I do try to schedule any health and wellness setbacks around my trips to Mérida, really I do.
The tickle in the back of my throat came a week ago Friday, and I knew immediately what I was in for. If I rested all weekend, I had a chance of recovering from an impending chest infection and head cold in time for Christmas. I stayed in bed on and off the next 48 hours, and it worked. I fought off chills and fever, overcame a bad cough and runny nose, just in time to be presentable at the dinner table Dec. 25. If I stay on course, the last remnants of my cough will be gone in time for my flight to Mérida.
Already, I was recovering from something trickier. In spring last year, I found that instead of enjoying protracted walks around Centro, I was hobbling a bit. It was calluses, I thought, making a mental note to get a pedicure and have my feet scrubbed and sanded. I went to the spa, but the results were minimal, although it’s always relaxing to get your feet pampered, even if I’m always the only guy in the place. I brace myself for the inevitable comment: “I wish my husband would get a pedicure.” Rumors of throngs of metrosexuals in Fairfield County, Connecticut, are highly overstated.
Eventually I went to the podiatrist. And for a year, I’d visit, he scrape and bandage me, slowly improving the condition of my foot. But about three weeks
ago, Dr. Harinstein looked dismally at my sole (not my soul) and declared it was time to get my foot lasered at the hospital’s outpatient wing. There was an opening the next morning at 7:30, and I should have no solid foods or liquids after midnight. I would need a ride to and from the hospital. It was so sudden, and the precautions seemed a little extreme for laser surgery. I found a YouTube video on laser foot surgery and it seemed like no big deal. Just another day at the spa. It seemed I’d have plenty of time to recover for my mid-January trip to Mérida. The doctor assured me as much.
That’s why my jaw fairly dropped when the nurse, the next morning, handed me a paper hospital gown and cap. I have to undress? I thought I’d be rolling up my pant leg. Next thing I knew, I was laid out in a cubicle with an IV dripping in my arm, and hooked up to monitors for my respiration, oxygen level and blood pressure. I had no idea this much fuss could be made over lasering off some plantar warts. (Did I mention they weren’t calluses? I hesitate to tell the world I had warts.)
I waited two hours for surgery, visited sporadically by another doctor, nurse or technician. A team of anesthesiologists (a team no less!) consulted me and explained that I would be in “twilight,” unaware of all the commotion at the end of my left foot. Finally, I was rolled into the operating room, greeted by a small crowd — a reception committee in hospital scrubs. You’d think I was giving birth. Before I had time to fully consider the absurdity of it all, I was knocked out. An hour later, I woke up in the recovery room, surprised at how clear-headed and pain free I was. Mainly, I was hungry and craving caffeine.
I was joking around the office that I would be dragging around a bloody stump, and that wasn’t far from the truth. The warts were more dense than the podiatrist had expected, so the surgical wounds are deeper and recovery is taking longer than I had bargained for. Still, with any luck, the spring will have returned to my step by the time I’m roaming the Centro Histórico.