The average person is born with an inherent sense of logical thinking. Obviously, some individuals have greater refined this sense/skill over the years, but how is it that even the most logical person can do the most absurd things? I would defy anyone (regardless of their intellect, professional position, or social status) to honestly claim to have never performed a stupid or absurd act during their lifetime. I would be willing to bet that most of our mothers could rattle off at least five before having to take a breath.
I think of myself as a logical man (although I am sure that my wife would like a few minutes to rebut my statement). However, I too have done illogical things. The most absurd action ironically came at a time when I held a position of the greatest responsibility in my professional career – which by definition would mean or imply that I was viewed by others to be a logical thinker.
I developed a bump on the top of my right foot. It increasing became problematic as the shoe would wear on it. After several weeks, my wife convinced me to go to the doctor. It took only two minutes for the doctor to say; oh you got yourself a ganglion cyst. I asked the treatment to remove it to which he responded; surgery or a big Bible.
An out-dated method of treating a ganglion cyst was supposed to strike the bump with a large heavy book, causing the cyst to rupture and drain into the surrounding tissues. An urban legend states that since even the poorest households often possessed a Bible, this was commonly used, which led to the nicknaming of ganglion cysts as “Bible bumps” or “Gideon’s disease.”
Since I did not have time to schedule the surgery, I inquired about an alternative. At that time, the doctor pulled out a large syringe. He stuck it into the cyst and drained the thick fluid. He said that due to the thickness of the fluid, it was likely that it might grow back. From his mouth to God’s ears……
Within the month, the cyst returned to its previous form. Due to the hectic schedule at work, I still did not have the luxury to take time off for surgery. Plus, my wife had yet to realize that the cyst had returned. Therefore, I took a questionably logical approach – I decided to go retro and use the age-old method to remove my Bible bump. However, I was a modern man with modern tools. It seemed sacrilegious to use I Bible…….so I used a rubber mallet.
I would be lying if I said that it did not hurt more than I anticipated. Nonetheless, the technique appeared to work and the cyst seemingly disappeared. That was for two weeks or so. It returned but with a slight twist. I began to lose some feeling in a couple of toes. I returned to the doctor who ultimately referred me to a podiatrist.
My wife was pleased with my level of responsibility in returning to the doctor as well as scheduling the surgery. She took time from her business to be with me the day of the surgery. As they sedated me and wheeled me into the operating room, the doctor informed my wife that the surgery should not take more than 20 minutes.
Needless to say, after 30 minutes my wife was anticipating my return from surgery. After 60 minutes she was became more concerned and anxious, but the nurse advised her that I was well and the surgery was going fine but taking longer than initially anticipated. Immediately following the surgery, the doctor went to the waiting room to update my wife. He mentioned that the surgery went well, but it was far more intense than he had anticipated. He had never seen anything like it. He said that it was almost like the cyst exploded internally causing it to spider out. He said that it actually extended to two toes fusing with the nerves which caused the loss of some feeling.
He apologized for her worrying due to his under-estimation of the procedure but again said that he can’t figure out how the cyst spurred out in so many different directions. She then asked him if hitting the cyst with a rubber mallet would have done it. Seriously; he responded. Yes, that could probably do it.
To this day, I am not sure how she knew about the rubber mallet since I obviously would not have told her myself. Needless to say, it took me a long time to live it down and actually even today when we have differing opinions on a critical decision the rubber mallet incident is often brought up as Exhibit A.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.