Wherever the Road Leads

The Amputation

At least they got the correct foot.

While there certainly have been ancillary benefits, the main purpose for this trip to Canada was to have my toe straightened out.

For a number of years now, the big toe on my right foot has not been growing straight out from my foot, say, towards the 12:00 position. It has been angling off to the 1:30 position. Last fall when working at Amazon and on my feet for ten-hour shifts, it became painful as my big toe and the next toe over were constantly rubbing, causing a very sore callous.

I knew that after I had the operation to fix the toe, I would not be able to drive for six weeks. Having the operation done in the US would be very difficult, living in an RV and unable to go for propane or cat food and gimping in and out of a trailer for six weeks. So last spring I saw a doctor locally, here in Toronto. The doctor agreed that he could fix me up, but it would be a month before I could get O.R time.

I did some math. Five months in Canada already, a month’s wait and then a three-month recovery time. That’s not a visit, that’s a sentence. So I asked him to book the operation three months hence, giving me time to go back down south to resume my Homeless lifestyle for a season.

Since then, the operation has been referred to as my ‘Amputation’.

The Amputation occurred a couple of weeks ago at Scarborough Grace Hospital. It was Outpatient / Day Surgery and the folks there were very kind. I was prepped for the Amputation and spoke with the Anesthetist. During Pre-Op a few days earlier, the nurse there advised me to ask for a ‘nerve-block’ as I proudly confessed to being a Wuss.

Naturally with a nurse’s arm to support me, they made me walk to the Operating Room. I found that odd. Not that I wasn’t perfectly able to, or even that it was that far, I just found it odd.

The O.R. didn’t look like in the movies, but I was positioned and the last thing I remember was the Anesthetist saying he was going to give me an ‘ankle ring”. I think.


When I awoke, I was not in a great deal of pain but I figured that was because they had given me the hi-test stuff in the O.R. The Doctor had given me a prescription for a ‘pain killer’… Tylenol 3.

Tyleonol 3???? For a Wuss like me???? At very least I was due a pain-killing cocktail of morphine, heroine, Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycodone. Tylonol 3 was for he-men or women, whose metabolisms are designed to be in pain.

sandalHowever the pain was manageable and the Tylenol 3 did the trick. In truth, I took pain-killers for two days only. Since then, I’ve been fine.

When I walk, I have to wear a sandal similar to this. I believe its purpose is more for an anti-slip sole and to provide some protection if I try to stub my toe.

And it gets me plenty of attention, which begets sympathy, which is the only true cure for any male ailment.

I wonder if they have these for a Man’s Cold. A man could wrap his head in a large protective-but-open helmet. “Oh, poor baby,” people would say, “he must have a Man’s Cold.”


I returned to the Fracture Clinic at Scarborough Grace Hospital yesterday for a follow-up after two weeks for another round of punishment.



Removing the stitches. The pain was so intense that the entire room shook.



My Amputated Foot




Re-bandaging my Amputated Foot

The doctor was very pleased with the results. I go back again in another two weeks, hopefully, to have a smaller bandage put on. However it will still be at least a month before I can drive.

Or go for propane.

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  1. elayne  July 29, 2015

    ouch. I hope all your other toes are ok and this is the one and only amputation you must endure. What a brave man you have become using only tylenol 3 ( which I believe contains codeine) It must be the great Canadian air that toughened you up.. All kidding aside Gordon, I am glad it went well and you are recovering nicely. I am not sure I would have taken my sore foot out to a baseball stadium so kudos for that. Take care.



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