But this wasn't just any doctor. He was the last person to see the big toe on my right foot attached to the rest of me. Because he was holding the scalpel that would remove said big toe. So I knew the news would be bad.
My bad foot is collapsing. The more it collapses, the closer it comes to being amputated, and they would be cutting just below my left knee. He looked at the bottom of my foot with a great deal of concern, and I started wondering if I'd be able to leave his office with both feet still attached. That would suck, especially since the hole in that foot healed so nicely.
"I'm going to look at the x-rays," he said. When he came back, he had that sprinkle of good news. "It's not too bad. Yet. If your foot gets hot and turns red, go to the ER."
Well. Okay then.
Then he wanted to admire his work on my right foot. "I don't know who performed that amputation, but he did a great job," he said.
I tried to smile. Not that it would have showed under my mask, anyway.
But he was very concerned with the toe next to my stump. I'd been having problems with it, but for a while it was covered on the tip by a shell of dead skin. It seemed to have healed, and it was giving me no problems.
"That's bad," he said. "Let me trim that up for you."
It's a good thing I have very little feeling in my toes because he took a scalpel and some surgical scissors to that toe, carving away the dead skin. "Ah. There's an open sore here. It's small, but it's not too bad. If you hadn't come in, it might have gotten to the bone. Then you'd have eight toes."
"Oop. You're bleeding a little bit." He used gauze to wipe it up, and then he bandaged it up and advised me to keep an eye on it. Keep changing the bandage. Use the leftover antibiotic ointment from the incident with the hole in my foot.
"And hey. Bleeding is good news. If it bleeds, it can heal."
I'm pretty sure that's not the lesson I learned from Predator.
Then he lowered me down from the elevated chair, and I saw that I'd bled so much there was a puddle on the floor that a nurse had to sanitize. It reminded me of when a surgeon had to "open you up a little" when I had an abscess. When I looked at that guy's work, he'd unzipped the inside of my thigh. I could have fit all of my fingers in the slit he made there.
So I've been watching that toe. Every time I finally get it to stop bleeding, a couple of hours later I discover it's started bleeding again. But hey. If it bleeds, we can kill it. No, wait. I got that wrong.
Anyway, I'm sure if I live long enough (and that's never a guarantee), I'll be Johnny Eight Toes. Or hell. Maybe I'll get the other foot cut off and I'll be Johnny Three Toes. It has a certain ring to it, but I don't think I'd like going through life like that.