Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Table Knife of Damocles

So when I went to the doctor last September, for the first time in over 20 years, he discovered I had several major health issues to deal with. Understandably we were much more concerned about getting those health issues under control, than we were about that extremely odd looking mole on the sole of my right foot.

But it stayed in the back of my mind. That very dark mole, of peculiar shape, and other characteristics which the doctor himself said made him, well, quite suspicious.

Health issues are now under control, thanks to various medications and other changes in my way of life. So I was waiting till my schedule would slow down, and I could find a stretch of a week or so when I wouldn't be driving any great distance, and in fact wouldn't have to walk very far or be on my feet that much.

Mole on the sole of my right foot, you know. Sole of my right foot, as in, driving, brake pedal, accelerator?

Finally, looking at my calendar, I could see a lighter stretch in the latter part of May. So I made an appointment, and a week ago today the doctor cut that mole out of my foot. Took several stitches to close the resultant wound in the sole of my right foot. Somehow I drove home from the doctor's office afterwards: I think "somehow," in this case, may be taken to mean "foot still mercifully under local anaesthetic."

I took all of last Wednesday off from work. For a few days there the foot was somewhat painful; but extra strength Tylenol™ was my friend. And for all of this past week, with gradually diminishing amplitude, I've been hobbling and limping around, favoring my right foot, just not standing or walking much when I could reasonably avoid it. Fortunately I've been able to limit myself to work I could do from home.

Sunday I managed to drive 7 miles to church, going no faster than 35 or 40 on back gravel roads, because that's all the pressure on the accelerator my foot could stand; and working the brake pedal, as my driver's ed instructor told me never to do, with my left foot. Made it to church and back, though believe me, I wouldn't have wanted to drive any farther.

Yesterday, for the first time since the procedure, I drove to town, which is more than half an hour away if you're going the speed limit. Urgent need for groceries, don't you know. My foot by this time was better, and I made it okay, though all the driving and all the walking played hob with my foot, and by the time I got home I was in dire need of that extra strength Tylenol™.

This morning, for the first time, my foot feels almost human, and I can walk without having to monitor my steps. Though I'll be glad when I go back again next Tuesday and get these damn stitches out of my foot.

Meanwhile, yesterday I received over the phone good news from the clinic: the mole turned out to be benign after all. Good. I knew a guy once who had a melanoma, and they had to cut out of his arm a piece of flesh the size of a pack of cigarettes. The thought had been on my mind, how much of a functional foot would that leave me?

And really, you know, all these months since last September the minor thought of that mole has been always hanging over me, like the table knife of Damocles.

No comments: