You know what I think is funny? We’re $1000 dollars in debt (sort of a lot of money for a low-income family where one parent’s out of work), and I got a letter in the mail today from school sweetly reminding me to pay up the last $1500 of my tuition by November 1st. The admissions lady had drawn a little smiley face next to the number.
I went back to the doctor on Wednesday. First she felt around on my lumpy boobs, and felt pretty satisfied that I’m just having nursing lumps. Then she turned her attention to my foot. I’ve only seen temp docs up to this point, since our regular doctor’s been out there having a baby and all. But she’s back, and I am so glad. She looks at me with pain in her face, and says, “You’ve been walking and cleaning houses on this for four months?” “Well, the temporary doctor told me I could use an orthotic boot,” I say sheepishly. She shuts her eyes and rubs her forehead. She tells me to get the hell off it. She tells me she’s sending me to a podiatrist pronto. She goes out to get the referral. She comes back and looks it over. “Who am I going to see?” I ask. “Let’s see . . . ” she says, looking it over. “It’s Doctor . . .” Then she doubles over, giggling. “What?” “Ahem. Sorry. You’ll be seeing Doctor Pain.”
We both burst out laughing.
“You’re kidding.” “No.” “Oh my god, that’s awesome.”
So today Paula took me to Doctor Pain. Well, Peine. Dr. Peine is one addlepated mudfucker. (Thanks for that term, Trista!) He’s all twitchy and his eyes are bloodshot. He comes into the room and we stop talking and watch him expectantly – and he closes his eyes. Just stands there, eyes closed. We wait. Eventually he opens his eyes and slowly, word by hard-won word, figures out how to tell me that he doesn’t know what’s wrong with my foot. He leaves the room again (he leaves the room every two minutes, in the middle of a sentence, to answer a phone call). I lean over to Paula. “Alien implant,” I whisper.
He comes back in after a long while and gets down to business with my foot. As it turns out, Dr. Peine is a well-named man. He yanks the broken part one way, then the other way, then starts squeezing the hell out it, saying “does this hurt?” Why yes, Doctor Pain. That does hurt. In fact, I’m about to kick your teeth in.
Finally he gets me into the x-ray machine to take more pictures. He sends me back to the exam room, where I clamber painfully up into the ten-foot exam chair. Why do they have high-up exam chairs in a place where people come with broken feet?
“If he tries to leave again, I’m throwing myself in front of the door,” says Paula.
He comes in and this time gives me a detailed description (finally!) of what’s wrong with my foot. It’s not just a pulled tendon. It’s not just a fracture. I hate to admit it, but it’s not an alien pedometer. My foot is broken in three places.
“You’ve been walking on this for how long?”
In shock, I mumble the part again about how I can’t afford time off work. For all you anatomy experts I’m sure read my blog, on the fifth metatarsal (the bone just north of the pinky), one side of it is split, and the other is (gulp) crushed. Then there’s this tiny little chip of something between the bones called a sesamoid bone. He says it’s probably naturally occurring. That’s broken, too. I wish it were an implant instead, and that any day now the aliens were going to come and fix their busted tracking equipment.
They’re putting me in a cast, I can’t walk around or drive myself anywhere, and I have to take another 6-8 weeks off. You know, if I don’t want permanent damage, by permanent I mean for the rest of my life.
Isn’t that hilarious? If anybody knows of a sit-down job, you know, that’d be great for me right about now, so I can buy groceries and all that for the next two months. Giggle!