Aging

I just got back from the doctor.  He told me, “It doesn’t take a football injury for people like you and me to get hurt,” or something to that effect. For the record, I am probably at least 15 years older than my doc. He is diplomatic.

It happened in the bookstore at The Grove, down in LA. I had taken a few steps inside the doorway. I made one more step that made me double over in pain. I had never felt anything like that before. There was no warning, just ‘BOOM’, a pain in my foot that stopped me in my tracks. Joy was with me and I think I scared her. I didn’t know if I would be able to move from the spot.  After it subsided, I found that I could limp along in a certain way without causing pain, although there were a couple of times that it hurt even when I wasn’t walking at all.

The week before, Joy and I were at a cousin’s house for a pizza making contest. I didn’t see a step down to the patio, and made a four-point landing (two knees and two hands). I was pretty pleased that I came away with only a slight bruise on one hand.

What’s going on with me? I hadn’t planned on disintegrating for at least another 2o years. After all, according to my mother, I am now only slightly past middle age. She assumes that I will live to be 120 years old, a traditional wish that a Jewish mother makes for her children.  I have been virtually injury free for my entire life, and now… I just don’t know. Maybe it was the car accident I had in 1985. That affected the same ankle that I hurt in the book store, but it only acts up now and then, and mainly when I’m not wearing shoes. Perhaps it was the piggy-back ride I gave my granddaughter?  I don’t think so… Maybe it happened because I had been favoring that same foot recently.

The doc didn’t tell me what he thinks caused it, but he said it was probably a tear in a little tendon somewhere inside my ankle.  He prescribed crutches for me.  I was hoping that I could get a cool cane, like Hercule Poirot, but he didn’t think that was a good idea. Damn it!

Today’s experiment (investigation):

I like to know how things work.  I looked up the medial view of an ankle in my edition of Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank Netter, MD. I think I found the correct view, even though it was the right ankle instead of the left.

I drew the outline of my own foot in its resting position (at the end of my leg, as it rested on my knee), and tried to superimpose Netter’s rendition of tendons and sheaths thereon. I think I narrowed my problem to the Tibialis Anterior and Tibialis Posterior Tendons.

I could be wrong though.

Watercolor Sketch - My Left Foot

Notes:

I used a limited palette for this sketch. I used a cadmium red, yellow ochre and white mixture for the flesh tones; an unknown blue (perhaps cerulean) for the tendon sheaths and winsor red and an unknown purple for the arrows indicating pain.

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