Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fur coat and nae knickers

Remember all that work we had done on the house about a year and a half ago? Well, all has not gone smoothly since then. I'll spare you the details but here are a few key words : leaking pipe, mouldy wall, undulating parquet flooring... So the insurance man came a couple of days ago. He fixed the appointment for 8a.m. This is not a good time for me but I did manage to whip round and get the living room to look relatively tidy. He inspected the suspect area downstairs under which a pipe carries rain water from the back garden along a stone wall and out into the street at the front. Then he asked if he could have a quick look upstairs. "Upstairs? Yes, of course" I squeaked. As he picked his way through abandoned pyjamas, unmade beds and forgotten toys, I felt a surge of sympathy for one of Dr Crippen's patients:
The first patient of the day was an elderly lady with a painful foot. She took off her left shoe and stocking to reveal an inflamed bunion, and an infected in growing toe nail. I asked her to slip off the other shoe and stocking so that I could check the right foot. She hesitated. “Do I have to, doctor”. I said it was helpful to compare the two, and I needed to check the state of her other toes and toe nails. Clearly reluctantly, she took off the right shoe and stocking. Her right foot was filthy. Very smelly. Dirt under all the toes nails. Her left foot was spotlessly clean. She had washed one, but not the other. I pretended not to notice, but she put her hand on my arm and looked at me. “It’s not easy. I am alone.”


Deborah said...

Went to see a doctor this morning for a dodgy hip.
Scrubbed myself from head to foot and shaved legs.

He said 'Take your shoes off and lie on there' ...
he then manipulated my legs ... taking a firm grip on an extremely filthy pair of brown corduroys which I seem to have been wearing for days.

Wendz said...

Oh housey problems liek that suck! Sympathy and empathy.

That poor old duck..I felt a bit heartsore reading it. My Mom told me recently how when she and her sister emptied my Gran's flat after she moved into a Care Home, they found so much filth in the corners..under beds....and my Gran was a hygiene-neat freak all her life!

Anyway - I will not go to the doctor unless I am scrubbed, shaved, flossed and pristine. They DO notice these things!

Jonathan said...

Dirt under her toenails? Had she been gardening with her bare feet? Dibbing carrots with her toes maybe?

They say you can tell a lot about people by their hands. But it strikes me, maybe even more by their feet...