Some of you may remember that I have been struggling with a painful and annoying plantar wart for a couple of months now. I’ve been going to my family physician every two weeks to have the damn thing iced.
The last time I was there, after my sixth round of cryotherapy, my doctor sighed, admitted he’s not been making as much headway as expected and referred me to a dermatologist. He even used the words «passionate dancer» in his referral letter, which was nice of him. I assume it was intended to mean «do not mangle foot pls».
I worried for a bit that the dermatologist’s preferred method of extraction would be cutting the damn thing out. As tempting as that sounds, the resulting scar on the sole of your foot can cause as many problems as the wart itself. Then the recital came around and I didn’t have time to worry. I did notice that the pain had gone down for the first time since the treatment began. It’s been months since I was able to walk without NSAIDs or limping and I was rather enjoying the feeling. Maybe, I thought, the dermatologist would just continue the same course of treatment as the GP started.
And he did. In the same way that a children’s tricycle is the same kind of vehicle as a 5’000 dollar carbon fiber racing bike, I received much the same treatment today. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The fancy practice I got referred to is situated smack in the city centre and shared by four doctors. I was shown into an immaculate exam room. Shortly after, a tall, handsome and charismatic doctor swept in, making me very grateful that my wart is on my heel and not somewhere private and embarrassing.
He greeted me by saying «Judging by the way you look, you do sports», endearing himself to me forever. He then informed me that eventually, once the amount of callus around the wart was sufficiently reduced, it could be killed off (painfully) by a local injection of the chemotherapy drug bleomycin. The following exchange took place:
Him: «What did your GP use to freeze it?»
Me: «A small plastic bottle with an applicator.»
Him: «I see.» *reaches behind a curtain and pulls out a large gleaming canister of liquid nitrogen*
Me: *remembers Crocodile Dundee. That’s not cryotherapy. That’s cryotherapy!*
Him: «I will also give you an acid.»
Me: «I have a crea…»
Him: «With salicylic acid? I will give you formic acid.»
Me, a former chemistry student: «Wait, what?»
Him: «You will also need these scalpels.»
Long story short, the treatment is continuing its course on (figurative) steroids and pain-free walking is a thing of the past once again. On the upside, I have scalpels now.