Thursday, April 1, 2010


I pulled my shoe onto my foot and stopped to examine a bump along the stitches of my foot. My fingers ran along the protusion. I felt a screw head. I iced my foot. The swelling did not go down. It was definitely a screw, sticking out of my foot.

Two days later, I dropped my sock next to the table at Dr. McKinley's office. "My foot was fused five years ago. I think I've got a screw sticking out." The Berkeley orthopedist examined my foot, took three X-Rays, charged me $300 and said, "I think you're right."

This morning, Lucho drove me across the bridge from his house in the Mission to Dr. McKinley's office. The good doctor swabbed my ankle in iodine, then opened a big metal case. The nurse looked inside and exclaimed, "You could do a lot of damage with that stuff!" I winced and pulled my hat over my eyes. He stuck a long needle inside my ankle, pushed anesthetic around my ankle, and then made an incision. Using a star drive screw driver, he pulled two screws out of my ankle. I could feel them being tugged out of my bone.

You probably don't think much about your body. What's your left big toe feel like right now? I imagine it's warm, and pressing against a piece of cotton- a sock picture of Obama on it. Maybe it's bare, sliding along the wood floor. Or maybe it's wiggling inside of your shoe. Regardless, you probably weren't thinking about how your big toe felt until I mentioned it. Well, just like your awareness of your big toe is incomplete, so was my feeling about my bones. Until the doctor pulled the metal out. I could feel my ankle. The bones, the hollow, the marrow. It hurt.

He placed a couple stitches in my ankle, handed me two screws- the kind that come out of the 99 cent bucket at home depot, and charged me another three hundred bucks. Thank you very much.

Hopefully, my ankle will heal quickly. Getting surgery, doing anything with the doctor- kind of sends me over the edge. I go a little nuts. I've done a lot of it in the past. I slip into a deep vortex of despair. I'm not gonna let my mind wander into the abyss though. It only hinders my healing. Which I need to do quickly, cause I want to send!


Townsend Brown said...


Get better soon and tell me if you need soup or a ride.

Michael said...

Heal up quickly! Hope to see you crushing in the Valley this Spring.

Isaac Howard said...

Hey james, glad you got it over and done.

little happinesses: said...

eew. On the plus side, does that mean you won't set off airport security screenings with your ankle? :)

Happy thoughts for healing!