March 30, 2006

This little piggie cried “what the @#$%?!”

Today I visited Dr. Robinson, podiatrist to the stars my podiatrist. I’ve been having trouble with my big toe. It’s puffy, and red, and it stings. Whatever Brooklynite coined the phrase “the agony of da feet” knew what they were talking about. What? Oh, it’s “agony of defeat?” Ah. Never mind then.

Anyway, I went to see Dr. Robinson to have him check what I (and my BF) thought to be an ingrown toenail. Jeez, even reading those words, it’s just gross.

I’ve never had an ingrown toenail before, so I did a bit of research online. What I learned about treatment almost made me hurl. I hoped I wouldn’t have to endure the ickiness associated with any of that.

(If you’re eating, as you read this, what I’m about to describe could ruin your appetite. If you have a queasy stomach, do not continue. Go look at my cat making biscuits instead.)

Sho’nuff, our diagnosis was correct, but alas, I would not be spared the required treatment. Dr. Robinson put up a barrier so I couldn’t see what he was doing to my foot, and he explained the procedure as it progressed. I appreciated the barrier (aka barf shield) because if I had to watch, surely I’d have tossed my cookies.

Dr.: First I will spray a little anesthetic to numb the outside of the toe a bit.
(Spray hits toe.)
Me: Mmmkay. (Heh. That’s kinda tingly and cold. Nice. This might not be so bad.)
Dr.: Now I’ll inject something to numb the entire toe. It’ll start to feel like there’s a scarf wrapped around it.
Me: Mmmkay.
Dr.: I want you to count backwards from 100 to 1.
Me: Mmmkay.
Dr.: By threes.
Me: Uh…
Dr.: Or by ones is okay too.
Me: One hundred, ninety-seven, ninety-(dammit!)-four, ninety-one (mother @#$%!), eighty-eight, eighty-five, uhm, eighty-two, (holyshitthatneedlehurts!) seventy-nine, seventy-six, (How big IS* that needle anyway?) seventy-three (KELLY CLARKSON!!!), seventy, sixty-seven, six…six (S’cuse me, but when does the numbing start?) sixty four, sixty-one, fifty (Hey! I think it’s over) eight, fifty-five…
Dr.: You can stop now. Nice job with the counting.
Me: Yeah, nice distraction, but it still hurts (but I won’t cry or throw up).
Dr.: It’ll take about 10 minutes to get numb and then I’ll come in and Cut Out the Ingrown Part of the Nail.
Me: (Gulp.) Mmmkay.

As I sat there awaiting more torture, I looked through Running magazine. I found an interview with Dean Karnazes about how he manages to run for hours and hours, all over this planet, and not quit.

I first heard about Dean Karnazes when he was a guest on The Late Show. His passion for running fascinated me and I went out and bought his book the next day. When I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PA), I had to stop running, and that depressed me, so I never finished the book. Lately the PA isn’t bothering me so much, and I’m registered to run my first 1/2 marathon, barring any future ingrown toenails.

My toe started to feel kind of funky. As if it was expanding to gargantuan proportions like Fred Flintstone’s does when he drops a bowling rock on his foot. (On second thought, I think Fred’s toe smashes flat to the floor.) The imaginary scarf the doc mentioned tightened slightly, it’s warm fuzziness gently comforting my frightened hallux.

The nurse arrived to sterilize my toe. At first glance, the bristles on her scrubby brush made me cringe, but when she started to use it, I felt nothing. Whew. Then she poked (I guess) at my toe and asked if it hurt. Again, nothing. She told me I was ready for the doctor.

As he snipped away at the nail, I couldn’t help but wonder (look at me, I’m Carrie Bradshaw now) How much of my easiest-to-polish nail would remain? Would I be able to wear flip-flops this summer without scaring people? Would my pedicurist shudder at the sight of my newly-deformed toe? These are of course, very important questions. Forget the benefits of feeling better or avoiding such grossness and discomfort as an abscess. It’s all about appearance, folks.

The “surgery” took only a couple of minutes. When he was finished wrapping it, I saw him reach for a pen and figured he was going to date the bandage. When he lifted up the barricade, I saw why he needed the pen:


The Joy of Sex (and the City)

Last night was too much fun. Ninety minutes of non-stop Sex (and the City).

When I was first approached to do this, the screener suggested going out for a drink first. I declined for two reasons:

  1. Where in San Ho are we going to find a cool bar nearby that will make us flirtinis?
  2. I envisioned myself having cocktails with stuffy people dressed in suits and ties.

When I greeted the three women who came to talk to this Extreme Sex and the City Fan, I wish I had accepted the drink offer. They looked like the same people who walk through my door all the time, like my girlfriends. And they looked fun, not scientific-researchy at all. OK, I didn’t expect lab coats, but in the past when I’ve participated in focus groups, the leader has been a bit stiff. But these chicks were cool.

Damn, I should have bought cosmopolitan fixin’s. Ah well. And I make a mighty fine cosmo, if I do say so myself. Shoot. I didn’t even offer them a drink of water. What kind of hostess am I? Oh, that’s right. I was a Research Subject, not a Hostess. That lets me off the hook. Right?

At first, the prospect of having this conversation at my house seemed weird. (Mom always said not to let strangers in the house.) I was told that meeting at my humble abode would allow me to be more comfortable than I might be in unfamiliar surroundings, like a corporate boardroom. But it also meant that I had to clean. Like a madwoman I cleaned. My apartment needed it and I am the type who doesn’t clean because I want to, I clean because someone is coming over and I want to make a good impression and I don’t want them to think I’m a giant slob. These people already knew I watch a lot of TV, and that conjures up images of dusty furniture, empty soda cans, and potato chip bags and the only things you can see in the mess are a reclined La-Z-Boy chair and the remote. So I had to get rid of all that stuff before they came over.

I was put under the microscope for an hour and a half. Only, it didn’t seem like a microscope. It seemed like my living room. Oh wait, it was my living room. It was exactly like three friends had come over to talk and get to know me better. Except my friends don’t videotape me or take pictures or notes, hanging on my every word.

I’ll admit that my fondness for television sometimes embarrasses me. But not when I can make some extra dough talking about how much I like it, and one show in particular. I also know a LOT about pop culture. You want me on your Trivial Pursuit team or Celebrity Taboo. Yes, I will be your Entertainment Lifeline if you ever get on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (for a small fee). Some call it useless information, but others just paid me $50 bucks an hour for that uselessness. So there ya go.

I didn’t know just where these women were from and I tried to guess, based on the questions they asked. I figured maybe they were from HBO and were looking for interest in a new reality series that HBO is working on. Nope, HBO didn’t send them. In they end, they told me they were from a cable network (the one that airs Sex and the City). I gave them and the network permission to use all of last night’s footage (quotes, video, photos) in whatever way they see fit. (Damn, I should have fixed my makeup and worn a push-up bra.)

It was easy and fun, and damn, I wish I could do this all the time. Get paid just for talking about TV. So, get your ass on that couch and start watching some TV! It could be a whole new source of income for you.