourth of my toenail. I have debated with myself about which removal procedure was more excruciating, and I have yet to come to any conclusions.
About two years ago, I was walking down some stairs on campus on a blustery winter’s day with a spring in my step. I’m sure you can guess what happened. I tripped over absolutely nothing at all and fell down about five stairs, landing on the side of my right foot. I went to the ER. They glanced at my X-ray and had the gall to tell me nothing was wrong. This foot continued express its displeasure with intermittent stabbing pains for over a year, so I went to my primary care doctor. She said nothing was wrong. The injury was a great excuse to be lazy, but some began to catch on to my scheme and doubt the injury’s authenticity.
So I finally brought this up to the doctor who apparently has the same attitude about anesthesia as Ron Swanson when I went in for my toenail, and he took some X-rays. Turns out a bone in my foot had been broken this entire time! Joy! And not just broken, but literally crushed into a multitude of pieces. So now I have to wear a brace that is just some sort of Dr. Scholl’s contraption with a hole cut out of it where the bone is. This may or may not result in a full recovery, or any recovery, said Dr. Ron Swanson. But at least it’s something.
The moral of this story is that feet are gross, and that people don’t like it when you complain about them so you should write an entire story of feet complaints. And yes, I do understand these problems are all pretty insignificant.

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