I had a two-hour respite from my insane workday today, but I wish it was under better circumstances. I spent two hours at Feet First, a podiatrist's office downtown. On Thursday, I awoke with incredible pain along the right side of my right foot. I've had pain in my feet before, so I decided to ride it out. (My first thought was that I had worn out the tennis shoes I'd been wearing, so after work I went to the Volunteers of America and plunked down $2 on a new pair of walking shoes.)
That didn't help, because I woke up this morning (in my eyes, it's still Friday night) in even worse pain. The pain was so bad I was noticeably limping when I arrived at work at 8 a.m. A co-worker of mine had missed work earlier this week because of gout, so one person asked me if that was what I had. I have not had gout, which is miraculous when you consider how much Diet Pepsi I drink. However, I have had cellulitis on the top of my foot. That happened when a cat scratched me, and I think I had my last tetanus shot in Athens sometime in the late 1980s. Cellulitis' pain is so bad you can't put on socks or shoes. The doctor gave me antibiotics and a Limbaughesque cornucopia of painkillers. (The doctor initially diagnosed gout, but revised the diagnosis later that day.) Stay off the foot, and don't eat anything in the nightshade family until it heals (which meant no potatoes, no onions, no tomatoes, or anything made from them).
By 8:30, I had pulled up Aetna Member Services' Website and went to DocFind. I called Feet First, the only podiatrist truly close to my office. The office manager said that if I came right now, I could get an appointment. I spoke with my supervisor and took two buses to get there--a distance that earlier in the week I would have happily traversed on foot. They took two X rays of my right foot, and Dr. Zoog, the young podiatrist, looked at them, examined the foot, and diagnosed a stress fracture at the base of the little toe. He wrote me prescriptions for Lamisil (for athlete's foot) and Darvocet-N for the pain, and--on the house--provided me with a black orthopedic boot. It looks like a moon boot, and I now have a gait that resembles that of Frankenstein's monster. Between the painkiller and the boot, walking is not pleasant, but it is bearable.
I'm to wear the boot until I see Dr. Zoog again in three weeks. I can't be as sedentary as I ideally should. The not-walking time after my gallbladder came out just about drove me crazy. The only reason I was able to stay inside and not walking was because of the heavy snowfall a day or two after the surgery; I was too scared of slipping and falling on the ice to go outside and walk.
Here's my boot-encased right foot:
I took Susie to Olympic Swim and Racquet tonight to see Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. The pool is only a mile from our house, yet I had Susie walk up there while I rode the bus. I felt like such an invalid.
Athens beckons in the morning. I am riding down with a Mennonite couple--friends of friends²--for a memorial service. The service honors the memory of Art Gish, an Athens farmer and Christian pacifist, who died in a farming accident. Here is his obituary. This will be my first trip to Athens since my mother died in October 2008.
Will post some thoughts about Art Gish and the memorial service upon my return. In the meantime, I highly recommend this video, Old Radicals, in which Art described his efforts at making peace in the Middle East. (He tells the story of the photograph of his staring down an Israeli tank in Hebron, holding up his arms and shouting over and over, "Baruch Ha'Shem Adonai!"--Blessed be the name of the Lord.)
The service is at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Athens, 2 S. College St.