By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
11 29 2016
Of course I need an Orthopedist and an immobilizing boot. It’s the thing to do these days, at least at our house. We injure bones and joints, causing limps and groans. We get X-rays and MRI’s that lead to steroids and physical therapy. We elevate and ice, heat and wrap.
We support our local bone doctors and staff, and we’re not alone. Exercise and sports injuries are everywhere. Torn ACL’s. Knee replacements. Bunion-ectomies. Hip replacements. These days, so many people wear immobilizing boots, they’re almost a fashion statement. They certainly cost enough to be fashionable and serve as instant conversation starters. I’m now good friends with the guy in front of me at the grocery store.
“Oh, look! We’re twins.” The stranger in the grocery line looked up and smiled as I pointed at his big black boot.
“So how’d you get yours?”
“Chasing my dog around to get my new running shoe out of his mouth. I tripped in one of his holes in the yard. He’s a digger. How about you?”
“It’s a nerve injury called Morton’s Neuroma, from twisting my foot and ankle two months ago stepping off a curb. I ignored the pain until all day cooking for Thanksgiving did me in. I could hardly walk the next morning. I thought it was Plantar Fasciitis in my heels and Metatarsalgia in the balls of my feet like I’ve had before. It feels like walking on pebbles.”
The stranger nodded. “Oh, I’ve had that heel issue too. My PT had me freezing ice in a Styrofoam cup, and then tearing the bottom off the cup to rub the ice on my aching heels. What a cold, drippy mess. This time it’s a real fracture.”
“Wait a sec. I’ve got a picture of how huge and colorful it was at first. Check this out,” he said.
I looked at his pictures before pulling up my own. “Your swollen, purple mass looks a lot like mine, doesn’t it,” I said.
“Yep. Twins,” he said, pocketing his phone and handing his milk and eggs to the checkout clerk.
“Nothing like listening to all these Velcro straps crack and the boot clunk. But I don’t have to tell you how annoying all that Velcro can be,” I said, pushing my cart forward.
“Nope. I’m a boot expert now,” the stranger said as he picked up his bagged groceries to leave. “Good luck.”
“You too. Nice chatting with you.”
There I was talking with a stranger when I had four friends in boots. Maybe we should get together and discuss life in the latest foot fashion. I’ve only seen black immobilizers. Someone should invest in other colors. Red would be snazzy for Christmas and Valentine’s, too. It’s a pricey boot but with our track record, I’m sure I won’t be the last one to wear it.