Monday, November 9, 2009

Barefoot Bailey

I like to believe that I am contributing to the medical community.

In college I got tested for allergies. I knew that I had allergies, but I had complained of daily headaches and so my doctor did an x-ray of my sinuses and discovered that they were chock full of snot. All the time. So the first step was allergy testing, followed by allergy shots for three years (yeehaw).

At the time of the testing I was home for the summer, working, living with my parents. I didn't have a car, so my dad picked me up from work and drove me to the doc. I don't know if you're familiar with allergy testing, but essentially it is this: lots of needle pricks, injecting of things that you are quite possibly allergic to, which result in big itchy bumps on your skin.

My particular testing was done on my back, about 21 pricks. We discovered on this rainy day in 2005 that Bailey is allergic to just about everything. Not only that, I am very allergic to just about everything. Imagine three columns of huge, extremely irritating bug bites on my upper back. That is what resulted from my testing. When the nurse was finally done pricking me, commenting the entire time, "Oh my," "Wow," "Ooh...," she brought the doctor in. His reaction was similar. He did not hesitate to ask, "I have some medical interns here today, would you mind if I brought them in to see this?" "Bring 'em in," I said gamely.

When they came in my doctor began to explain, "This is an example of an immediate reaction to all allergens..." I'm pretty sure another nurse had come in at this point to see what all the fuss was about, so I asked one of them to go get my dad out of the waiting room. "He'd like to see this," I said. He was pretty excited; I know my father pretty well, and we are similar in being easily entertained. In fact his motto is "Never give up your right to be easily entertained."

Well it has been quite a while since I contributed to the medical community, but today I feel I got back in the saddle of doing so. I went to see my doctor because:

my big toes have been numb for about three months.

The rest of the toes? Just fine. Feet as a whole? A little chilly on occasion, but otherwise dandy. Big toes? Little rascals.

Well I got there today and a medical student came in to see me, solo at first, then consulted his notes with the doctor, and then they came in and examined my feetsies as a team effort. I felt for the student, because he was a little nervous, but he did a great job, and I wished I could have had symptoms like cough and a fever so he would be faced with a less perplexing diagnosis. But alas. He checked the pulse in my wrist, then the pulse in my feet, which was certainly a first for moi.

He retrieved Doc, and the two came back in together. Doc asked me, "Did you get married since I last saw you?" I am not making this up.

"No, why?" I asked, "Cold feet?" (I basked in the fact that both Doc and Stu chuckled at my clever pun.) He then explained that one of the nurses or other doctors in the practice had written on my chart at one of my last appointments that I was getting married in September. News to me. Perhaps this means I should change my Facebook status to Married.

The boys talked to me, talked to each other, and then eventually they each had one of my bare feet in their hands. I have no problem telling you all that I loved this. First of all, as I said, my feet are usually cold, so it was so nice to have warm hands holding them. Second, I clearly loved the awkwardness of the situation--I am sitting on tissue paper with two men holding my bare feet, discussing my bare feet. My feet seldom receive this kind of attention. Love it. I did at one point pray that they would just start giving me a foot massage, because quite frankly, I work on my feet 40 hours a week and could use a daily foot rub. Well, unfortunately no foot rub, and no definite conclusions except maybe get different shoes for work, and find a podiatrist if things get worse. But certainly some free entertainment for Bails. And by free I mean for a $30 copay.

As the doctor was typing his final notes into my electric chart, I suggested that he write in that I was having a few kids. "Spice it up," I offered. Doc and Stu smiled again.

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