Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm Afraid I Have Old People Feet

I had an appointment with a podiatrist today. Prior to my appointment, I was scheduled to stop by the hospital to have x-rays of my feet. I was taken back fairly quickly. The radiology tech finally questioned me about any possibility of pregnancy just a split second before pushing the “irradiate” button. It was exactly as if it were an after thought, as if she was thinking to herself, “She’s going to the podiatrist. Stranger things have happened so I guess I’ll ask. But not likely.” It was kind of a foreshadowing for the rest of the afternoon.

I remember reading an ad in the paper about the hospital encouraging women to come in for mammograms. They were offering a chance to win a free oil change with every mammogram. You know, it’s a small town. Things are a little different here. I’m pretty sure you might have a shot at a tire rotation if you get a colonoscopy. Evidently feet aren’t a big market. There wasn’t even a paid raffle anywhere to be seen. I finished up and gleefully made my way to the nearby building, the only thing keeping me from skipping was my painful feet.

It was the first time that I had ever seen a podiatrist but, boy, was I excited. I wish that I could say that I am exaggerating that but I’m not. I was worked up like an old lady on her way to a Furr’s Cafeteria*. My feet have been hurting that bad.

When I arrived at the office, I had no idea where I was going. I think I parked on the wrong side of the building in a gravel lot. It was raining and I really didn’t want to walk around looking for the real entrance. I saw a door marked simply “north entrance” that looked like it was most likely just for deliveries. I opened the steel door and was on a landing with stairs going both up and down. The sign on the lower lever door said “Hospice”. The upstairs had the name of the podiatrist that I was so anxious to meet.

As it turns out, I was at the back door of one-stop-shopping for old people.

I checked in with the receptionist, took my paperwork and was directed to the tiny waiting room filled with walkers and their owner’s sitting nearby. I squeezed through to make my way to a chair at the end of the narrow aisle and quickly filled out my health history. After returning to the desk to hand in the forms, I asked the receptionist how long it might be.

Receptionist- “Oh, not long. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes.”
Me, glancing nervously back at the walker crowd- “Liar!”

No, not really. Instead I just said “Ok” in a meek voice. Then, I once again ran the gauntlet of aluminum adorned with tennis balls to make my way to a seat. The magazine selection did not look terribly promising so I opened up ‘Word” and took some notes on my phone. Then I checked the clock. Followed by more “Word” and more clock checking. Then I developed a strange little dry cough, which I immediately blamed on the old people.

The old lady perfume was not only making me cough but it was making my eyes water as well. It turns out that I’m allergic to old people, which I did not know. Previously, I had just thought of them as a minor inconvenience.

Fortunately, one of the old ladies was called back and another left with an exiting patient. I was then alone, coughing in the waiting room, tempted to fan the air with a copy of “Modern Maturity.” I had a bad feeling that I was the only patient under seventy-five that had ever been in that office. Kind of like that scene in “Pillow Talk” when Rock Hudson was trying to see the doctor and unaware that it was actually an obstetrician.

The patient ahead of me didn’t take very long. I think she must have just been getting her toenails Dremmeled or something equally simple. I was eventually escorted back to the exam room.

While waiting for the doctor, I did what most patients presumably do. I took an inventory on the things left on the counters and the tray next to me, categorizing them as scary, not-so-scary and what-in-the-hell-is-that. I saw the Dremel with a grinder tip attachment that my vivid imagination just knew would be there and had a brief flash of “Dumb and Dumber.” Of course, that was when the thought of powers tools anywhere near my feet was just funny.

The (young) doctor then came in asked me questions and examined my feet. We went over the x-rays, agreed on my diagnosis (plantar fasciitis and heel spurs) and talked about treatment.

Dr. J., after hearing everything that I had already tried- “You could try an oral steroid but it’s not as likely to help as much as injecting the heel directly.”

Me- “I want the magic cure.”

Dr. J. –“Well, it’s not going to help overnight. It will still take some time.”

Me- “I want the magic cure.”

She had her assistant prepare the injections and sprayed the foot with a topical. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I managed to stay still through the injections to both feet and not even come close to losing consciousness. The injections also contained a local anesthetic so when I stood up, I was completely pain-free. So basically, I was conscious and it didn’t hurt anymore. Win-win. And she never even made a motion to pick up any power tools. All in all, a pretty good visit to the podiatrist.

