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Arnold Dyre
 
Commentary by Arnold Dyre

   My old friend Clovis is still kicking!  
   Well, he’s not kicking very well with his left foot – not since he broke it back in mid-October, 2013.
   We do not know exactly how he broke it. Clovis woke up one morning and the foot was hurting and was swollen. He denied getting up and falling in the night, but a visit to the doctor revealed that Clovis’ foot was broken, and he was promptly outfitted with a cast.
   After a while, the cast on Clovis’s broken foot was removed, and he was given a “walking boot.”  By then, Clovis had pretty much gotten used to riding in a wheelchair and said he did not really need the boot.

Physical Therapy
   With the boot, came a prescribed regimen of physical therapy, and Clovis did not like that even a little bit.
   In addition to seeing his regular physician, Clovis was sent for periodic visits to a “sports medicine” clinic. Clovis did not think much of that plan, saying that his “sporting days” were over.
Back in his day, Clovis went to Hinds Junior College on a football scholarship, which he says meant you were given a job to earn money to go to school while playing football. Weighing only 155 pounds, Clovis played fullback on offense and linebacker on defense. Clovis now weighs 10 pounds less than his college football weight.
   Throughout the broken foot treatment, Clovis has voiced grave concerns that the doctors might not know what they are doing. Sending him to a sports medicine clinic when anyone with half a brain knows he is too old to ever again engage in sports, and wanting him to wear a boot to walk with when the wheelchair works just fine both appeared to Clovis as evidence that the doctors might be off on the wrong track.

Doctor’s Orders - Not!
   Despite his letting me hear his complaints, Clovis humored the doctors and the therapists for a few months.
   Then, one day I went out to see him and observed that the walking boot was gone. Without my involvement, Clovis had been to the sports medicine clinic accompanied only by his sitter, so I thought that he must have received clearance to stop wearing the walking boot.
   Not so! When I asked Clovis about the boot, he simply said that he had decided to quit wearing it. I asked if he had talked over that decision with the doctor, and Clovis shook his head negatively and advised, “There was no need to do that. I had already decided to quit wearing it.”
   I asked if his foot still hurt. Clovis said that it had not hurt in a long while.
   Well, folks, I had given up arguing with Clovis back some time earlier when I had tried to persuade him to drink more water and less beer.

Let Him Go
   He has already lived for 97 years and is zeroing in on 98. The Germans could not kill him during World War II, and nothing else has killed him. If Clovis wants to drink beer and does not want to wear a walking boot for his broken foot, I figure he can do what he wants.

In Trouble
   I came to find out that Clovis was still putting on the boot to perform the prescribed physical therapy and, in fact, was fooling the therapists and the doctors. They had no idea that he was taking the boot off as soon as he got away from them. Well, last week, Clovis got caught!
   I do not know all the details of how he got caught but, when he got back from his last scheduled visit to the sports medicine clinic, he was again sporting a cast.
   Also, he was instructed that the wheelchair must go. He has to walk using a walker. Clovis told me, “I tell you, those doctors know a whole lot less than I ever even thought they did, but they knew enough to know that I was not wearing that damn boot.”
   “So, Clovis, what are you going to do?” I asked.
   He gave me a big smile and replied, “I’ve just decided to outlive ’em!  Do you have any idea how many doctors I have already outlived?”

adyre@comcast.net


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