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I appear to have had a small stroke. I’ve recently had a series of spasms in the arches of my foot, followed by even more severe aches in the toes. Normally these go away but the last episode left me with numbness in the three lateral toes. Despite walking around and slamming my foot on the ground my tootsies refuse to ‘wake up’. The numbness is creeping up the outside of my leg towards the kneecap.  At least there is no pain or ‘tingling’. I remember reading in an ancient medical tome from the time of Darius the Great the advice when the patient suffers a sudden loss of function on one side of his body there is nothing that can be done but herbal drinks can be administered on the grounds they can do practically no harm. Neurology hasn’t progressed much since then but the co-pays are outrageous.

Like most men with a medical matter I plan to ignore it hoping it will go away. This is not as foolish as it first seems. The dirty secret of Medicine is doctors often have no idea what is the matter; poking about trying to figure out the matter often results in a waste of time or making things worse.  Speaking of ancient physicians Hippocrates defined all Medicine as the careful art of entertaining the patient while the body heals itself. This ‘pearl’ is more sensible and useful than his infamous oath. I didn’t take The Hippocratic oath as I was in a Protestant fervor at the time and the taker of the oath has to swear it by Apollo and some other gods (whose names escape me). In my pious umbrage I thought this violated the First Commandment. *  As in the old testament, if you fail to meet the covenant stipulations the gods will strike you dead or revoke your admitting privileges I forget which.  Later on after I calmed down I took the medical oath from the Declaration of Geneva, 1948.  I recently looked it up to remind myself what is it I swore to uphold. Part of the oath goes as follows:

“I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient. “

All and all this seem more useful than Mr. H’s preposition:

“I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work.”  

Whatever the hell that means.

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