From the Couch:
An Unilegged Perspective


Well friends, it has been over 2 months since it happened last. Today I stood up, on two feet! I was so happy I giggled like a schoolgirl. When Nina got back from work we went to the grocery store together and I used both legs. I still have to use crutches as I can’t bend my ankle enough to walk normally and the muscles are so atrophied that I can not trust the leg completely, but the overwhelming feeling is that of JOY. Conjure in your mind an image of sun streaming down on the corner of Second Avenue and standing there proudly with both feet planted firmly on the sidewalk is me, naked (sorry, couldn’t resist), put clothes on me and Nina by my side and there you have a picture of true happiness.


This afternoon I went to my surgeon Dr. Gidumal, as with most surgeons he cuts to the quick and seems to have no records on me at all. I sit down on the table and he unwraps my splint (held on with an ace bandage). While taking out the foot he slips and slams the bottom of my foot, sending my leg up and shocking the hell out of me. I am just about to make a wisecrack about his slip, when he pulls his hand back and hits the bottom of my foot again, hard. Needless to say I realize now that this man is trying to permanently maim me. "You see," he says, "the leg is good, but you need more flexibility in the foot. Now put all your weight on it and start walking!" Hey, I like a good faith healer as much as the next guy, but I also like a little hard evidence. "Shouldn’t I get an x-ray first?" He pulls out a folder with one piece of paper on it, mumbling, "well…you only get one post-op x-ray…so…oh, I guess you haven’t gotten any. Okay, why don’t you go get an x-ray downstairs." I go downstairs and I am sitting at a counter right next to a big sign that says "Minimally Invasive Urology Unit." I am not sure what that means, but I am sure that I don’t want to find out and I was praying that Dr. Gidumal is better at writing referrals than he is at writing medical charts. Luckily, I was called into a room with a x-ray machine and a small woman wrenched my leg around in bizarre contortions. When the films were done and I brought them up to the doc, we were both very pleased to see that my bones had healed fantastically. He was so excited he started teasing me with "C’mon, put some weight on it, walk around!" I guess you get like that, working with gimps all the time.


Although today is a day of great jubilation, there is a tiny note of sadness that I feel must be addressed. I lost my splint today. It was the bottom half of my cast from the surgery. I wore it for two months, around the clock, except for showertime. It had cute drawings and signatures on it. I had taped the edges and added extra cushioning to the heel. I powdered it when it smelled bad. My splint and I went through some tough times together. Some were the toughest days of my life. I thought that I was going to still use the splint after my doctor’s visit so you can imagine my surprise when the doctor tossed it across the room and into the Medical Waste basket. He even grimaced with a ‘EEUCH’ face as he sent my war buddy to his untimely demise. To the doctor it was a piece of dirty scum, and to be honest, it smelled and wasn’t too clean, but I still felt that it deserved this small tribute for its large contribution to my recovery. Everyone kiss a piece of fiberglass for me.

MAILBAG (a.k.a Jeff’s Mail)

A quick follow-up to last week’s mail. I actually had a dream where magnets were sticking to my leg, but I couldn’t get anyone to look at my leg to prove it. What does it mean?

In honor of those men and women I love and hate, doctors, I present this vignette sent in to "From the Couch" from my Uncle Cisco:

In my hometown a well known rich businessman's wife broke her hip. The businessman got the best bone surgeon in town to do the operation. The operation consisted of lining up the broken hip and putting in a screw to secure it. The operation went fine, and the doctor sent the businessman a fee for his services of $5000. The businessman was outraged at the cost, and sent the doctor a letter demanding an itemized

List of the costs. The doctor sent back a list with two things:

1 screw $ 1
Knowing how to put it in $4999

The businessman never argued.

Hi Ho!!