Tag Archives: Pain

Courage at Twilight: Toe Surgery

Dad found some of his toes beginning to rise above the others, rubbing painfully against the tops of his shoes.  The podiatrist promised simply, “I can fix that.”  The next week he poked into the sides of Dad’s toes with a tiny scalpel and nicked the toe tendons, to release some of their tension so the toes would drop back into place.  Dad felt great when he came home, and wanted to go to the gym and to the grocery store.  I implored him to sit down and elevate his foot, and placed an ice pack on his foot hoping to prevent and reduce the swelling and pain I knew was coming.  “Dad,” I remonstrated, “if you don’t take it easy today, you are going to pay for it tomorrow.”  And he paid, in the coinage of pain.  And Mom and I paid, too, because it was our job to take care of him.  Our gentle Dad turned into a cantankerous papa bear.  I barked back that I would be very unhappy if he did not take care of his toes and they became infected and had to be amputated.  Perhaps I reacted too harshly, but I needed to get his attention so he would contribute to his own care and healing.  He apologized later, and began following the doctor’s orders (that is, Mom’s and my orders).  Actually, though, he healed quite well, despite diabetes, and I let go my fear of amputation and all it would mean for his mobility.  Now, weeks later, the snow is deep and we are taking granddaughter Amy sledding.