Senior Citizenship

20180417_081623.jpg

Senior citizenship has oodles of privileges.  I began to look into all these privileges when I turned 49 many moons ago, long before I became an official senior citizen. Yes, I admit. I have a proclivity to plan way ahead especially when it comes to reaping benefits.  Even these days I read about the senior citizen programs  in other countries just in case a new and improved lifestyle outside the US might enhance my existence in the twilight years.  I love the free first-run movies in air-conditioned theaters for seniors in the Philippines and the free bus rides for seniors in Costa Rica where I’d be bestowed the title “aciudadano de oro.”  It sure sounds important.  In the US each state has interesting generous programs for senior citizens. I’m still hoping to find a state that distributes free string bikinis to qualified senior babes.

One great benefit of the USA senior citizen is the free income tax preparation offered ,by the AARP, a US-based group that focuses on the elderly and how they can continue to live well after retirement.  In the retirement resort where I live, AARP tax preparation volunteers open shop in time to help seniors file their income tax returns no later than April 15th.

Last year, 2017, on the sixth month of my residency in the community, I availed myself of the AARP services.  I went through the motions of setting up an appointment date, gathering the previous year’s income tax return, all the latest income statements from banks, pension funds, and Social Security Administration (SSA), and when it was all said and done, I finally made it front and center of a volunteer.  A senior herself, the volunteer, a Chinese lady whose serious, non-cosmetically-enhanced face screamed “retired bean counter,” studied my personal information as if she was seeing something that required in-depth scrutiny.  You filed a joint return last year? she asked. I answered, Yes I did. She contnued, You are filing a separate return this year?  No, I replied. My husband died last year so I am a widow this year.  Her Chinese eyes opened wide, my Filipino eyes opened even wider.  She said, You might not need to file this year because you are a new widow, but I’m not so sure.  I’ll call my supervisor.  The volunteer sounded excited.  She had no idea how much more excited she got me.  When the supervisor arrived, she looked at a chart of allowable and exempt conditions for new widows then confirmed what I wanted to hear:  You don’t have to file this year, but check again next year.

How about that!  New widowhood has its own privilege.  This year 2018, last year’s next year, I tried to invoke my new-widow income tax non-filer privilege.  I toyed with the notion there might be a chance I could use it every year until I become an old widow.  Wishful thinking warms the aging heart.

No, no, no, you have to file this year, declared this year’s volunteer, a senior citizen male whose silver mustache covering his upper lip matched the silver hair on his head.  And you also should have filed last year.

Oh dear, I gasped.  Now I am a tax evader.  I did my disarming best to get the volunteer to get off the kick of correcting my last year’s non filing and just proceed to this year’s filing.  I succeeded.

But I don’t see your 2017 SSA Statement of Benefits, he declared.  It dawned on me that I had not received my SSA statements in two years.  It’s a good thing I’m retired and a new widow.  I have an excuse for being clueless.  He instructed me: Go to the SSA office now and you’ll be back here in a couple of hours.  I protested: I can’t.  I save the environment from pollution.  I take the bus.  He warned:  Today is AARP’s last day here.

The disarming senior babe went to work.  Then please get me an extension from the IRS, I implored, my rapidly blinking brown eyes drilled on his hazel eyes.  That will give me time to update my personal information on file with the IRS and get replacements for SSA 1099 statements.  He caved in.  He filed electronically for an extension and gave me his card.  See you at the end of summer, he said.

Two days later I was so relieved to get all the SSA requirements done without leaving my minimalist manor:  my personal information updated by phone and my 2017 Statement of Benefits to be replaced through snail mail.  It took 45 minutes, but I had dedicated a whole day for that.  Hey, I’m retired.

Now I can focus on assembling my pool wardrobe for summer and hope this year’s AARP tax volunteer would still be up to the task of helping this poor helpless senior with her income tax filing in August.

Meanwhile……happy dance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Medical Professionals Who Do Bones

20180114_134635[1].jpg

Lefty’s Bruises Are Gone Now But Full Range of Motion Has Not Yet Returned

Okay folks.  Let’s add Orthopedic Surgeon and Physical Therapist to the long list of medical professionals to whom I have been referred since I turned 65, my start in the serious phase of getting old.  The most recent referral however had nothing to do with aging but with a vehicle/pedestrian accident.  I was the pedestrian in that collision.

