Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trench Foot

I am reading a book that is about a 12-year-old boy whose father ran off, his mother died on the couch of a meth overdose, but he doesn't want anyone to know. Obviously it is fictional. Anyway, the mother dies, he drags her body to the bathtub, and when the apartment starts smelling he wraps her up in the shower curtain and puts her in the deep freeze. As I read that, I had to chuckle. I pictured him thinking, "what should I have for supper... hmmm... hot dogs. I think there are some in the freezer, right below mom's left shoulder..." Actually, it's not that funny. Three years ago my in-law's small lap dog died in November after the ground had frozen. They couldn't bury him, and didn't want to pay the vet to "store" him until spring, so guess where the dead dog ended up? Yep. IN THE FREEZER!! Imagine my surprise when my mother-in-law asked me to run down and get some meatballs for Christmas supper. I opened the door, thought, "where the heck are the meatballs? Maybe they are in this white plastic bag... OMG!! That's NOT meatballs!!"

Well, in the story the boy avoids the bathtub while his mom is in it, and then later because he is a 12-year-old boy. He wears the same socks day and (literally) night. Because he wore the same stinky, sweaty socks all of the time, his feet started to rot and he had "trench foot". I can't believe it's a real thing- but it is! I looked it up on the internet and everything. It happens when you are in cold damp conditions and never change, or get out of, your socks. Your feet literally start rotting off. When I was going through my autism phase in the third grade, I was obsessed with clean feet. I used to wash my feet every night before I went to bed because I could not fall asleep with sticky, dusty, or just got out of clean socks feet. I also had to have my teeth brushed and carmax on my lips. This is the same ritual I follow today. If carmax causes some sort of lip cancer, I will undoubtedly get it. If there is some drug in carmax, I am absolutely addicted to it. My mom told me if I kept washing my feet before bed, they would get moldy and rot off my ankles. My grandma fully agreed with this, so I thought it must be true. So, to avoid foot rot, I started wearing socks to bed. My mom warned me not to wear socks to bed because that also would rot my feet, but I was desperate and could not sleep without them. I did it once and my mom knew! To this day I wonder how she could figure it out. I'm not sure what my plan of attack was after the sock issue, but I am pretty sure I must have found a way to have clean feet because I did sleep, and I still have the issue. I thought it was kind-of funny, not in a ha ha way, but in a ironic way that trench foot is a real thing, because when I was in the sixth grade I decided my mom was making things up to foster my autism just for laughs. Turns out she wasn't! Huh...

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