A Blog by Gail Cushman
Ode to My Little Toe
I love doctors, yes, I do. I appreciate their knowledge, many years of schooling, and realize I am but one person passing through their lives. I used to have only one doctor, two counting my dentist, but now that I am older and wiser, I have about eight, maybe nine, and they are difficult to keep track of. They are all much younger than I and call me different names, including “dear,” and “honey,” making me wince. But it’s better than “Hey, You with the gray hair and the limp.”
I traveled a lot last year so set all my medical appointments up for January and February of this year, thinking it would be easier to do them all at once, and logically that would seem to be true. Some of them entail two appointments, one for lab, another to see the real-deal doctor and is like marching, left foot, right foot, lab work, appointment, time and time again. By actual count, since New Year’s Day I have had eleven appointments to see doctors, and six lab appointments bumping it up to seventeen. I always feel like I should have something to ask my doctors about, and just yesterday, I smacked my little toe on the bedstand, and is black and blue and yellow and green with sharp pains with each of my 10,000 steps. I’m currently wearing sandals but since it is below freezing and I am now wondering if I will get frost bite.
My toe hurts and I wanted to see my primary care doctor and made a same-day appointment. I got a text confirming it, which went to my electronic calendar, which dinged my wrist, just to make sure I knew when it was. I then received a very nice email confirmation, followed by a text, followed by an email wanting me to confirm my name, rank, and serial number, plus date of birth. Really? It hasn’t changed from last time I saw you, in fact DOB’s seldom change. Not one question about my poor throbbing little toe.
Moments later, I received another phone call, changing the same-day appointment to same-week appointment. Then with the patience of a cobra eyeing a mouse, I reverted to my Marine Corps command voice to this innocent young woman on the phone. “It’s my toe and I need to wear shoes in this weather, I really need to see my primary doctor today. Like right now.” As I write, she is adjusting all the doctor’s appointments for the next month to take care of me.
Oh well, if I were a horse, they would probably just shoot me, but as it is I can prop my foot up and sip a glass of wine on my patio, enjoying the birds and blue skies. It seems my whole life is consumed with medical appointments, trying to extend this old body’s “use by” expiration date. Maybe I should forget all the doctors, shut off my phone, open a bottle of wine, and look at my online dating studs.