The other day I learned that I’ve been walking around for the better part of a decade with a dislocated toe.

I knew something was wrong. I’d had it X-rayed and the doctor said it looked like I’d jammed my toe somehow (true) and had developed some form of arthritis. I can’t remember the name. He gave me a prescription I never filled. I was not ready for a lifelong commitment, and figured such is age. You get arthritis, you learn to live with it.

I don’t know how painful arthritis is, but this was extremely painful. I got rid of shoes that hurt too much, and was more than once brought to tears in the aisle of DSW just from trying on a shoe that hit my toe wrong. I often had near-blinding stabs of pain randomly, when I was lying in bed. The weight of the bedclothes could be painful. I’ve recently developed plantar fasciitis from walking wrong.

Then, the other night, I turned in the kitchen and had a sudden stab of pain in my toe. But  even as I was still staggering dizzily while it throbbed, my first thought was: It’s fixed.
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