It has been just over a week since the barbell incident. My foot continues to leave me writhing with pain (how’s that for drama?) if I step on it just the wrong way. This poses a problem when shoveling my way out of these snow storms, hauling fire wood or doing my Christmas baking. Feet tend to be useful and you don’t realize how much we take them for granted until using them causes pain.
So yesterday, I decided it was time to have it looked at. I found a walk-in clinic in Ottawa, registered on a not-at-all private computer system and settled into the crowded waiting room. There were 21 people ahead of me and one doctor on duty. I learned yesterday that it is no accident that the two meanings of the word “patient” are connected.
I found myself a seat in the far corner and thanked my lucky stars I had an iPhone full of gadgets to keep me busy, considering I’d forgotten to bring a book with me. The woman next to me and the dude across from me both had rather unnerving coughs, so I discreetly pulled my scarf up over my face the entire time I was there, and made sure to touch nothing. I’m no germaphobe but you can’t be too careful in these places.
It didn’t take me long to notice that I was hearing the same 2 advertisements playing in a loop, streaming out of a speaker above my head over and over and over again. I now know very well that the Jewel radio station plays Madonna and Bruce Cockburn AND that there is no good time for travel diarrhea but there is a fabulous new oral vaccine to help prevent the nasty affliction. I heard each of these ads about 3 times per minute over the course of an hour. I am not exaggerating. At one point, I went up to the receptionist and kindly asked her if she might be able to replace the travel diarrhea commercial with some actual music.
“I guess it gets a bit too much, huh?” she said, with a touch of sincerity. “We have classical music playing in the background; I’ll turn that up.” I could deal with that.
I returned to my seat and waited for the classical music to kick in. But all I heard was how there is never a good time for travel diarrhea…
I connected my ear buds to my iPhone, popped them into my ears and listened to some “Q” on CBC. But I was too worried I might miss hearing my name so I had to abandon that idea. Back to our travel diarrhea. *Sigh*
Finally, a small family who had been sitting on the opposite end of the waiting room, vacated several seats when they got called in. I decided to escape the speaker above my head in favour of what I hoped would be a quieter part of the room. I took my new seat and my body began loosening up when those lovely sounds of Mozart hit my ears for the first time in an hour. I looked over at my empty seat and it was at that point I finally noticed a large television screen above it displaying a commercial for…yep, that. No wonder it was in my ear the whole time and that’s all I could hear. I couldn’t hear it at all from my new spot. Hallelujah!
About 15 minutes later, I heard my name and jumped out of my seat enthusiastically. In the examining room, I shed my sock and tensor bandage and waited patiently (there’s that word again) for the doctor to arrive.
He opened the door and got straight to the point. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I quickly explained the facts: I took up running 2 years ago, developed problems with my left foot, was diagnosed recently with tendonitis but haven’t been able to afford physiotherapy, then during a pump class last week, accidentally jumped on a barbell and despite icing it and trying to stay off of it, it’s very painful and I’m getting discouraged.
He listened intently, poked and prodded my foot for a moment, then looked me straight in the eye. “So it’s like this,” he said, ” you are a klutz.” For a split second, I felt almost offended but then before that feeling could take hold, I found myself nodding and fully agreeing with him.
He then went on to explain that I’d strained the ligaments in my foot, yada, yada, yada. Ice it, stay off of it and perhaps pay a little more attention to what I’m doing and eventually it’ll heal. “It’ll take quite awhile, though; quite a few weeks,” he said in a tone that held a hint of karmic judgment in it – like the consequence to my clumsiness is a lengthy recovery time, so there! Perhaps I imagined it, but I don’t think so.
When I arrived back at home, I had a house full of family cooking our Christmas meal, which we had several days late, due to my brother and sister-in-law being on their honeymoon most of the week. They took over making dinner and when my friend Tanya arrived with her recently broken foot, the two of us (fabulous klutzes) enjoyed a gluttonous afternoon and evening of family, food and friends. And no one got hurt. Except one turkey. RIP.