Friday, April 10, 2009

podiatrists are the new black

Have you ever had a cortisone shot? As of today, I've had two, and I'd like to keep it that way for, oh, the rest of my days on this asphyxiating planet. If for some reason there are retirement communities on the moon by the time I reach the age of necessity, I don't want one there either.

I came back early from our Passover stay in Jewville (Chevy Chase, MD) to see a podiatrist on the upper west side. The first half of my day was spent mouth breathing on an 8am Vamoose bus and botching the subway trip from Penn station up to 86th St. Normally, I'm not pushy about squeezing into a seat on the subway, but for the past week I've been experiencing some serious foot pain. The walking boot that I've been wearing feels like a free pass to shimmy into what would be normal sized seats were it not for men sitting with their legs agape. The worst moment of my backtracking trip was when a 40-something couple dawdled their way in to the seats that had emptied out right in front of me. If you're going to steal seats from the temporarily handicapped, do it quickly.

I made it to the appointment with enough time to fill out the paperwork and absorb the wisdom of whatever Vanity Fair issue was at the top of the magazine stack. And then, for the first time that I can remember, the doctor walked into the waiting room reading the intake form. I was thankful that I hadn't followed through on my burning desire to write "pain in my ***" in the chief complaint section. When I imagined the scenario playing out, I figured the doc probably wouldn't bother giving it a glance. Good thing I'm a chicken.

Or rather, good thing I found a doctor who reads. He's also a compact GQ poster boy. I'm not sure what alternate universe I found on W. 85th Street, but the doctor was attentive, attractive (not that this has anything to do with effective medical treatment, but when you think podiatry, do the words metrosexual come to mind? didn't think so), empathetic, and prompt.

The short version of what he said is that I may have an old fracture (from last year) that didn't heal properly, and there's a chance that it's a "non-union", a word you don't want to hear in the same sentence as fracture. Or it's just a bad case of sesamoiditis. Or maybe there's a new stress fracture.

Whatever the case may be, GQ man wooed me into agreeing to a cortisone shot. After the chair grabbing, eye squeezing, ow-ow-ow-ing was over, he told me that when you insert a needle it either feels like it's going through butter or tinfoil. Guess which one my joint felt like? I thought the water balloon feeling* was going to be the worst part, but it was actually the sensation of being a human kebab for about 25 seconds.

Here's a wry twist of fate for you: GQ man's office is right across the street from Central Park, so I got to watch people running through the park as I squelched my way back to the train station.

Excuse me while I ice my reynolds wrap and curse the birds announcing Spring outside my window.

*balloon feeling = the cortisone fluid whoosing into your joint making it feel like a water filled sac, or balloon.


Steve said...

Re. the shot: Ouch!

Re. the doctor: Is he single? And gay?

eje said...

ouch, dude. non-union doesn't sound good!