A Tale Of Two Feet

When I was a child growing up in rural Central Florida, one of the many ways that the neighborhood kids kept ourselves amused was to imagine ourselves as members of the X-Men.  For some reason, I ended up being Professor Charles Xavier, the titular head of the X-Men, the bright mind limited to a wheelchair with a crippled body who relied on the more physically active X-Men to put his strategies to protect mutants as well as humanity into action.  While some adaptations of the X-Men have tried to frame Professor X as being more fit, there has always been something poignant to me with the thought of Professor X as having this sort of cosmic wisdom and understanding but extremely limited mobility.  As a child I had no particular mobility difficulties–I ran around pretty readily and was a speedy kid who was good at hide and seek and football and probably took my mobility a bit for granted.  By the time I was a teenager I had a broken knee that never quite healed to allow me to run all that quickly, and various injuries and, after the age of 25, recurrent gout attacks and other more exotic foot ailments (like cellulitis) made it clear that mobility was going to be a serious problem.  The idea of being an intelligent person whose movement is limited is no longer something that requires any act of imaginative empathy, but simply a recognition of the way things are, at least on an intermittent basis at present.


Epic quests are something that is not too uncommon when it comes to my dealings with my foot problems.  There are various reasons for this, I think.  As I noted before in a post on this subject [1], things that should be straightforward are not always straightforward.  When you have very specific health issues, you are dependent on a very specific logistics chain.  If you are prescribed, say, indomethecin for gout (a fairly standard generic NSAID that will only set one back about $8.00 a bottle the last time I purchased it), you might think that this would not be a hard drug to find.  But I have been in situations where multiple pharmacies just happened to be out of this drug and unable to receive supplies for it for a period of several days.  When you have stabbing pain in your big toe (or other places), this is not an acceptable answer, nor do you want to be driving around all over time trying to find the right medicine.  The same issue can be seen when it comes to doctors who specialize in foot problems, as it turns out there are not very many of these.  Given that I am a patient who specializes in foot problems, as I have at least three different ones afflicting me at present, this is not good.  To put the matter in perspective, I have as many foot problems as there are in-network doctors who specialize in gout and related problems in the entire Portland area.  It just so happens that all of them were happy to find new patients, so I managed to make the nearest one of them my primary care physician (since he will probably be getting a fair bit of work from me).


Ideally, I would have spent my day in the following way, going to work for a bit to finish the commission processing and then heading over to Colton to celebrate Father’s Day with some friends/family.  Alas, the only way that was going to happen is if someone drove me there and that did not happen.  Although, strangely enough, I was able to convince my roommate/landlord to drive me (in my own car, no less) to work, where I completed the work I needed to do and also bring the laptop home so I could work from home until my feet improve to the point where I can drive again.  And instead of having a fantastic dinner where I would have wished, I had a fantastic dinner at home, so it was not at all a waste even if it was not the way I would have managed it had I been free to act on my own preferences.  Sometimes we do not end up having the adventures we would prefer, but we have ones that give us food for thought and reflection, something that is not so hard to manage when you are not moving around a lot and have an active mind but little space to operate in.  In many ways, is this not the general fate of humanity, whether we realize it or not, to have cosmic and eternal longings and a very limited reach and grasp?

[1] See, for example:


About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to A Tale Of Two Feet

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    How many times have we heard or personally applied that age-old adage, “The mind is willing, but the body is weak?” Your last question made me think of Solomon’s writings in the book of Ecclesiastes. Even though he had everything physical in his reach and grasp, he found such things very limiting when he longed for eternity. It was like “grasping for the wind.” Man has a sense of the spiritual; his mind can come up with has brilliant observations, musings, and fantasies, but his reach is very limited.

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