.One of the problems with getting old is losing touch with old friends, namely my toes.
Been a long time since I had close visit with my toes. In fact, I even have professional help in trimming my toenails.
The Podiatrist comes to visit the old folks home quarterly. Then I, and other folks whose feet are out of our reach, line up in the activity room, baring our feet. The doctor sits in a chair in front of us and slides along, examining feet, trimming toenails, checking foot health, and accepting a twenty dollar bill. The twenty he pockets, literally, in his left hand pants pocket. Sounds a little suspicious, doesn’t it. A doctor accepting actual CASH from the PATIENT as the service is RENDERED.
It is a convenient service for us. We can go to his office a block away, wait to see him, and let Medicare pay the bill. But here is a doctor who does make house calls That is worth the twenty, I believe.
I have only one foot, having been wounded in WWII. I should have to pay half price, but he has not offered, and I do not negotiate with terrorists or medical doctors.
As he was sliding toward me I asked, “Have you ever treated any patients with six toes?” He had, but it was very rare. In fact “I have removed a sixth toe.”
When he reached me he looked at my toenails and when he reached my pinky he asked this wonderous question: “What happened to this toenail? It is gone.”
GONE? Gone where?
“Looks like it has been torn off.”
Torn off? Wouldn’t I have noticed?
I can see the note that will go out in the junk mail
--Have you seen me? Toenail missing in California since July 8, 2005. Answers to the name of Pinky--
He put on Betadine and a Band Aid, trimmed my remaining nails, and cautioned me to “watch that toe” as he pocketed my twenty.
Watch it? I can barely see it. I guess I will ask the caregivers to be ‘toe sitters’ for me.
But the question in my mind is: Where is it? I haven’t been barefoot anywhere but in my apartment. “The missing toenail is right in this room,” I hear Ellery Queen saying.
Was I ravished in my sleep by a toenail terrorist? I don’t sleep that soundly. Perhaps, disheartened by my lack of attention, the toenail quit the premises. “So long, fellows. Better luck with Chuck than I had.”
What seems to be the truth: I am falling apart, literally.