At first, I started to relax but when he didn’t say anything for some minutes, I began to feel extremely nervous.
“So what is it?” I finally had the courage to ask.
“I’m not sure,” he responded while turning my foot this way and that,
“Oh great!” was all I could say.
He stood up and scratched his head. “I might have an idea what it is but I will have to research it first. If it’s what I think…..”
“If it’s what you think, what?” I pressed.
“I don’t want to say anymore until I’m sure. In the meantime, go home, relax –“
“Relax!” I shouted, “How the hell can I relax with this thing growing out of my foot? And what about the toad?”
He stared at me very seriously. “Ellie, just do as I say and I will get back to you tomorrow or the day after. It it’s what I think, it is serious.”
His remark sounded so ludicrous at that moment I chuckled. “Of course it’s serious. How the hell can it not be?” I sat up and seeing the deep perplexed look and worry in his eyes, I knew he was sincerely concerned.
“That’s it then, just go home and try to relax?”
He nodded. “Nothing will happen as long as you do that. It is not life threatening at this point. But again, I want to be certain.” With that, he left the room and me sitting on the examining table with pure fear coursing through my body.
I got up and left the office without stopping to say anything to anyone. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to do anything but get whatever it was removed from my foot.
Once at home, I tried my best to take my mind off of my foot and I did okay until I would feel movement and the anxiety would start all over again. It took all of my will power not to look down and when I walked from one room to another, I made it a point to keep my head up and my eyes forward. I can’t even begin to describe the thoughts that raced through my mind wreaking their havoc before being replaced by an even more worrisome thought.
To say I was in a stupor would have been putting it mildly and I prayed with all my might that whatever it was, Dr. Lentz would take care of it and heal me. Each time the phone rang, I jumped and each time when I saw that it wasn’t Dr. Lentz, my heart and hopes dropped and I ignored the calls letting them go to my voicemail. I was scared.
Emotionally and physically exhausted, I climbed into bed hoping beyond all hopes that I would fall asleep right away and that when I awoke in the morning, I would learn it was all a dream and everything was back to normal. Part of my hopes was fulfilled.
I did fall asleep right away but sometime during the night I was awakened by a weird noise. Because the sound was so out of context with the usual noises where I live, it took a good moment for me to orient myself. I opened my eyes and listened and realized the noise was emanating from my foot. My first instinct was to kick the covers off and look but, to do so, meant having to face the reality of what was waiting under the covers and that was downright out of the question. No way was I going to look at that….that thing.
As it turned out, sleep, that is, a deep restful sleep, did not come. The noise was just too much to bear; to much to ignore; and too loud to block out. Next morning, I was on the phone as soon as I figured the doctor’s office was open and apparently, there were instructions at the front desk that when I called to patch me right through to Dr. Lentz.
“How are you doing, Ellie?” Dr. Lentz’s cheerful voice echoed through the receiver.
“Not too well,” I responded. “That damn thing drove me crazy all night and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get to sleep. Did you get any answers yet?”
I heard him take a deep breath and let out a long sigh. “No. Well not definitively anyway. But I did find something from an old medical book I found when I was taking courses. I’m not sure whether it is your situation or not so I called an old friend and am waiting for a response from him. Why don’t you come into the office as soon as you can; there’s a couple questions I need to ask you.”
His words were somewhat encouraging while at the same time held a sense of foreboding. I couldn’t tell which because the tone of his voice was too matter of fact to formulate a definite opinion. Less than fifteen minutes later, I was sitting in the waiting room waiting to hear what he had to say. I could feel my heart rate increasing and figured my blood pressure had to be going through the roof yet that seemed to pale with everything else that was taking place.
The somber look on Dr. Lentz’s face when he entered the room caused my body to tense ever more. He was carrying a folder and from his disheveled appearance, I guessed he had spent most of the night, if not all of it, doing research.
I tried to lighten the atmosphere. “You spent the night partying, huh.”
He smiled weakly then sat down and opened the folder. Just then, the phone rang and I jumped. He lifted the receiver and said, “Put him through.”
“Hi Tim, what was you able to find out? Mmhmm, yeah, yeah that’s what I thought. Actually, she’s sitting here right now. Hold on, I’ll ask her.”
He turned to me. “What kind of noises did you hear last night?”
I thought for a moment. “I not sure what kind of a noise it was. It was strange is the only way I can describe it.”
“Tim wants to know if you can imitate it.”
I closed my eyes trying to recall the exact sounds I had heard. “Well, it was something like this ---- cheep, cheep, cheep, uh.”
I could feel my face flush with embarrassment. “Did that help?”
I waited while he listened on the phone and then I heard him say, “Okay, Tim thanks for the help with this. Oh yes, yes I’ll be sure to tell her. Take care.”
He placed the phone in the cradle and turned his attention to me. “The good news is, I know what it is. The bad is what I had suspected and just confirmed by Tim.”
“There’s a cure, right?” I asked feeling a wave of nervousness rush through my stomach.
“Yes, it can be cured.”
“Let’s do it,” I blurted before he had a chance to change his answer.
He held up his hand and I knew it wasn’t going to be what I wanted to hear.
“It’s not that simple. Let me show you what you’re dealing with and then we can discuss what has to be done.”
As he opened the folder, I caught a glimpse of a photo inside and quickly averted my eyes. “I don’t want to see it,” I heard myself softly protesting.
Chelle Munroe ©
January 29, 2014