Sunday, 21 May 2006

Could it be dry rot?

I was lucky enough to inherit a sound constitution (and complete immunity to baldness, boast boast) so I have never had to bother doctors much. Of course I have to go and see one from time to time—a little more frequently with increasing age—but whether it is for something trivial or something less so, it has never been anything difficult to diagnose; the verdict would be immediately forthcoming: “Oh, yes, you’ve got a touch of coreopsis, there’s a lot of it about”, or: “Well now, these are only going to get worse so we might as well put in a couple of replacements”. It is always re-assuring when whatever you’ve got is given a name, even in cases where they tell you that there is nothing much to be done about it.

However, I was always envious of acquaintances who had unidentifiable and therefore interesting things wrong with them, because they could hold a group of people spellbound by describing the difficulties of finding out what it was they had: “Well, the doctor said he’d never seen anything like it, and then when I’d been referred it had the consultant completely stumped…”.

But now at last I too can bore people by talking about my mysterious malady: I’ve got this pain in my foot, you see. In the past I’ve had various kinds of pain there—plantar fasciitis, an inflamed metatarsal (“metatwhat?” a shocked friend asked me), a bit of gout and so on, but this is something different, a sort of intermittent stinging, if you know what I mean, and….oh, never mind the details, they don’t matter. The point is that it is something quite unknown to medical science: my GP said he was puzzled but welcomed the challenge, gave me some gel to put on and when this didn’t work referred me to a consultant rheumatologist because he couldn’t think of anything else to suggest. The rheumatologist examined my feet very thoroughly, ruled out a couple of possibilities, complimented me on my excellent circulation, and cheerily said he didn’t have the foggiest idea what was causing the pain.

And there the matter rests. I am not complaining; the sting isn’t really severe, and I do enjoy telling people about it. I don't show them, because there is absolutely nothing to see.

[I must be honest and confess that the photo was taken some years ago.]

6 comments:

Hugh said...

And it's not you, is it, you lying swine?

Tony said...

There's no need to be rude. I never said it was.

PostPunkUnkle said...

Which photo? The head or the body?

Tony said...

Well, thank you for asking.
The head is mine; the body, alas, is not.

PerfectlyVocal said...

Illness is indeed a strange thing - most of us avoid it like the plague. When I worked as a therapist, I once had the honour of treating a man who wasn't in good health, but his wife saw this as something to boast about. Every time I left the house she would pull me to one side and whisper proudly, "He IS the illest man in the North West, you know?".

Tony said...

Hi there, Cal.
For a moment I was surprised to see that you had departed from your usual high standards and used the dreary old cliché like the plague. Then I realised that it was really rather witty of you to use it in that context. Sorry, I'm a bit slow this morning.
And I like the boast you quote.