Monday, August 18, 2008

The Knife

I submitted myself to the knife again this past week. It was a simple outpatient surgery that knocked a few days out of my schedule. It is more of an inconvenience than anything else. I always struggle with the balance of putting up with the pain or putting up with the inconvenience of taking care of the pain. A little less than a year ago I put up with the pain after a softball injury left me with a swelled foot and pain for a few weeks. Most of the pain went away but a nagging nob of some kind never really did. It felt like I was constantly walking on a stone. I would wear good shoes and the pain would not show up until later in the day but barefooted (which is my normal summer state) was painful quickly and I grew to walking on the side of my foot instead of putting all the weight on the ball of my foot.

Enough was enough and it was time to have a professional check it out. After a series of x-rays and an MRI I found my bones were broken way back when and they had healed wrong. So I was walking on the wrong part of my bones and it was pressing on the wrong muscles and doing all kinds of other wrong stuff. Next step: surgery; or just shut up about it and deal with it. I had dealt with it for almost a year so now was the time for the knife to take care of it.

The knife. It is a useful tool and a destructive one. I have had many knife slips in my time; cutting me in places I was not supposed to be cut in. You could spread butter with a knife, slice your T-bone or use it to kill someone. What normally would be destructive: cutting into my skin, was now useful and necessary. I had to trust the guy behind the knife (that was after I had to sign a million consent forms and liability forms) I had to trust that guy could heal with that knife and not cause more destruction. We joked and laughed together before the surgery as he wrote “THIS ONE” on my foot with a Sharpie.

Now it is done and I am left with the healing pain after. Was it worth it? Time will tell but I am reminded of another knife that cuts both ways. This knife can be much sharper than any surgical instrument for good and healing but also can be as destructive as a Rambo knife when used wrongly. Only a few days before while in the waiting room I watched a mother’s interaction with her child. The child was being a child and running the room impatiently until finally the mother had enough and began yelling. “You get your little butt over here now or I will give you back to you father!” The pain in the child’s eyes was evident and the knife sliced.
My foot will heal but that child’s heart has a wound that will take more than time to heal. Watch out for how you use your knife for it is as sharp as a double-edged sword.

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