In Sickness and In Health

October 04, 2007 By: erik Category: Musings, News, Photos 7,309 views

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I’m normally not much of a hypochondriac. I tend to catch the common cold about three times a year, but not much else. But let me tell you, there’s nothing like setting a date 14 months into the future where you have to be healthy and energetic and happy to make things start to go wrong. As the date has been approaching, I’ve become increasingly anxious about keeping my self healthy and unhurt. I have this fear that I’ll hurt myself doing something stupid between now and then.

This summer, a virus (HPV) that may have been lying dormant under my skin for up to a year, decided to attack me, resulting in a tumor!

Warning – This post contains graphic images of foot tumors and frowns.

I went to several doctors and a local podiatrist that burned me with acid. It’s quite a unique sensation watching a doctor with an eye-dropper putting drops on your foot that hurt like hell, fizzle, and cause smoke to rise from your bare foot. Not fun. To make a long story short, I spent most of the summer months limping because it hurt to put pressure on the right side of my right foot.

On a side note…it was hard for me to remember the word “Papilloma”, the condition I had. I kept confusing it with “paloma” (pigeon). Finally, I learned to associate it with an overplayed reggaeton song that was popular here a few summers ago, called Papi Chulo. After hearing it all summer, I finally discovered that “papi chulo” literally means “pimp daddy”. Interesting…

Anyway, back to the gross medical stuff…

By the start of September, I was pretty desperate, so I went to a podiatrist in Mondragon that has helped several members of Marga’s family with great success. It seemed a little ridiculous to drive 90 minutes each way for a 5 minute consult, but I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve been to see this podiatrist three times now, always on weekday mornings, and it looks like she has finally cured me. I was there yesterday and she told me that, after scraping away the dead hard skin on the surface, she doesn’t see any trace of the tumor and it looks like all new, healthy skin under there. Yay! Now I just have to hope the the strain of HPV that I had isn’t the strain that causes cervical cancer.


September 11, before effective treatment. Ow!


September 19, during treatment. Why’s it so big and ugly?? It still huuuuuurrrrttss!


October 3, after treatment. Yay!

With the deadline quickly approaching, I managed to catch a cold last week. I spent most of Saturday in bed trying to fight it off. I seem to have been successful, with only some sniffles and coughing remaining.

A few Mondays ago, Marga caught a stomach bug that literally knocked her flat on her back. Everything she ate for an entire day came right back up a few minutes later. She spent her time between lying flat on the bathroom floor and hugging the toilet. I’ve never seen her so miserable. I called the doctor and they said to bring her over right away…so that we could wait 15 minutes in the waiting room. The doc looked her over, gave her a shot, and, with all her medical school training, gave us a recipe for lemonade. I took her home, went out to buy some lemons, and made her a batch of low-sugar (aka. sour) lemonade according to the recipe. The next day she stayed home from work, and the day after she was good as new. Whew!

If we can just make it nine…more…days…..[cough!]

  • Ow! And yuck! I’m glad you’re cured.

    I had the same anxiety before my wedding. I made it to my wedding date unscathed, but Brad was not so well off. He came down with appendicitis a month before the wedding. Luckily, he was back on his feet and all appendix-less by the time the wedding came around, but the doctors joked that he was not allowed to carry me over the threshold.

  • marga

    Chulo is a word with different meanings. One of them is pimp, another one is pretty and there are more.

    In this case, it means pretty, nice, something like that. It is an expresion that they use in South America to be friendly with the parents: Papi chulo, Mami chula

  • Yikes. I’m glad you’re healed (there is heel pun in there but I’m not energetic enough today to go for it) and glad Marga is also recovered from her stomach bug. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you through the 13th and beyond.

    Lemonade? Hmmmmm. I can kinda see that.

  • Andrea, way to seed my thoughts with ideas of pre-wedding organ removal. That helped a lot. 🙂

    Marga, mami chula mia, thanks for clearing that up. I understand that it’s slang. We use “pimp daddy” as slang in English to mean a cool and sexy person, too (which is what I think the standard meaning of papi chulo is). Or at least we did until Sean Combs twisted it all around.

    Jane, yes, deep down in my sole, I think I’m my foot has finally heeled.


  • I had a horrible cold the day of my wedding, well my second wedding. We actually got married twice, once in the States, and once in the Church here in Spain. That foot thing is definitely not “chulo”. Anyway, I hope you are both well for the big day. 🙂

  • Papi chulo, Mami chula
    A nice way to express love to parents! Isn’t it?