The traffic accident I survived in December of 2017 sent me to the emergency room  of a trauma hospital. There, a lovely 50ish Asian woman ER physician (Dr ER) had x-rays of my left shoulder – which the Grand Marquis car had hit from the back –  taken to see the extent of the injury.  As soon as the image became available, she projected it on a computer monitor.  My face grimaced at the sight of the junction of my thin arm bone and the left shoulder area.  Skeletons! They form a part of the 206 bones that make up a human adult.

The humerus bone is broken but it is not broken, said Dr ER, beaming. She expounded: The ball of the arm bone that goes into the shoulder socket is broken but it is not shattered or dislocated. No surgery is needed.  The crack will eventually close and heal.  How lucky, I gushed.  DR ER recommended that I find an Orthopedic Surgeon (OS) for follow-up consultation.  The ER doctor’s job is to perform the minimum required care and move the patient out of the ER as quickly as possible to make room for new emergency cases.

The process of getting an OS involved my Primary Care Physician (PCP), who was so glad to get in on the action.  He gets a big kick out of finding what’s medically wrong with me then referring me to a specialist.  This time he referred me to Dr OS, a cheerful red-head middle-aged man.

Dr OS ordered x-rays of my left shoulder and arm then reviewed the images with me.  His verdict echoed Dr ER’s.  This is broken but it is not broken and that is a good thing, Dr OS proclaimed.  But  I’m in pain, I disagreed.  He expounded: The bones will fuse together eventually.  I’ll see you in three weeks.

The next three weeks tested my dexterity.   Bathing, showering, taking off and putting on clothes with one arm were challenging.  I learned new wiggling motions.

I’d heard of the expression “One hand does not know what the other hand is doing.”   I disagreed.   Having my left arm in a sling 24/7, I learned my right hand (Righty) knew exactly what my left hand (Lefty) was doing.  Nothing.  Doing nothing. It just lolled inside a hammock, the shape of the sling. So, Righty, in tandem with my brain, took over quite a bit of responsibilities.  Righty did not have issues about monopolizing the tasks it had once shared with Lefty, as if things had always been that way. What a hero! Of course Lefty was not totally worthless. It lent Righty a hand – pardon the expression. While doing dishes, Lefty propped the plate without pressure on itself, allowing Righty to scrub diligently.  In other words, they had each other’s back – or front. One performed token work, the other the real grunt work.

There were just certain tasks where Righty had to go it alone, like applying deodorant to both underarms. Imagine the contortions Righty had to go through to cover the right armpit.

I learned to orchestrate Lefty and Righty to attract attention for help in depositing household trash in the neighborhood trash bins.  Any able-bodied person who passed by the bin area was fair game.  A certain smile, a timid hello, a little drama by Righty struggling to lift the bin lid – they all did the trick.  The old folks in the retirement resort were genuinely happy to assist the helpless senior babe.

After two months, Dr OS told me, Lose the sling. You don’t need it anymore.  As directed, I stopped wearing the sling.  Friends unaware of the accident and happy to see me often slapped my sore left arm.

Dr OS referred me to a Physical Therapy clinic (PTC) to start the process of loosening up my left shoulder and make way for Lefty to regain full range of motion.

The intent of my first appointment was to determine how much physical therapy would be needed for my situation.  While waiting, I overheard a 40ish Hispanic woman named Michele and a 20-something named Valerie conversing about me.  Valerie asked, Is she the one? She doesn’t look like……(her voice tapered off).  I could not tell if she meant I did not look my age, I did not look like Nancy Kwan, or I did not look like an accident victim.  One tough lady, Michele commented.

During the assessment session I learned more about the physical therapy profession.  I thought everybody who works in a PTC is a physical therapist who bends arms and legs.  As Michele gently massaged my left shoulder, I drummed up a conversation: So did you need a massage background to get this job?  She laughed and said, Actually I’m a doctor.  I felt like a heel.  My turn to laugh.  What do I know? I said.  I am a retired engineer.  I only knew sewers.

Michele explained that in a PTC there are different gradations of physical therapists, ranging from on-the-job trainees to college graduates, but there’s only  one doctor. In that clinic she is the doctor.  I notice she is the only one who can massage me. All others count or time me as I rotate my shoulders, pull pulleys or rubber bands, lift weights with my left hand.

Lefty is still working to regain full range of motion.

I think I’ll put on my string bikini, soak in one of the retirement resort’s five hot whirlpools, and do some serious positive thinking.

