Doctor takes foot-in-mouth disease in stride
by Marguerite Cline
Columnist
August 08, 2013 10:38 PM | 1036 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
None of us enjoys aches or pains. They are no fun. When we have them and they will not go away, we know what to do — go to a doctor.

In my case, the places where I hurt most often are in my feet.

It started when I was a child. When playing with friends, it seemed the toes that got stubbed most often or the foot that got a splinter in it was usually mine. I well remember sitting with one foot up so my mama could get a splinter out.

That involved a needle. Needles and I have never been friends.

As an adult when I have been involved in an accident it seems a foot or an ankle was injured.

I had a very unexpected thing happen when I was a teacher at Clayton Elementary. At the time I was telling my students goodbye as they were leaving for home.

The sharpened end of a pencil a child dropped stuck in my foot. Because it had shattered I could not just pull it out.

I was off to see a doctor who later became a beloved friend, Dr. John Cauble. He picked out the pieces, put in a stitch or two and sent me on my way.

It seems my left foot was made to be a target. Years later I was walking in a vacant lot when I thought I had been bitten by a snake. Again, it was the left foot.

But when I looked down I saw a long piece of rusty wire coming out of the top of my shoe. The other end of it was around a tree. While trying to take my canvas shoe off, I realized the wire had gone through it and into my foot.

My neighbor, Tom Jackson, came to my rescue. With his clippers, he cut the wire off to about six inches above my shoe. Then I was off to the R.T. Jones Hospital Emergency Room.

My shoe was cut off and an X-ray was done before I got the bad news. The wire had hit a bone and curved under it. It was not as simple as pulling it out.

When you go to a hospital with a rusty 6-inch wire sticking out of the top of your foot, you expect sympathy from everyone. That is not always the case. As a nurse was wheeling me into an elevator, a boy was getting off. Wide-eyed and pointing to my foot he practically screamed, “Ooooo, look at that. Gross!”

Naturally, everybody looked. He was right, it was gross.

Now my foot problems are age related. I am being attacked by heel spurs, ingrown toenails and other painful demons.

It was my lucky day when I first heard of Dr. Stephen Byrne. He is a podiatrist in Canton. I overheard someone say her mother-in-law loved Dr. Byrne. She went to him for relief from her bunions, troublesome toenails, etc.

It was another lucky day when I first hobbled into Dr. Byrne’s office and crawled up on the table. Soon afterward, he fixed my ingrown toenails — all three of them.

I soon understood why my friend’s mother-in-law was so smitten with him. Upbeat, friendly, gentle and compassionate, he has a down-to-earth way of explaining your problems and the remedies.

For years now I have had heel spurs. They are as bad as they sound.

Last week I was back at Dr. Byrne’s office looking for relief. He suggested something to do long-range. He also recommended my getting a shot of cortisone in my heel.

I never feel good about a shot in my foot. I have heard horror stories about them.

Already nervous, I almost panicked when Dr. Byrne came into the examining room with the cortisone shot in his hand.

You see, I have often heard that it is better to have a nurse to give you a shot than the doctor because the nurse would be more gentle.

I was immediately embarrassed after I blurted that out. You might say I had put my foot in my mouth.

Dr. Byrne just smiled and assured me the shot would hardly hurt. He was right. It barely burned.

So I have decided Dr. Steven Byrne is not just a specialist in foot and ankle care. He is a specialist in giving painless shots in the foot, too.



Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.
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