#410 – Write about a time in your life when you had to be brave. What situation were you in? How did you find the strength?

The year I got married I had to get some pesky plantars warts removed from the bottom of my left foot. We’d tried everything, and by we I mean the podiatrist. He’d slathered all kinds of ointments and creams. I’d bathed my feet in epsom salts. They only seemed to make them spread. When it became obvious that nothing else was going to work, it became apparent that he was going to have to dig the suckers out. Drastic measures were in order.

To start with, I’m not a fan of needles, and there was no way that the podiatrist was going to dig warts out of my foot without some kind of anesthetic. How do you get anesthetic to the bottom of your foot? Needles!

But I was getting married. I needed to be all pretty and stuff, so I reluctantly signed up for the appointment. I suppose now would be a good time to mention that I’d also gotten a job that summer stocking flowers and shrubs at a local home improvement store. That meant that I spent all day on my feet. It really wasn’t the best timing.

When the fateful day came, I got in my car and drove the approximately thirty seconds that it took to get from work to the podiatrist’s office across the parking lot. I nervously signed myself in and took a seat. I love to peruse magazines in a doctor’s office because they always have things I’d never actually buy. Unfortunately, I was too jittery to pay attention for more than a paragraph of any article.

The podiatrist poked his own head out of the side door to call me in and ushered me to a room all the way at the end of the hallway. This was not a room I’d ever been in. There were the usual things that you’re used to seeing in a doctor’s office. The only odd thing was the unusually large table. It was like the normal padded table beds only on steroids. It was even propped so I could sort of sit upright.

I lifted myself and scooted back after removing my shoes and tried really hard not to vibrate where I sat. When the podiatrist had finished with the requisite amount of small chat, he turned and produced a needle. There was nothing special about it. It wasn’t very large or unusual. The fact that it was a needle was enough, but we were long past the point of no return.

He swabbed alcohol on and then began injecting the stuff. Now, the stuff he used, is nothing like any other numbing stuff I’ve used before. It works by numbing the skin that’s touching or close to it which means that it has to expand. In short it hurt when you got poked, and then it hurt again when it started to push against the skin around it.

At this point, I was in full on freak out mode which meant that I kept trying to see the bottom of my foot which was firmly in the podiatrists hand. Remember that the whole point of the numbing stuff was to keep me from feeling him use the cauterizing scraper to literally scrape the bits out of the bottom of my foot.

I think he asked me to lay back about a thousand times because for some reason I wanted to see him. He wisely kept me from doing this. As I lay there feeling only odd pushes and prods against my skin to let me know he was still digging, I was inwardly cursing my mother for insisting that I be a big girl and do the adult thing. I also cursed her for convincing me that it was the right thing to do to face my needle fears. I suppose on the upside I hadn’t cried that time.

After quite a bit of scraping, I got sent on my way. I hobbled to my car on a numb foot padded with enough gauze to make my foot feel like a lead pillow. I hobbled my way through most of my work that summer.

I think the thing that made this story the best was the fact that the suckers came back. You wanna know if I went to the podiatrist again? Heck no. The next time I used Compound W and duct tape. You know what? The duct tape worked. Duct tape really does work for anything.


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