Who Knew I was Tough? Thank the Fairies
This morning I watched a six inch needle sink into my foot. The thin, elegant needle disappeared in the flesh. As the doctor pressed the steel into the top of my bony foot, the nurse sprayed the spot with a freezing agent. When the needle threatened to exit the underside of my foot, the nurse redirected the anesthetizing agent in that direction.
It was massively impressive.
I’d been putting off this procedure because two doctors told me it would hurt like hell. Doctors, I’m saying. The people who usually warn, “This might pinch a bit.” When I told my internist I might need the shot, he winced. Winced.
To prepare myself, as I waited in the office (waited and waited—was the doctor trying to “ice” me like a free-throw shooter?), I engaged in mind-control techniques. They tell you to go someplace pleasant. I always go to a pebble-bottomed creek surrounded by lush ferns. This time I stepped on a rock. A fairy appeared and asked if I’d like some fairy dust to help with the pain. I said yes, and she said, “I’m gonna have to poke it in your foot. But afterwards, you will walk on fairy dust.”
You’re laughing at me right now, I can hear it through the airwaves. But during this whole gruesome procedure, I flinched once. “You’re a tough one,” the nurse said.
I burst out laughing. “No, I am NOT! You go out in the waiting room and tell my husband I was tough, and he’s gonna say, that must not be my wife in that office.”
“You tell him you ARE tough,” the nurse responded. “Because you just were.”
When I got to the waiting room, the receptionist grinned at me. “You did good,” she said. “I’ve heard people screaming.” She scrunched up her face, and whispered, “Screaming.”
In three days I should be able to walk on the foot. In two weeks the bundle of nerves that started this journey last August when I walked and walked and walked in too-tight hiking shoes (NB: LISTEN TO A PAIN IN YOUR FOOT!) should be gone. A mere memory. The only thing that will remain is the fairy dust.