Have you or someone you know had a broken shoulder?  How long did it take to go back to normal?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osteoporosis

20180217_103625_001

In the middle of this February, my Smart Phone made a funny sound, alerting me to check on a new voice message.  I listened to the message.  It was from the nurse of my Primary Care Physician (PCP), the doctor whose mission is to find everything medical that is wrong with me. I thought, Now what? Our next consult is scheduled in March.  What does he want from me this early?

I found out soon enough.  The Orthopedic Surgeon (OS) who is attending to my broken left shoulder that resulted from the recent car/pedestrian collision accident, had given his report to PCP.  OS wanted PCP to get me a bone density test. The bone density test result would be a factor in determining the speed of my recovery from the accident in case the attorneys specialized in compensation for pain and suffering ask him.

I told PCP, At your insistence I subjected my bones to a density test very recently.  Why not give OS those results? He answered, That’s different.  The bone density test needed by OS is one taken after your traffic accident.  And I also need a new one to see how the medicine I prescribed to you has affected your osteoporosis.  What medicine? I asked,  beady brown eyes widened.  My reaction took him by surprise.  You didn’t get the pills?  I want to prescribe the latest good drug for your osteoporosis after I prove to your insurance company that the pills I prescribed to you did not work.  Instead of arguing,  I declared the snafu was his fault and we agreed his prescription for osteoporosis fell in the cracks because of all his referrals to the podiatrist, ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist, etc, plus orders for flu shot, pneumonia shot, shingles shot etc.  He gave me a prescription again.

I visited my colleague Dr Google and asked him about osteoporosis.  He said it is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.

I wondered what kind of osteoporosis I have, if in fact the diagnosis is correct.  I remember the Grand Marquis car in the December 26th vehicle-pedestrian collision accident smacked  my left shoulder from the back, tossed me, and drove my face down on another paved lane.  I thought the impact of the moving car followed by the impact of the rigid pavement were enough to reduce my poor decrepit little body to a small heap of broken bones.  But no.  I shimmied out of the accident scene with a hairline fracture on the slightly dislocated left shoulder requiring no surgery.  What about the brittle bones?  My son thinks years of yoga practice have made me pliable.  I think the fish heads and rice in my diet get the credit.

Okay, whatev.  I’ll add Osteoporosis to the long list of maladies and medical terms that I have researched since turning 65.  It joins the ranks of adenocarcinoma, bunions, cancer, cataracts, colonoscopy, pneumonia, Varicella-Zoster, etc.  Love that last one in the series.  It sounds impressive but it means shingles.  Having experienced all of them and then some, I can proudly crow: Getting old is not for amateurs!

My left shoulder has loosened up and physical therapy continues until my left arm regains its full range of motion.  Then I’ll be able to tie the strings of my bikini swimsuits by myself again.  Meanwhile, I have the retirement resort’s limo pick me up and take me to a scenic area where I walk uphill then downhill then to my favorite sushi place.  This brings back memories of my days in Albuquerque city hall when I was an employed young woman engineer shunned by the exclusive world of male engineers, long before it dawned on them how awesome I was.  The draftsmen and I would eat our sack lunches in the drafting room. For dessert, we’d have Fig Newtons.  At the end of the main course, usually a home-made sandwich, I’d raise my hand with the dessert and exult: “High standard of living!” and we’d all crack up.  My happiness has always come from within.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Dusting Myself Again

20180114_145524[1].png
The Author Won’t be Competing in a Speed-Typing Event Anytime Soon

If you’ve been wondering why I hadn’t updated this blog sooner, here is a clue: I’m dusting myself all over again.

What happened was, on the evening of the day after Christmas 2017, I was involved in a traffic accident in a busy Southern Orange County road.  It was a car-versus-pedestrian kind of collision. Yup. I was the pedestrian in that conflict.

I was cautiously crossing the major road, the green light in my favor, when suddenly a formidable object, which turned out to be a Grand Marquis, swiped my back left shoulder and tossed me like a rag doll.  Hey, I’m only a svelte 112-pound senior babe.  I thought, OMG I have been hit!  Next thing I knew I was in a cobra yoga position, raising my bloody face from the hard asphalt pavement, determined to get the culprit’s license plate number in case the accident was a hit-and-run situation.  It happens when the blogger has seen too many True Crime TV stories.  And then it dawned on me:  This is absolutely amazing, quite incredible, and super fortunate.  I have my wits! I live to tell the tale!  I was shocked.

An ambulance ride ensued.  Later the sheriff interviewed the driver, who did not hit and run, a witness, and me.  It became abundantly clear that the accident was a liability issue against the driver.  According to my research later, the insured driver is a US doctor of Middle East origin.  Why can’t I stay away from doctors?

