Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I think I have gout.

Or something. Ever since Saturday morning, my calcaneus has been really, really, really painful. I realise that this is probably not gout, as gout affects joints, not calcaneus bones but wouldn't it be sort of humorous if I did have gout?

I could grow a big red nose and wear a tam-o-shanter, drink whiskey constantly, shout at the "help" and molest the parlour maids. Occasionally, when my gout wasn't acting up, I would go for walks on the moors to look at my sheep and mutter to myself.

It's actually the right side of my calcaneus, which is a word I learned in anatomy class. A class I almost failed. But I do remember the calcaneus. I also remember sitting with my professor after the final - I had been consistently doing abysmally on all the exams in the lab, so my poor performance on the final was not a complete shock to either of us. The problem, though, was not with my intentions. I had studied and studied and studied, to no avail. I tried so hard to cram the information into my head, but it just would not stick. My brain would willfully cry out: "There must be another, shorter, easier, faster way! This isn't the way we do things! We can't be expected to remember tiny details that have little or no consequence to the way things work!" But cram I would, despite the fact that it was a little like trying to put up wallpaper without any adhesive except your own saliva.

My professor stared across the lab table from me. He was such a nice man, with a haircut leftover from a time when he must have been a member of a folk band, shaggy and ear covering but purposefully so. We called him Peter, Paul, Mary, and Peter (his first name, was in fact, Peter) and in class, he often talked about love.

"I just don't get it. You clearly study. You ask questions. You got an A in the lecture portion. You pay attention, you've been to every lab section. Why did you do so poorly??"

"I don't know." I responded tearfully.

"Well. As long as you promise never to be a doctor, I'll see what I can do. What's the lowest grade you need for this to count for your major?"

So, I solemnly promised never to be a doctor and I passed human anatomy. So I know how the human body works, I just can't name all the parts.

My calcaneus doesn't hurt any less though, for me being able to remember it's name and the muscle attachments surrounding it also hurt, from compensating for it. I'm pretty sure I don't have gout, but I wonder what I do have - there's no bruise or other visible injury and no swelling. I haven't done anything to warrant such excruciating pain and it has only subsided minimally since Monday which was the worst day. The dog is suffering because I have not been able to walk him to full capacity. Hi-Ho. At least, thanks to the internet, I should be able to self diagnose in a few minutes, although I'm not sure if that may be violating my promise to Peter, Paul, Mary and Peter...


slartibartfast said...

You watch it! Or I'll kick you in the calcaneus!

La Nina said...

When you promised never to be a doctor, you meant that you would never be PAID to be a doctor, right? Because I think that dispensing unsolicited medical advice is a really great hobby.

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