Monday, October 18, 2010

Next to Godliness...NOT!

Without a doubt, it's Samhain-tide.

Things are disappearing, only to reappear elsewhere. Folks are coming down with mystery colds, sinus drips, and sleeping problems. There are electrical, computer and mechanical failures. Yep, it's October, and my poor foot has not been spared. I mentioned in my last blog that surgery was certain, but I insisted that it take place after November 1st.

Now, surgery is not so certain for – behold! - my doctors have found a specialist in the wilds of Bensalem, PA. They had attended a conference at which this podiatrist/surgeon had slides, and graphics, (and black and white glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back describing each one) that looked remarkably like my deformed ankle.

So, this coming Thursday, it's off to Bensalem to see what miracles this hoof healer can pull out of his satchel. He's had specialized training in Russia for a form of “external fixation” for Charcot foot, inclusive of ulcers.

“What does that mean?”: I asked my doctors, in complete innocence.
“Oh, it's cool. He builds a scaffolding around the foot, ankle and leg in order to lengthen the leg, and slowly eases the tarsal bone back into place. If that happens, the ulcer can heal on its own. Or, if it doesn't, you're in better shape to close it surgically. And ... it's weight bearing!”

I went home and made the appointment, giddy at the prospect of no bone cutting and no wheelie stool! Then, the light started to dawn. External “fixation”? in “fixed in place”? By what, exactly? This past Friday, I got my answer during my usual wound care visit.

“How is it fixed? With pins and rods.”
“That go ...into the bone?”
“That's right – but it's weight bearing!”
“Yeah, yeah, sure, but there are pins and rods into the bone? If I have to walk on it, what kind of protection is there for my foot?”
“You could wrap it in gauze...”
“It's November. It's raining. I'm at my sister's house for Thanksgiving wearing a boot and gauze?”
“And how do you shower attached to this thing?”
“Yeah, you know – water raining down on you from an overhead nozzle thingee?”
“You don't.”
“I – don't? What am I suppose to do?”
“Sponge baths? I'm not really sure.”

So, there it is: the hygiene dilemma. Without total immersion, or even sorta immersion, how does one keep the blow flies at bay? Yes, yes, I know - bath wipes, “Wet Ones”, soap-water-washcloth, “Psssssst” instant spray shampoo ( do they still make that?). Let's face facts – that's not going to bring home the bacon. How do I keep from smelling like bacon? A few ideas did come to mind. (Thanks to my nephew Keith for the strangest photo session we'll ever have).

There's nothing like the smell of Gain
FABREZE: It comes in original, lavender, apple mango tango, and a crap load of other scents. It does a pretty good job of keeping fabrics fresh and the air clean, so I could spritz closets, pillows, couch, desk chair, and various and sundry blankets and linens. Spray enough of this stuff and it could set up its own atmosphere in which my own bathing failure may be a mere blip on the environmental radar.

Flower over-power!
AIR FRESHNERS: Dangle a couple of these babies on your person and the hint of stale sweat would be a blessed relief. Talk about your crowd clearer – five more minutes with the new “magnolia” fresheners and both my nephew and I would have succumbed. (The little black tree wasn't so bad, but what kind of a scent is “black ice”?)

Nice effect, Keith!

SCENTED CANDLES: OK, these can work. Scented wax can fill the house and mask a plethora of unwanted odors, but you run the risk of burning down your home. You can try carrying a few around with you, like a pale reflection of Brigit, Goddess of Fire, but nothing in the house will get accomplished unless you don't mind singed paperwork, smoldering towels, and shih tzu hot wax treatments.

Even Rufus turns upwind!

When all else fails, SECULSION: The hallway is where Rufus stays when I'm out of the house. Well, actually it's the hallway, kitchen, bedroom and den. His reward for keeping to the back of the house is a nice slice of cheese. Should I start smelling like a Rufus treat, it may be time to separate me from polite society. Thankfully, I don't know anyone in polite society. My friends will just have to stay on the opposite side of the gate, burning sticks of incense to the new incarnation of the Earth Goddess. Trust me, after three months of “external fixation” nothing's gonna be “earthier” than I.

So, there you have it: my Samhain with a capital “S”.
Just ducky.
I'll keep you all posted. Perhaps “Dr. Deformity” has some ideas of his own. (Please, Old Ones, if you love me! Kat doesn't want to be a cootie-head.)

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