My Angry Toe, a Soleful Tale

For three weeks my right pinky toe has been red, swollen and angry.

I tried soaking it in Epsom salts.  I tried changing up my shoes. Finally I made an appointment with my podiatrist, actually the replacement podiatrist since mine had retired and sold his practice to a woman half my age.

I’d seen her in January for a swollen toe. She told me to soak it for a week. I had to pay an $80.00 specialist co-pay to have her tell me to use Epsom salts.

I brought a bag of shoes with me today, all the ones I’d worn since my toe started to hurt, just in case she wanted to see them.

“Which pair do you wear the most?” she asked. 

I pointed to the cheap purple Costco sneakers, Fila brand. She took out my orthotics and reached inside the right one, feeling along the outer edge.

“There’s a staple or something in there,” she said.

But to me the staple’s placement did not coincide with my pinky toe. She put the shoe up to my foot and said, “See?”

I still didn’t believe her.

Then she pulled out the purple shoe liners and said, “There’s a seed under here.”

Boy, did I feel dumb. What would the pioneer people have done? Run to the podiatrist? No, there were no Native American podiatrists doing business alongside the Oregon Trail. The pioneers would’ve gone barefoot or suffered the pain or perhaps would have . . .


Here was this young doctor, the age of my oldest child, and 8 months pregnant. I wondered if she spent her whole days pointing out the obvious to her senior patients.

“Well, at least I’ll get a blog post out of the deal,“ I said.

I couldn’t see her mouth behind the face mask, but her eyes crinkled up at the corners. A smile.

I left her office with no co-pay (thank you, Medicare, one good thing about turning 65).

Tomorrow I will see the dermatologist for a mole check. At least I’m sure I have plenty of those.  Hopefully I won’t feel as dumb as I did today, leaving my doctor’s appointment.

Couldda Wouldda Shouldda

I should’ve written a longer blog post, but when you’re dumb, you’re dumb, and you can say it succinctly.

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