MURPHY'S LAW Appreciating the wonders of the human body

By Patrick Murphy

You learn about the wonders of the body and its fragility when you can’t do what you want to do when you want to do it.

I have a titanium screw in the second toe on my right foot after having to have a hammertoe surgically repaired.

I got my first look at it last week when I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment.

The toe is straight instead of curled for the first time in years and staples were used to close the incision.

I get the staples out this week, and it’ll be x-rayed to see if it’s healing properly.

Everything is fine, but I was hoping I would be able to drive — at least around town — but that has to wait at least another week.

I thought I had everything timed so that when fall sports hit the surgery would be in my rearview mirror and I’d be getting around without the scooter. Now, I hear I could be using this mode of transportation for as long as six weeks, not four.

So for now, when my wife is at work and not able to taxi me around, I’m scooting the two blocks back and forth from home to work. It’s a 15-minute plus trip.

It’s weird not to be able to get up and go whenever you want without having to make sure the scooter is in the right place for me to hop on it. 

Not having had this type of surgery before, I had no idea one toe could cause so much inconvenience.

I figured I might be in a walking shoe, but I didn’t count on the scooter. I also didn’t count on the scooter requiring so much work.

Homes are built for people to walk around or are made handicap accessible.

The turning radius is not great, the dogs’ bones and their toys sometimes get stuck under the scooter, and any kind of crack in the street or sidewalk or any small rock have come close to throwing me off my ride.

Since I’ve been able to walk I took it for granted. I just got up whenever I wanted without giving it a thought other than where I was going, not how I was going to get there.

It makes me have an appreciation for all the human body can do, and all the muscles, bones and ligaments that work in unison to allow us to walk, move our arms or reach down to pick up a dog toy and to not take that for granted.

The human body is amazing, but does require upkeep and maintenance. The older I get the more I realize that. There was a time I could go for a long car ride and jump out of the car when we stopped instead of easing out of it because my legs need to be stretched.

That’s the deal about getting older, though, parts wear down. 

I keep thinking time will pass, and before too long the surgery and recovery will be miles behind me and just a memory and a scar.

The toe will heal, the scooter will be put away, hopefully, never to be used again, and I will never again go for a walk without thinking about the time it wasn’t so easy.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.