Anyway, the following conversation occurred in my house:
Me: Can you check the heel of my right foot?
Rachel: Whoa. That’s definitely something.
Me: “Definitely something” is your official diagnosis?
Rachel: It might be a carbuncle. I think if you can get it out with scissors, it’s probably a bleb. I am the only person in this house who can see the bottom of your foot, other than the dog, so I am the resident expert.
Me: You have no idea what you are talking about.
Rachel: No, but I think we could apply homespun remedies that have been used by ignorant idiots for millennia. We could bury a potato under a harvest moon, and see if that works out. We could also apply a poultice of whatever is around.
We looked around. Mostly, we found mustard and peanut butter and rainbow sprinkles. We don’t shop that much anymore. I did buy epsom salts, because I heard it was good for feet, but when I read the label I learned it is mostly used as a laxative.
We decided to watch my lump for a bit more time, and we did, until it became the size of a prune. Finally, I went to a podiatrist. Now you might think that confronting a doctor in a mask is no big deal, since doctors wear masks a lot, particularly if they are operating on you, which this doctor proceeded to do. He used scissors.
Me: IS IT A BLEB?
Doctor: It’s just a thing on your foot.
I swear he actually said that.
Another thing that happened during my home-medical period was that I now am missing a tooth. It’s a molar. I got it pulled and then the pandemic hit before I could get an implant, and then there were stories that in a pandemic dentists are more dangerous than Russian umbrella-stab political assassins. So I never got the implant. Dentally, I present to the world like a meth addict.
I do have an actual medical professional in my family whom I can, and do, go to for advice. It is my daughter, who is a veterinarian and who is very careful about not pretending to knowledge she doesn’t have. She knows everything, however, and humans are animals, too, and she gives good advice but I need to be subtle. When I call her I have to begin with a disclaimer such as “Okay, imagine I am a gopher ... ”
Anyway, I am trying to still stay away from doctors, which is why I didn’t bring Buster the cat to the local vet when he started convulsing in paroxysms of sneezing. We thought he might have covid-19, until Rachel noticed he had something protruding from a nostril. Using all of my medical experience, I pulled it out. It was a two-inch-long blade of grass.
Money saved: $200. Medical thrill: Priceless.
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