I’m headed for bright lights, relentless attention and curbside service. Yes, sounds like I’m heading to Hollywood for celebrity treatment; alas, if only that was the case. My dancing has kept me on my toes for some time now, but it is the dancing that has prevented me from taking care of a painful condition, plantar fibroma (Google it), until now. Prepping for surgery, I just disrobed my left toes—ripped them of their sparkly red and glitter polish. Ugh, the agony. Not only will my toes be naked for the overdue procedure, but my face too! “Why?” I crowed. A foot procedure should not mean complete and utter shame for the entirety of my surgical stay. I’m rushing in like paparazzi are chasing me: sweats, ball cap and shades.
I am a coward. I have the fear of a third grader going to the principal’s office when faced with a cotton ball, alcohol, needle and Band-Aid. Seriously, who came up with the notion that a Band-Aid makes it all better? Pre-op had me sweating buckets and twisting my hands like wet rags. Having blood siphoned from your veins and being financially drawn and quartered the day before surgery, that was enough to put me in my fainting posture.
The surgery day trip to Orthopaedic Associates of Augusta was a brief one as my memory serves me prior to the “juice” hitting my system. I recall a 7:30 a.m. arrival to a most pleasant Stepford-like staff of cheerful nurses greeting me. Their chipper voices practically singing to me, “Good morning Ms. Newman, please follow me. We are so happy to see you.” The sterile environment combined with their baby clean faces made me almost forget my “face” was left at home on my vanity counter—friends Urban Decay, Smashbox and Sephora weren’t invited to the ER party it seems. I applaud the courtesy of the staff for their kindness and ability to kick off the day with such high spirits. A bunch of magicians they are; they dance about and make you forget what you are there for. They really made me forget my foot was about to be carved down the middle! Plantar fibroma is no joke, especially four years in. Having two large nodules on the bottom of your foot not only prevents you from participating in the much anticipated southern birthright, going barefoot five months of the year, but you also wear the slipper of the south, flip flops, with ripened trepidation!
They run the surgical center like a well-oiled machine. You don’t have a chance to change your mind or run. By the time I was sashaying in my grossly unflattering gown, I was cracking jokes to keep from crying. Repeating “they do this every day all day, all day every day” preserved my optical salt supply. The anesthesiologist came in with a wide smile, melodious voice and reassurance of how fast his magic potions work. Boy was he right! My knight in white armor, Dr. Kevin O’Shea, entered and by this time (after a nerve-wracking IV attempt and nonstop chatter on my part) he was indeed a vision. With a gentle pat on my foot, in a blink, he was gone and apparently I was too. The last vivid memory I have from that moment was telling the nurses I felt like I was starring in a Lifetime movie and would wake up searching for my stolen newborn. There were sounds of laughter, a touch of something cold on my leg and then a moving ceiling. The end.
It has only been a few days into my three week bed rest sentence. I have not had the pain I expected but I’m not nearly as mobile as I imagined I would be. There will be no twirling, kicking, or even tapping ‘til summer. Oh what I would do to hear “5, 6, 7, 8” at this point. Sitting still with a lifted leg is forcing me to stay busy mentally. So many projects I have lined up in my head for April and May! As for now, I am looking forward to my good friends at Edge Salon and Spa stopping by to bedazzle my ‘oh so blah’ boot. Yes, even a bedridden diva needs a little boot bling to brighten her day.
I sincerely appreciate the professionalism and sheer compassion bestowed upon me at OAAPA. A special “Thank you” to all of my family and friends who have since visited the Newman Infirmary with offerings of love. My moma always says, “You find out who your real friends are by who bails you out of jail or sits by your bedside.” Thankfully, I have not had to test the first part of her theory.
T.S. Newman is a North Augusta resident.