18 October 2013

Red Toes

Tomorrow I've got an appointment with my Plastic Surgeon, so I'm giving myself a pedicure.

Just a few months ago, preparation would have been a different story. Night sweats, nausea, long lists of questions, atavin, and deep calming breaths. After all, my life hung in the balance, and my health is a big concern to me. I'd usually bring someone to the hospital with me. A friend for emotional support, or Jim, for his shoulder.  But tomorrow I'm going alone. And it should be easy.   Just a simple follow up-appointment, and maybe a chat about my nipples with my handsome surgeon.

 I would be lying if I said that I didn't find Dr H attractive. Forgot the baby blue eyes and the soft Dutch accent. Ignore the fact the he plays hockey to raise money for charity, and only does surgery on burn victims and cancer patients and is capable of rebuilding breasts, heads, and necks. Not to mention his many degrees and super brilliant doctorate paper on tissue tension & oxygen. Or, the fact that he looks super hot in his scrubs. (Really hot, as if Ralph Lauren designed his scrubs and then airbrushed him so that he'd look totally relaxed albeit slightly tired). None of that really matter, because I paint my toenails for me. And tonight my colour of choice is Essie's 448 - Yummy Red.

For most of my appointments I am nearly naked. Sometimes I've had hair, and sometimes I've been bald. Other times I've been completely comatose. In my fantasy I was not drooling, but I think it's safe to say, that I not at most charming.  My toes were really the only thing that were always for certain. During the worst moments I had to sit alone in exam rooms for hours wearing my Amish blue cotton gown, and my pretty toes were something I could recognize when my surroundings seemed so foreign.   They were the last thing I saw when I lay down on the OR table, and the first thing I saw in the morning when I kicked off my hospital blanket. And they were the beacon that I followed when I took my first tentative post-op steps down the hospital corridor.

My red toes were not lost on my nurses. 'Nice colour!'  they'd say as they covered me with a blanket. 'Thank you!' I'd reply. More than the compliment itself I enjoyed the brief real-life moment, a reprieve from the sterility of hospital land. The tiny moment of shared girlishness that felt like home.  Surgeons never seemed to focus on my feet. But who knows - perhaps they glimpsed a flash of colour as I lay on the table. Or, perhaps they were too busy re-attaching arteries to notice.

But tomorrow I'll be bare-foot and topless in the exam room. Every single thing will be drab shades of celery, beige, and gray. Even Dr. H in his Ralph Lauren scrubs will almost blend in with the furniture. The brightest thing in the room will be my ten toes and I like to keep them well groomed. No matter what kind of crazy I've got going on up top - from the ankles down I can always hold it together.

So tonight I'm touching up my toes.  And I feel slightly joyous. This time I'm not doing it for security. A pedicure this evening is not part of a  'pre-battle' package that includes anxiety and bad dreams. It's just one simple fun task for a date with my handsome surgeon. But I'm truly not doing it for him. 

 A nice pair of lacey underpants has been set aside for tomorrow's meeting.  But the pedicure I do for me.