Monday, 11 February 2008

Toe Jam

My dad has been the butt of a longstanding joke in our family. He is a very big man, you see. Very tall and very solid. And an avid fisherman. Quite a good one too - and that's not a fisherman's tale either. He also grew up as a farmer, or a boer, as we South Africans call the very traditional old white farmers. So, that makes him a very traditional, big, white boer who likes to tell stories.
Anyhoo. The story goes that many years ago, my dad was fishing on the coast, standing almost waist deep in the waves. There he was, just minding his own business, when an enormous breaker attacked my dad and sent him sprawling. He surfaced after a good struggle against the tide, not much the worse for wear. Except for a damaged ego. And a "cracked" ankle.
Off he rushes to the doc. The doc takes a look at his ankle, which has since swollen to the size of a small tree trunk. My dad shares the story with the doc (with a few fisherman's embellishments) and the doc comes to the not-too-popular conclusion that my dad isn't suffering from a cracked ankle, as much as from A Little Too Much Overindulging. We'll call it Gout. For short. Needless to say, my dad wasn't too impressed with doc's diagnosis, and promptly insisted that his foot was indeed broken and forced the doc to take x-rays. Which, much to my father's dismay, showed a perfectly shaped bone. No crack. Just gout. Never one to be deterred by technology, my father continued to insist that his foot was broken. Severely. Probably shattered to miniscule pieces that would never heal. Very persistant would probably be an understatement. The poor doc eventually acquiesced and put a plaster-of-paris cast on my dad's foot and sent him packing with a pain shot, a couple of voltaren bum-bullets, and a set of crutches. My dad left the office a very satisfied patient.
Only to have the cast get so loose in the ensuing days that he took a saw to the cast and removed it himself when the "gout" swelling went down.
Of course, we have never let him forget the episode. Often asking him about his "cracked ankle" and if he still gets any twinges. And the biggest mouth in ragging my dad has been my dear hubby, who thinks it's hilarious that my dad convinced the doc to put a cast on his not-broken foot.
Fast forward to December 2007.
Robin is playing soccer with the kids at the camp. Kicks his big toe against a fellow player and spends the rest of December and much of January limping around the farm. Is convinced he cracked his big toe. Finally gets better. Swelling goes down. And life at the Hillbilly Dump returns to normal.
Until yesterday. Robin plays soccer again. Barefoot. Kicks big toe. Spends remainder of day feeling very sorry for himself. With wife pandering to him hand and, er, foot. Spends much of day sleeping on bed. In the foetal position. Is convinced he has cracked toe again. Words like "cracked" and "Old Sports Injury" and "definitely broken" get pandered about quite a lot. Wife whispers soothing words like "Aw, poor dear" and "Can I pass you the remote?" which, as we all know has Magical Powers.
Poor Hubby eventually decides to take himself to the doctor this morning for a check on his toe. Is convinced he will come home with cast on foot, on crutches and hauling a dealer's stash of happy pills.
Imagine his chagrin when he had to arrive back at work minus the cast, crutches and crack. Turns out the doc's diagnosis is officially Gout. With a subtitle of "perhaps old sports injury." Hubby is still sheepish. And my dad and I are still laughing. Loudly.


Andria and Co. said...

hehe! That's funny!

Kelly said...

My husband got gout when he turned 39! It comes around every 5 months or so. There is a medicine you can take for it--indomethicin. (something like that). His father gets it, too and more men get it than women. I know it is extremely painful and you know how men are when they are in pain...

Rita said...


Melissa said...

Oh my, Char, you have me splitting my sides laughing over here!!