According to the main source of information nowadays, there are only four types of writing. Expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Expository exposes stuff, descriptive describes stuff, persuasive tries to get you to think a certain way about stuff and narrative tells a story that may be humorous, enlightening entertaining or just stuffy.
Therefore, it is rare indeed when one body of work does all four, but that’s what this is: a story using a descriptive expose to persuade you to think twice before seeing the foot doctors my mother and I have seen recently.
The stories go like this. My 95-year-old mother and I suffer from the ingrown big toenail. Those of you who have this malady know that the brain cannot function when the big toe is functionless, and that’s what we had. Think of an ingrown toenail as a toothache in the extremity. The connection between the big toe and brain function has yet to be researched, but somebody’s going to make a lot of money when it happens because one cannot so much as fry and egg successfully when the big toe is on fire.
While one can sit, stare into space, maybe do yoga and numerous other things without the big toe, standing and power yoga cannot be done without the “approval” of this appendage. Walking requires a special shoe because it seems that the inflamed toe does not like to be touched and therefore screams in protest when contact is made by so much as a bed sheet. Turning over in bed before the toe is “consulted” can result in hours of protest from the offended attachment which means less sleep, irritability, poor work performance and marital problems.
Bottom line: big toe equals big deal. So I go to this podiatrist who shall remain unnamed for obvious reasons, because I must say the doctor’s staff appeared to be more interested in his wealth than my health. I sat waiting in the outside waiting room for 30 minutes filling out insurance forms and was then told to occupy one of several empty waiting rooms. Ten minutes go by and I’m given permission to remove my flip flops for a foot inspection — getting excited now because I can see the process coming to a successful end.
Meanwhile the air conditioning unit, as my bare feet will attest, is functioning at maximum proficiency. After 10 more minutes I’m told the doctor will be in momentarily and after 10 more minutes I’m putting on my flip flops and finding my way to the parking lot, where I made no effort to hide, hoping in fact, that someone might see me, a dissatisfied patient, leaving in disgust.
I don’t know what the guy was doing but it had nothing to do with my toe. I’m writing, of course, about my personal experience and I was hoping someone would see me whereby I could say, “Get lost.” Is that passive aggressive? The wife says I’m good at it and could probably give seminars if we needed the money.
I went home, got out some nail clippers with a file and saved myself a few dollars. Mom’s experience was a hundred time worse than mine. Her gifted podiatrist talked her into having the big toe nail removed. Don’t do this unless you are prepared to spend six weeks off your feet and in intense pain. I guess it was relatively easy to talk the 95-year-old into the treatment, but she went from an upbeat, positive former USO girl to a 95-year-old in a week.
On another note, as I sit here writing this, I’m sick with the flu. Not to worry, I will not be leaving the house. The wife has it, too, and it’s been three days now with no end in sight. It’s that old story, we take our health for granted until it’s no longer there. Sometimes it difficult to remember what it was like to feel good, but right now I’m positive there’s something inside my head that wants to get out.
Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.