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31 March 2003

I have this little quirk.

I don't like touching people's feet. I don't like touching bare feet. I don't like touching stocking feet.  I don't like handling other people's shoes. I don't like putting my feet where other people have put their feet (well...within reason, of course).

I am not someone who can pick up shoes at the local thrift shop, no matter how little use they've seen or how great a bargain they are. Someone else has worn them. Euuwww. (Somehow I don't think about that when trying on shoes in a shoe store).

It was difficult for me to go bowling when I was younger, or to go ice skating. You had to wear shoes that someone else had worn. Yuck.

It's a phobia that I've managed to keep pretty well hidden until now. I mean--other than your kids' feet (and those seemed to have been OK, until they started wearing Converse High Tops and leaving smelly sox around the house--but by then I didn't have to touch their feet any more)--how often do you have to face the problem?

Well, it appears that I'm going to have to face it head on, as it were...and pretty damn soon.

lunar.gif (10010 bytes)It's called the Lunar Achilles Express and its purpose is to do peripheral bone density exams. A "peripheral bone density" studies the bone in the heel (calcaneus). And to do the study, you use this handy dandy little machine.

In a full density scan, you lie on a table and a motorized arm passes over you, taking lots of pictures as it goes. To operate a machine to do a full density you need someone with an x-ray technician license.

Any idiot can operate a Lunar Achilles Express.

"Any idiot" means, unfortunately, me. "You'll be doing heel DEXAs," Dr. G told me before the machines were delivered. How difficult could that be? I'd already seen (and cleaned up) blood and gore and got up close and personal with a patient's genitals. Could this be any worse?

When the machine arrived and they sent someone out from the newspaper to do a story and I got to be the patient, I found out that to take the measurement, the patient removes his or her shoe, puts his or her foot into the machine, and something similar to an ultrasound process goes on and you get a reading about the density of the bone in the heel.  The thought made me a little queasy, but I figured I could gingerly handle the leg and it would be bearable.

Then, I made the mistake of reading the instruction book the other day.

Set the patient in a stable chair without wheels directly in front of the Achilles Express. Make sure the patient faces the Achilles Express in a comfortable, upright position, Position the leg so the foot, calf and thigh are aligned with the center of the calf support and food positioner. If necessary, adjust the position of the chair. Adjust the calf support to the middle of the patient's calf.

So far so good. It was the next part that got me:

Remove the patient's shoe and sock and remove dirt and lint from the foot.

Lunar-_2.gif (10875 bytes)I suspect that even without this "quirk" of mine this is not something normal people are real eager to do (even shoe salesmen no longer handle your feet these days), but for someone who hates touching people's feet to be told I'm to "remove the shoe and sock and remove dirt and lint from the foot"...

I am not eagerly looking forward to this new job duty of mine.   But then I never thought I could remove used "sheaths" from the wand of the ultrasound (i.e., the condom that goes over the stick that goes up inside the vagina when doing an exam) or scrub bloody speculums and I've managed to do both.

Somehow, however, those seem real tame when compared with taking off someone's shoes and sox and cleaning the dirt and lint from the foot.  We are not amused.

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This may be a deal breaker.

Quote of the Day

If you have a job without aggravations, you don't have a job.

~ Malcolm Forbes

Yesterday's Photo

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One Year Ago
When Worlds Collide
(Haggie meets Olivia)

Two Years Ago
Oh, for a Piano
(The afterlife)

Three Years Ago
Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?
(The new dog)

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Pounds Lost:  70
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

Blue Angel Total 806.9
2003 YTD Cumulative:  328.8

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