I’d like to tell the story in excruciating detail but it is best to keep my mouth shut while lawyers from both sides are hashing things out.

Thank you for your interest.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

CT Scans After 11 Months on Tagrisso

Okay, no photos for this post, just milestone dates:

December 8, 2017  CT Scans day

May 5, 2017  Last previous CT Scan day

January 15, 2017   Swallowed first 80mg Tagrisso pill

Whoa.  That’s seven (7) months between scans! Was I apprehensive on December 8, 2017? Nope.  I was more concerned that my cabbie might not show up in time or at all. I don’t believe taxi drivers will show up until they show up.

Non-emergency medical cab rides are subsidized by my city in California.  I like it.  The $45 round-trip costs me $8 plus a small tip dictated by my mood and the driver’s attitude.  The subsidy has nothing to do with the resident’s financial status.  The city simply loves its adorable seniors.  Had I known about the subsidy sooner, I would have not gotten lost looking for doctor’s offices using the public transportation system. It always happens to the new kid in town.  But hey! I learned something new in each of those bad-hair sweaty days plus they provided fodder for my blog.  Always looking at the bright side!

My one-man-band Onc, Dr Smiley, does things differently from the Oncs in teaching hospitals.  First he orders the blood tests then we do a face-to-face talk to discuss the results.  This time, he said all the readings were fine except my liver enzymes were high.  What could that be, I asked.  It could be an infection, it could be cancer, he said.  What! I’ve had those high liver enzymes before and they were caused by neither infection nor cancer.  I remember returning to my alma mater Google University to find out more about AST’s and ALT’s and I came up with all things that were music to my ears. I wanted to tell him that but I didn’t.  I simply smiled to match the built-in smile on his face.  Then he scheduled my chest and abdomen CT Scans at a hospital with which his practice connects.

This hospital does things differently too.  They had me drink this chalky barium concoction over a two-hour period prior to the CT Scans. Then came the CT Scan motions.

The scans took place on a Friday.  The following Monday morning a message from Dr Smiley lit my smart phone, which is always on Mute so that I’ll miss all calls and appear important.  The results must be in, I presumed.  The phone also indicated there was a text message from my son.  I checked that one first.  Priorities.  In response to my text, he said he had used two kinds of sauces on the fried tofu that he served me in his house the day before Thanksgiving.  I fought the feeling of perpetuating the culinary arts conversation.  I had to move on to listen to Dr Smiley’s voice message.

The message actually came through the female secretary’s voice.  Everything is fine, she said. The chest is good, the abdomen is good.  The tiny nodules too many to count still showed up in both lungs but they are stable.  If you have any questions, give me a call.  I thought, here we go again.  The nameless dots in my lungs aren’t going nowhere.  In my mind I declared them scar tissues.

Here’s another thing that the good doctor does differently: No face-to-face meeting to discuss good scans results.  I find that strange, but holy guacamole, good news is good news which ever way it is shared.

 

 

 

The Colonoscopy

20171110_211046.png
The Colon: Everybody Has One

In a span of six months I saw two gastroenterologists (GE).  Nothing was wrong with me.  I had no symptoms.  It was just that my doctors kept referring me to other doctors and I did not argue because I’m retired.  I need to supplement my recreational activities with educational ones.

My oncologist (Onc) referred me to the first GE, whom I never met.  His registered nurse interviewed me and concluded that nothing should be done to me but her boss the GE always made the final decision on the matter.  Sure enough he said nothing should be done to me.  Onc was happy but my Primary Care Physician (PCP) was not. He referred me to the second GE and told me for the nth time me I should get a colonoscopy because of my cancer history.  I finally caved in and agreed.

So off to GE#2 I shuffled.  My insurance company gladly notified me of their approval of PCP’s request: a 30-minute face-to-face interview between GE#2 and me.

GE#2 is another one of those young, suntanned and handsome Southern Orange County physicians to whom I’ve grown accustomed.  He definitely descended from one of the failed Hollywood star wannabes of Bugsy’s era.

He had 30 minutes so he went straight to business and asked me what symptoms I had that brought me to him. I told the truth: no symptoms. He gave me two options. Option number 1 screening, which is usually given to people with no symptoms. It would require checking of the stool by PCP through lab test results. Option number 2 diagnostic colonoscopy entails him sending a camera through the rear-end orifice and analyzing every nook and cranny of my large intestine, also called the colon. A camera? I asked, with feigned terror in my eyes. How big is this camera you’re talking about? He chuckled and clarified: It’s tiny and you’ll be under anesthesia.  You will not know what’s happening and it will take only about 45 minutes. I’ll look for polyps or cancer signs. If I see polyps, I’ll remove them there and then. I said, I have no symptoms, I’ll take Option 1. What happens next? His response: Your PCP will just keep telling you to have Colonoscopy.