Things old people like (in no particular order):

3.Backing up without looking (maybe it's not so much that they like it, maybe after a certain age they just decide it's unnecessary)
4.Early bird specials
5.Three-bean salad

*Just in case you are not down with the oldster’s, there are benefits to the cafeteria vs. buffet. In a cafeteria, you only pay for the items you place on your tray. Therefore, if you can make a meal out of a dish of green jello, a cup of chicken broth and a baked potato, then that is all you pay for. It kind of does away with the patent leather purse lined with Zip-Lock baggies. And you all know what a mess that can be.


david wells said...

Damn, oil changes with mammograms? That must be one small town! great post.

And I love that you referenced Dumb & Dumber, my all-time favorite movie.

When i was a teenager, I stepped on a carpet staple and had to have ti pulled out. it was in my heel and when they gave me the shot to numb it, my hole heel turned white. I didn't pass out but I now I screamed like a little girl.

Lisa said...

David- I swear I couldn't EVEN begin to make up some of the stuff that goes on around here. Normally I call the town 'Pleasantville' but every now and then it seems like it should be 'Pig Holler'.

Dumb and Dumber is one of my favorites, too. There are so many great scenes!

Bulldog said...

A word from one of the "old people."

Remember me as you walk by,
as you are now so once was I,
as I am now, soon you will be,
so prepare yourself to follow me.

(tongue firmly in cheek, of course)

aep said...

I love your blog. You always help refresh old memories. My grandma used "hoof trimmers" to trim her toenails and she was known to carry extra kleenexes and sandwich baggies in her purse in the event we stopped at a buffet.

punchlinewalking said...

My boss is 87 and I can confirm the accuracy of your list. I'm glad your feet are feeling better!

david wells said...

i grew up near a small town, that my buddy refers to as 'Martucky' and they had a car wash in town, the sign actually read "Car Warsh"

Now that is small town for you.

I wonder if they ever had coupons for the local podiatrist, or local early bird special.

Mia said...

Too freakin' funny!!!!

At first I was crackin up... i could just imagine bein' there with ya with all the walkers and tennis balls ::laughing:: and then i kept reading and it reminded me of a time i had a foot issue and I was gonna tell you about it, but then i kept reading and that's exactly what you had! I have really bad heel spurs too, doc said get a steroid shot...

OMG.. I swear to you on all that is holy, I cried in that chair. Real tears. I have a high pain tolerance and been thru a lot, but THAT hurt so bad I said forget it and decided I'd just wear clogs for the rest of my life, and I am!

84thProblem said...

That was hilarious! I loved your description of the examining room and its contents.

Julia said...

Way funny picture of our impending future. I hope I can do it without the walker though...The Dremmel tool reference is fabulous. Great post.

Dr Zibbs said...

Jesus you are right when you say they love early bird specials.

Bambi said...

That was the funniest trip to a dr. i've ever heard about. You have calmed any fears of fee Dr.s for this girl thank you! HOpe your feet get better with that magic cure. Bambi

S said...

If calcium is building up where it ought not to - your calcaneal bone - you are seriously deficient in vitamin K, specifically K2. It is responsible for directing calcium out of the soft tissues (like your arteries and extra boney deposits) and putting it back into the trebecular boney matrix (thereby reversing and preventing osteoporosis better than D3 and Ca or even bisphosphonate drugs).

If your toe nails become so hardened that you need to go back to the podiatrist for the Dremel treatment, then your arteries have already hardened. Serious vitamin C supplementation helps here to prevent oxidative damage in the circulatory system (which would be subsequently repaired by cholesterol deposits which then collect that free calcium not being supervised by K2). 1000 mg per 50 lbs. of body wieght PER DAY of vitamin C, more if you smoke or are actively sick.

I guess it really was a race with the walker lady to the pharmacy line the other day. You didn't tell us you were gimping along with severe foot pain.

I wish we had Furr's Cafeterias around here...they started making you pay by the piece which sucks. It was much better grabbing 2 or 3 entrees to sample which was tastier, and enjoying 3 deserts at no extra charge. Coffee and soda were not considered extra beverages either. The damn thrifty old people ruined buffet binging there.

Sissy said...

allergic to old people? you are my new fave!

Anonymous said...

I'm just allergic to people in general, mostly tailgaiters...very funny blogging. I tried blogging but no one commented. I think I gave it two or three days and then I went back to my book :) Love you and your dead pan sense of humour.

Matt Sackett said...

so years later having felt like a fool for cutting my foot on a rice krispie...I dont feel so bad now.