Wednesday, 16 December 2009

He walks the earth in our shoes

Late for an appointment

I was in hospital again today for an appointment at 15:00, unlike my other appointments, the Orthopaedic department does not seem align its scheduling with the Oncology or Internal Medicine departments.

I usually get a letter in the post asking for me to attend at a particular time, there are times I have wanted to shift the appointments but somehow the personnel do not have the availability that allows for such flexibility.

I made it to the hospital by bicycle and I must say it was dreadfully cold last night when I was out at the main library, I was dressed like an Eskimo with my leather gloves doubled over and I arrived for my appointment a few minutes late – I do hate being late, but my day seemed to start a bit slower than I wanted.

Hats off in greeting

After waiting about 20 minutes I was called by the man who did my shoe fitting in November, I do not know his technical capacity but he seems to be the hands-on man, the orthopaedic consultant was in the office along with a specialist nurse.

As one is wont to do, I took off my hat before shaking hands which seemed to impress the consultant as he remarked to the nurse in Dutch, they introduced themselves and I sat down.

Everyone wanted to see my foot which I said had improved considerably, the shoe and socks came off but before I could get my scissors, the nurse came forward with hers and cut the bandages off, they were quite impressed with the condition of the foot.

New treatments recommended

The consultant advised that I reduce the use of special shoe by half over the next two weeks. I could now use my normal shoes for outdoors and the orthopaedic shoe mainly for indoor use, they also recommended that the Mepitel dressing be discontinued because the dressing will now not help the skin thicken and firm up as it should, the Vaseline massages of the soles should also stop because the grease would not be as effective.

Tomorrow, I can collect from my local chemist a special cream that I can apply to my feet to deal with the dryness and help complete the healing process.

In the process, I can also reduce the use of the crutches, but considering I had lost some muscle mass over the time I was unable to put weight on my left foot, that support is useful, I think I would return the crutches soon after Christmas.

Pulling one for the hat

During the conversation, we did talk a lot about hats, the consultant liked my hat and asked I got it from, well, there is a milliner in Cologne who has been making hats since 1969, they are a married couple and every opportunity I have had, I have visited to get a hat or two.

When I first shopped there some 6 years ago, I bought a pork-pie hat that allowed for the front end to be pulled down almost in trilby style, of all the hats I have bought from that shop, it has been the most durable, so the last time I was there, I bought of that style and I have been quite happy with them.

If you in need of capable, efficient and professional milliners with a traditional sense of purpose and service you can visit Gronau M. & A. at Friesenplatz 12 in Cologne, and if you say they were recommended by the black man from Amsterdam, they will probably go Aha! Smile and serve you very well.

Walking the earth in our shoes

As the meeting closed, the consultant, revealed he had been at a concert where a prolific drummer who used to be part of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band played, he had been in Kenya for 8 years and could speak Kiswahili and since he was visiting London soon, he wanted to know where Nigerians mostly congregate.

He seemed to have a keen interest in things African, but more broadly, he just liked to know where his patients came from. For an orthopaedic consultant, he probably has walked the whole earth in the shoes of the many who have been under his care.

I thanked them very much for their care and concern, wishing them a merry Christmas, we now have a tentative arrangement to another appointment in March 2010 after which I suppose my foot would have been certified completely healed and back to its full functional ability.

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