I decided to cut out the PCP agony and go for the colonoscopy experience or Option 2.

GE#2’s battery of assistants went to work.  The tech scheduled a date for my colonoscopy procedure to be performed as an outpatient in a facility where mostly elderly men and women allow the gastroenterologist surgeon  to insert this tiny camera in the rear end for a scenic tour of the large intestine.  It would be like a small train entering a dark tunnel that has 4 bends, each one almost 90 degrees, forming an open square. The camera takes photographs at points chosen by GE. But first, the patient’s large intestine must go through a thorough cleansing to get rid of any caca that might block the camera and a clear view of whatever adorns the innards.

The nurse gave me a page long of must-do things: buy 32-oz bottle of gatorade and a bottle of a laxative; mix the two fluids; take three laxative tablets two different times; drink the gatorade mixture along with a liquid diet at certain times all day before the day of the procedure and hours just before the actual colonoscopy.

All told, I dedicated 3 days of my leisurely life for the project.  Day 1 for shopping, Day 2 for cleansing, Day 3 for the colonoscopy.  Retirement is awesome.  It allows time for this kind of experience.  I was not even thinking of results, bad or good.

Day 2 was the toughest, definitely not a time to visit Disneyland. I had to stay home, prepared to plant myself on the commode at all times.  Laxative overload owned me!

Day 3 proved to be anti-climactic.  I was told to lie down sideways on the gurney and relax.  A nurse installed an Intra-Vein line in front of my elbow and inserted an oxygen thingy in my nose.  Next thing I knew I was waking up.  Okay!  Chop, chop.  I joyfully exclaimed.  Are we ever going to start the colonoscopy?  The head nurse responded, All done.  You’ve been asleep for 2-1/2 hours.  I was stunned.  I had no pain anywhere, no bleeding, no discomfort, nothing.  Whoa! I could have dropped dead and entered the pearly gates without any knowledge of colonoscopy.  I missed out on the event totally.

Everything went well, the handsome devil Dr GE#2 assured me and handed me a sheet of photographs of certain scenic spots inside my large intestine.  I studied each ghastly image with mixed disgust and curiosity.  They looked kind of gross, really, but the pictures of the inside of my colon brought good news: no polyps, no cancer signs.

The clinic’s post-colonoscopy written instructions were pretty serious: No walking home, no bus, no taxi.  Someone must drive the patient home and the driver must be physically presented during the check in otherwise the procedure will be cancelled.  Good for them but I had my own agenda.  I convinced a male friend to accompany me and pretend to be my driver.  I wanted to go home by myself.

After an hour of my coming to, the staff noticed that no one with car keys had arrived  for me.  They became suspicious.  They wheeled me to a corner of the recovery room and held me hostage.  No car, no release.   While buying time for the anesthesia to wear off,  I stared at the door and the exit sign.  They beckoned me.  But the nurses could read the glitter of excitement of escape in my eyes.  They took turns talking to me, still hoping someone would show up with car keys.  Finally, they gave up.  The head nurse instructed a young man to drive me home and walk me to the door of my manor.

Don’t we just love happy endings?  Happy dance, senior string-bikini babe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Podiatrist

20171102_111009
The Podiatrist’s Domain: Feet and Ankles

I was scheduled to meet with Dr Paa, the podiatrist to whom my Primary Care Physician (PCP) referred me concerning my bunion problem, therefore I thought I should know more about a podiatrist.  The notion reminded me of an old friend of mine who had contracted polio when she was a little girl.  All her life she walked with a limp and saw a podiatrist a lot.  She told me the foot reigned supreme at her podiatrist’s office. The door mat design featured a pair of feet. Footstep silhouettes led her to the consultation room where pictures of feet and diagrams of  the foot skeleton hung on the walls. Thus the relationship between feet and podiatrist stick in my head.  But for this post, I wanted an accurate definition of podiatrist, so off to my alma mater Google University I shuffled.

According to my colleague Dr Google, a podiatrist is also known as podiatric physician. He or she is a medical professional devoted to the study and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. Lower extremity as in toes?  What about the knee, I asked.  Is that too high for the good doctor? Dr G replied, Knee pain can be examined by PCP. If it requires surgery, he could refer the patient to an Orthopedic Surgeon.  For knee pain due to arthritis, gout, inflammation, a Rheumatologist is the doctor. OMG! My head spun with information overload.  All I wanted was a yes or a no.

