Land On My Feet

When I was in third grade, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write mysteries, my favorite type of novel then just as it is now. I wish I could say that writing was my passion from that day on and I never wanted to be anything else. The fact is, as I grew up, I forgot about my plans to write and wanted to be lots of other things. A pre-school teacher comes to mind, until I realized I really didn’t like 3-year-olds that much. But I eventually earned a degree in journalism and the rest is history.

As I sat in the chair at the podiatrist’s office yesterday afternoon watching him examine my feet, I wondered if he always wanted to be a podiatrist. When he was a toddler, did he make his mom and dad take off their shoes so that he could wiggle their toes around and check for pretend corns and calluses? Did he take his sister’s baby doll and do pretend bunion surgery on her feet?

I didn’t ask him that question, but I did ask about all of the White Sox paraphernalia he had on his wall. He said he grew up on the south side of Chicago, but admitted he wasn’t really a baseball fan. Still, one of his patients bought him a White Sox poster and he put it up to be nice. From that time on, people started bringing him White Sox baseball caps and White Sox coffee mugs and White Sox autographed tickets. “At least it’s not Cubs stuff,” he said with a smile.

My suspicion is that he became a podiatrist in a similar manner. This led to that which led to him looking at feet all day. I gave this more thought than necessary because I have a knee-jerk reaction to feet. I hate them. My mother once asked if I would trim her toenails, and I looked at her dear, sweet, elderly face and said, “That’s a big N-O, Ma’am.” I don’t even like my own feet.

I went to the podiatrist because unfortunately I inherited my mother’s terrible feet. I have had no corns to date, but I have my fair (actually, probably unfair) share of calluses, and that’s a true story. I also have bunions on both feet, despite the fact that I rarely wore high heels. I inherited my mother’s bunions just as I inherited her smile.

I have had bunions for a while, but without any pain. Well, that’s not exactly true. I feel no pain as in hurting-pain, but it’s a real pain in the butt to find shoes that will comfortably fit my crooked toes. But since my feet have begun hurting lately, it occurred to me that perhaps it was my bunions causing the pain. While I’m not particularly vain, it would be nice to have feet that look normal, and nicer still to have insurance pay for the surgery.

Alas, it is not to be. “Sorry, Ma’am,” he told me as he wriggled my toes around.” If this doesn’t hurt, then it’s not the bunions causing the pain. It’s probably arthritis.”

Ugh. My nemesis Arthur Ritus.

He gave me a prescription for a strong anti-inflammatory drug. I’ll put it next to my other strong anti-inflammatory drugs in my medicine cabinet. I enjoyed the foot massage and he used about the same tools that the nail techs use when I get my pedicures as he cleaned up my feet.

And remembered that they, too, look at feet all day, but get paid considerably less than the podiatrist.

Excuse me now, while I go out an purchase a White Sox t-shirt to send to the doctor. Or wait, maybe I should get a Cubs shirt instead!

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