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FOCUS ON HEALTH

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St. Patrick's Revenge–sore toes

 

Last year, the day after St. Patrick's Day, I was sitting at my desk at the office when one of our assistants informed me, "Doc." "There is a patient waiting for you in room #1 and he's little, strange."

"What do you mean he 'a' little strange?"

"I didn't say he 'a' little strange. He's little all right but he is seriously strange."

"What do you mean?"

At this point she just grinned at me and said, "You'll see." This peaked my interest. As I entered the room I understood. There in my treatment chair was a man approximately three feet tall, dressed all in green, with red hair, beard and mustache. As he began speaking I realized he spoke with a very distinctive brogue. "Top o the mornin Dr. Dennis (which he pronounced Dinnis). How are you this fine day?"

"I'm terrific sir. Thank you. How may I help you?"

"Well sir, I have been doing a lot of running the last few days and I've got these painful spots between my toes." (I noticed he was pointing to soft corns on the adjacent sides of his fourth and fifth toes of his left foot.)

"It burns like the devil (pronounced divil) himself was holding a hot iron to it."

The soft corns were reduced and x-rays were taken confirming my suspicion that the causes of his discomfort were actually small bone spurs on adjacent surfaces of the bones in the affected toes. Under local anesthetic the spurs were removed requiring a 1/4 inch incision and one stitch on each toe. While I was performing the procedure an interesting conversation took place:

Patient: "Dr. Dinnis, Chubinski is not exactly an Irish name but your first name is. Perhaps is your sainted mother of Irish decent?"

Dr. C: "Yes sir, actually she is. Her parents were born on the old sod of the Emerald Isle."

Pt: "No wonder you're such a likable person."

Dr. C: "My mother said I was full of blarney."

After he stopped laughing he asked, "What causes these dastardly things on my toes."

Dr. C: "Anything that squeezes toes together can contribute to this malady."

At this point I happened to look at his 'elf-like' green shoes. The toes of the shoe were pointed and curled up at the end. Dr. C: "Those shoes don't help."

Pt: "I know but Wolverine work boots or Berkenstock sandals just wouldn't go with this outfit."

Dr. C: "Can I ask you a personal question?"

Pt: "Certainly."

Dr. C: "I remember my mother telling me stories of Irish folklore. Are you a Leprechaun?" The expression on his face changed to one of concern. "You're not going to catch me for that pot of gold now are you?"

Dr. C: "Sir. I am a professional. I would give you at least a two minute head start before I tried to catch you for the pot of gold."

Pt: "And you wonder why my feet hurt. How fast will I be able to run with this surgical shoe on? Instead of a pot of gold can I interest you in a case of Lucky Charms cereal. They are great if you want to exercise your pancreas."

Dr. C: "No thank you. At my age I have to look for cereal with more roughage in it."

At this point he leaned forward, looked left and right as though he was concerned about being overheard.

Pt: "Listen. My agent says he thinks he has a really good gig for me at a school in South Bend. If that comes to pass I can get you some primo tickets to sporting events."

Dr. C: "That I would be interested in."

Pt: "I hope it works out better than the last audition I had. It was for a remake of Fantasy Island. All I had to say was 'da plane, da plane'.

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