According to unfounded rumors and my undoubtedly unreliable sources, 60% of podiatrists are foot fetishists. Foot fetishism is foot worship or podophilia and is more prevalent in men than in women. Just in case there is a scintilla of truth in the statistics, I scrubbed my toes immaculately before the trip to the podiatrist’s office.

Travelling by bus to Dr Paa’s office for the first time presented obstacles – like getting in the wrong bus and estimating wrong travel time – that caused me to miss the first appointment. Fortunately, I made the re-scheduled appointment in plenty of time and avoided being banned for life in that podiatrist’s office.

From the foot of a small hill, I could see above Dr Paa’s big office sign “Podiatry.” So near yet so far. The problem was the site layout had been designed for vehicle traffic.  The busy uphill driveway had no sidewalk.  I went to the block’s intersecting driveway and still saw no sidewalk.  What were those engineers, planners, and architects thinking? Did they not consider that I might move to California one day for bunion consultation?  I didn’t feel like walking to the other side of the commercial block to find a sidewalk so I did what any red-blooded fearless warrior would do: I slogged across the sloped landscaped embankment straight to Dr Paa’s Podiatry office.  Fortunately no pyracanthas or other thorny bushes got in the way of my trek.  No problemo.

It was a morning appointment. A wheelchair and an assortment of walkers and canes and as many number of people of various ages and sizes already filled the reception room when I arrived. No one cracked a smile for me.  I kept my peace.

At the appointed moment, a 20-something sparkle-dust podiatry technician, the only happy face in the place so far, tried to lead me to the examination room.  I liked her. She was game. Follow me, she instructed me smiling. I did not follow her.  Instead I walked in front of her and said, Follow me, walk this way and I did my hippy-hippy shake sashay. She unloaded a bombastic contagious laugh. The fun began.

Sparkledust took my weight and asked me my height.  I gave her feet and inches an inch taller than me.  How would she know? If it really mattered, she would have measured my height herself.  She walked out and Dr Paa strode in.

Dr Paa’s fictitious name means feet in the Philippine national language.  A Caucasian of eastern European descent, his real surname contains so many letters and is hard to spell. Tall and bulky with a slight beer belly – my kind of guy – he went straight to the point: How long have you had this bunion problem?  His fingers caressed my bunion gently. I wondered if my foot fetish fact source might be reliable this time. I replied, Thirteen years. He asked, And you were in pain all these years?  I answered:  No, I only had pain when I tried on tight shoes, which I eventually did not wear.

The rest of the exchange went like this:

He: What brought you here then?

Me: My PCP pressured me to complain about what could be wrong with me during my annual physical and my bunion came to mind. The bunion gives me no pain but it is not pretty.  He gladly referred me to you.  I thought maybe you know some new technology that deals with bunions.

He:  Unfortunately there is no magic. But I can do something for you.

The foot fetish rumor launched my mind on overdrive.

From a drawer he took out what looked like an electric eraser and used it to file my bunion-induced callouses.

Me:  I bought a pumice stone and did the same thing you’re doing.

He:  Pumice works but you should not scrape too much. These callouses will return.  The wider the bunion gets, the more the callouses build up.

In less than half a minute Dr Paa was done.

He:  Here’s what I can do for you.  Next time the callouses grow back, don’t remove them yourself.  I’ll do it for you.

Me: Really!

The foot fetish rumor tickled my imagination again.  My beady eyes widened.

He:  And you don’t have to come here.  Every Wednesday and Friday I hold office in your PCP’s office.

Me:  Ah..You guys are in cahoots!

Dr Paa apparently appreciated irreverence. He chortled.

He:  And you don’t have to worry about anything.  Medicare pays for it.

Me:  I like it!  No bus travel and the price is right.

We laughed.

Dr Paa left and Sparkledust entered the room with the oxygen-measuring gadget.  She clipped it around my left big toe, then the right big toe, then the left index finger, and finally the right index finger.

She:  Circulation is good.

Me:  Awesome.

With that, the podiatry session ended.  The secretary gave me a future morning appointment and sent me on my way.

I schlepped my bunion down the landscaped embankment, silly smile plastered across my face.  Contrary to PCP’s belief, there’d be no need to change my shoes or my foot.  And that’s good.

Do you have a podiatry story? Let’s hear it.