Monday, October 11, 2010

COLUMN: Lisfranc

Over the past week, I've received a ton of e-mails inquiring as to the status of My Left Foot. To this, I reply: It's a touching movie of inspiration and courage starring Daniel Day-Lewis in an Oscar-winning performance. Then I realized they meant MY left foot.

A couple weeks back, I wrote about my exciting night that started with a casual stroll to the gas station and ended in a less-than-casual drive to the emergency room.

I stubbed my toe in a crack on my sidewalk and performed a rousing 360 inverted hardflip ollie into a faceplant. Except instead of a skateboard, it was my left foot that inverted and flipped hard.

Within minutes, things were turning purple and it looked like a softball was sticking out the side of my foot. At the emergency room, they immediately put my poor foot through an extensive modeling session with Mr. X-Ray and the results came back inconclusive but scary enough to cast it up and send me to yonder orthopedist in the morning.

The ortho doc took several more scantily-clad photos of my camera-shy foot and came back with a definitive conclusion of: inconclusivity. That's when I wrote my original "ow-I-hurted-my-poor-foot" column, while getting referred to the ortho FOOT specialist guy. And that's where we join the story already in progress.

The foot specialist appointment basically went like this, in a paraphras-y sorta way:

(1) "Well, it doesn't look like anything's broken."
(2) "But I'd like to do one more set of x-rays to make sure."
(3) X-Ray Modeling Session #3
(4) "Well, you're going to need surgery on this within 48 hours."

This is not at ALL what you want your friendly neighborhood orthopedic foot specialist to say. I reacted in my usual calm, cool, and collected manner of hyperventilating and nearly passing out while the doc rattled off the details of my condition. Only one thing stuck: "You have a LIZ FRANK injury."

Greeeat. Liz Frank was probably some girl who pioneered the art of walking along a sidewalk and falling on her face, and now I'm going to spend my life as Frankenfoot because of her. My mind whirled in short gasps of sanity, while the doctor by this point had pulled out a marker and was drawing on the disposable paper bedsheet exactly how he would insert any number of metal pins and doo-dads into my foot. And just for the record, there wasn't even a mention of achieving any kind of metallic superpowers.

That's when I asked what the repercussions of NOT following doctor's orders would be, and it's basically this: my foot heals on its own, albeit in a not-altogether-correct way, and this could lead to arthritis and future problems down the road. You have 48 hours to decide. Here's your parting gift of Liz Frank: The Home Game, don't let the door hit your crippled foot on the way out. Bada bing.

So I went home and did the thing they tell you absolutely never to do: Google your injury. With the power of Google, you can self-diagnose a runny nose as terminal brain-slug disease if you try hard enough. Still, I wanted to know more, so I Googled "LIZ FRANK" to see exactly what was going on underneath my swollen skin. But alas, no results other than, I kid you not, an unanswered posting in a forum from someone going, "I've just been diagnosed with a Liz Frank injury. What does this mean?"

It took me awhile to figure it out. I didn't have a Liz Frank injury. I had a Lisfranc injury, named after one Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin, the official surgeon of the Napoleonic Army. The injury occurs along something called the Lisfranc Point, which is the point where Lisfranc used to AMPUTATE the feet of people suffering from said injury. It turns out that it's a common injury for folks doing battle on horseback, who might then fall off their horse and get dragged along with their feet caught in the stirrups. For this same reason, it's a common windsurfing injury as well.

So that's my official new story: I was wind-surfing... on horseback... in combat.

As for my decision, I opted for what I'll probably one day call "the stupid route." I've elected NOT to become the owner of Robo-Foot and am instead rolling the dice of letting it heal on its own. For the next 6-8 weeks, I'll be sporting the latest in walking boot fashion and the sound of rubbing Velcro will follow me wherever I go.

I know that arthritis isn't a laughing matter - my mom's afflicted horribly and I'm sure many of you are, too. The doc said that it could pose a problem 30 years down the road, but in MY condition, I'm bound to be arthritic in 30 years time and I don't know if there's any escaping that. There were honestly many reasons why I opted out of surgery:

(1) I am a HUGE chicken.

(2) All I need to buy is a hunchback and I'm set for Halloween because I've got the Igor limp down pat now.

(3) I think it would be different if I was worried about maintaining my jogging form or making plans to conquer Everest. Let's be honest, the only mountain I plan on conquering is a Magic one next time I'm at Ross', and I don't need much in the way of fancy footwork to pull that off.

(4) Did I mention the HUGE chicken part?

But really, there was one central reason I opted out of the surgery: my weekend DJ gig. As you guys know, I've been spinning records every weekend down in the Rock Island District for the past 10 years. Over the past decade, I can count on one hand the number of weekends I've had off work. This surgery would have been required me to be out for six weeks. I couldn't do that to the club (or my pocketbook) if I didn't absolutely have to.

So last weekend I went into the club in full-on chutzpah martyr mode, hobbling all the way while my inner voice proclaimed, BEHOLD! YES, BEHOLD THE GREAT SACRIFICE I HAVE MADE FOR YOU ALL! MY FOOT MAY BE HOBBLED, BUT DANCE YOU MUST AND DANCE YOU SHALL, FOR I AM THE GREATEST DJ TO EVER LIVE! WORSHIP ME NOW!

Two days later, I got a phone call firing me from my DJ job. The owner wants to try "another direction," and apparantly it's not one directly involving a chubby hipster who may or may not be permanently crippled. A lot of my friends were goading me into turning this column into a giant attack on my former employer, but that's petty -- almost as petty as firing someone over the phone who's worked for you tirelessly for ten years, but I digress. Suffice to say, if you know the place I worked at, you will no longer find me there, and if you as an unbiased newspaper reader choose to no longer attend said establishment, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

Sooo... anybody know of any dance clubs looking to hire the toughest, meanest, most experienced and award winning DJ-slash-combat-windsurfer in town? Wheelchair ramps MIGHT one day be required.

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