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Now all I need is leather chaps…

Pain seems to be a constant companion of mine these days. I’m only 30 and I feel sometimes like I am 50. Three years ago I went to the podiatrist and asked her to look at my heels because they hurt after I run. She put me on Celebrex and charged me 29.95 for some gel heel inserts that I could have gotten for a third of the price at Wal-mart. Dr. Pretty Lady, that’s what we’ll call her because she was a pretty lady, she told me to stretch before and after running and to wear these gel inserts in all my shoes and in no time I would be as right as rain. Dr. Pretty Lady is a liar.

Three years have gone by and every time I do any type of physcal activity my heels hurt the next day. Lately I have started playing Ultimate Frisbee again and the pain has come back with a vengeance. Legions of demons have possessed my heels and each demon has come equipped with tiny little hatchets that they are using on my Achilles tendon the way Itchy and Scratchy would use hatchets on each other.

The amount of pain that I am in when I wake up is hard to quantify. Each step is so painful that I feel like crying out to God and asking him to go ahead and take me home. After a hot shower the pain subsides and if I take an Advil here and there then the pain is more than manageable.

Last week I went to a new Doctor. We will call him Dr. No People Skills. When he arrived he just looked at me and then went and sat down in a chair. Then, he suddenly realized that he didn’t introduce himself and he akwardly introduced himself. He reminded me of a robot with poor programming. “I am Dr. No People Skills. Where does it hurt?” He asked in a monotone.

I explained my previous visit with Dr. Pretty Lady and my subsequent stretching and re-occuring pain. He stared at me blankly. I thought of the blue-eyed robot from “I-Robot” starring Will Smith.

Finally, and with some effort, he told me that we would need to take an x-ray of my right foot where the majority of the pain was and then we could determine the problem.

5 x-rays and 150 dollars later I was told that I did indeed have a heel spur. This particular heel spur is just below the Achilles tendon and if I have to have surgery it will be quite debilitating. This particular surgery would require a severing of the Achilles tendon and then a shaving of the protruding heel spur. Yeah! Then a screw would be screwed into my heel affxing the tendon in the correct place for healing and a non-weight bearing cast would have to be worn for an extended period of time. Boo!

So Dr. No People Skills gave me a couple of options.

A) Take 30 days worth of anti-inflammatory pills and stretch like a madman and hope the pain goes away.

B) Pay an exorbitant amount of money even with insurance to have the spurs remove and then hope that I can still walk again after a few months of recovery.

I didn’t like either plan but I will definitely choose option A. What I wanted was an easy fix and that if surgery was necessary then money would not have been a problem. “FIX ME!” I would have screamed. But the when the doctor told me to avoid the surgery for the first time his face showed some emotion. He looked pained, almost like he was constipated or like he was telling me that I had life-threatening cancer. I am normally good at reading people but Dr. No People Skills was an old book with soiled pages and it was not clear exactly what he was trying to convey to me.

So now that I know that Ihave heel spurs no thanks to Dr. Pretty Lady, I can now learn to live with them. I’ve already got a Cowboy hat, jeans, and a plaid shirt, now all I need is some leather chaps to completel my look.

Please keep me in your prayers. I need these spurs to go away. I don’t like western wear.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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