The Road to World Conquest: Shoe ’nuff
My feet hurt.
I don’t even have to be doing much. Just sitting at my desk at work for a while, then I get up and the right side of my right foot just…hurts. Then there are those moments when I really try to exert myself, working out on the treadmill at the Y. Can’t do it. I can’t even run. How am I ever going to survive the coming zombie apocalypse if I can’t *run*?
I’ve told myself to “just live with it” and “play through the pain” for the past six months. Really, that was the lack of insurance talking.
So, today I went to see a podiatrist. It’s my first time at a foot doctor. As I sat in the front office, filling out paperwork, it occurred to me that I’ve really never had a serious limb injury. I’ve been sick – nearly killed myself with pneumonia when I was in college. I’ve stepped on nails. Suffered a hernia. But I’ve never broken an arm, leg, or prehensile tail. Now, though, it occurred to me that maybe I had fractured a bone in my right foot somehow. Maybe smashing it up against a hard piece of living room furniture. Except my living room furniture comes from Big Lots or Wal-Mart, and when I kick it, it cries in agony and falls over.
The doctor spent several minutes groping my foot in a manner that seemed suspiciously to me like a pedicure, until she found the sore spots, and then it was more like a massage. Her assistant made me slap on some brown paper slippers – little grocery bags for feet. Note for the next inevitable Saw movie: Severed feet in little brown shopping bags, after Jigsaw asks “Paper or plastic?” Then I was walked…well, shuffled, because that floor was slippery and the paper slippers were smooth…across the hall to the closet that served as the X-ray chamber. Here, my right foot was subjected to several irradiated mug shots. I shuffled back across to the exam room.
A few minutes later, the doctor came in, slapped the X-ray images up on the light wall, and proclaimed “OHMYGOD, YOU’VE GOT AN INGROWN *TOE*” and pointed at a sinister-looking shape in the middle of the image.
Well, that’s how I imagined it.
What really happened is that she told me that I didn’t have any broken bones. Instead, I’ve apparently got these nerves running the length of my foot, routed in a channel between the bones. The bones are pretty close together, though. My feet, which are flat and tend to roll outward, apparently cause the bones to squeeze those nerves, like a couple of low-brow thugs muscling in on a bookish nerd. That leads to inflammation, which leads to anger, which leads to hate, which leads to wishing Han was gutting a Gungan in Empire instead of a tauntaun.
So, for the good of the Old Republic, the doctor recommended custom orthotics to make my rebel scum feet walk the straight and narrow.
For the next fifteen minutes, I underwent a process of having my feet wrapped in plaster-soaked gauze. Once the plaster set, the casts were removed so that they could be used to model the new orthotics, which should be available in a few weeks. Then her assistant used a warm rag to wash the plaster off my feet. This seemed unnecessarily messianic and I almost tried to snatch the rag from his hand so I could do it myself, but then I thought: If I’m spending $300 on orthotic foot gear, I might as well enjoy this brief spa day. I demanded a fluffy white robe, a cucumber-avocado mask, a copy of Cosmo, and a mimosa.
Sadly, they could only provide a November 2010 copy of People, which mused about a possible relationship between Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhall. It may seem cruel to say so, and I hate to ruin anyone’s fantasies, but I fear that without makeup, Taylor probably looks like Gollum or the Borg Queen.
What I’m Reading
Blackout by Connie Willis
What I’m Playing
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II
You Don't Know Jack
World of Warcraft
Left 4 Dead 2
What I’m Writing
No Son of Hekayt - Book I: Artifacts
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Coming soon: 31 Days of OtherSpace - 1 work of fiction a day during March 2011.