The Mummy’s Bones

The Bloke smokes. The thing you need to know if you get a kneeling scooter is you have to embrace the experience, you have to enjoy it, you have to gliiiide. Even with a cup of iced Starbucks in one hand.

jz scoots

Like a kid. Like all the kids that look at you with envy when they see you and your device, The Bloke, come careening their way. I beat Gil in a race down the drug store aisles.

Gil says, Jean, don’t write about your foot again.

But I say, write what you know. And at this point my foot is pretty central to what I know.

I felt good because I came out of my first week of rehab with a completed book review for NPR – and the book was a hefty one, too: The Daughters of Mars, by Thomas Keneally. It makes it somewhat easier to handle an achy-breaky right foot when you’re reading about World War I soldiers getting their faces “shorn off.” Amputees were the new normal. Who am I to complain? I got a few stitches, that’s all.


But crutches suck. You see those college jocks swinging along on a pair after a football injury, going to History 329 or maybe a crowded  party up a flight of frat-house stairs – how do they do that? It’s all I can do to limp across the living room or out to the car. It’s the young guys’ superior upper-body strength, I’m sure, but also the breezy ‘tude, and a strong desire to get back into the swim of beer pong.

Which brings me back to The Bloke. I was going to decline the Pig Mountain barbecue at the end of August, thinking I just couldn’t manage the street fair thing. But how can you turn down a pork-enshrining food fest in a town called Narrowsburg, New York, which started out as a punk rock show in a basement? Fourteen chefs and fourteen pigs. So what if I get some drinks slopped on The Bloke. He can handle a little rust.

This is one way to get through 6 weeks of life in a foot cast: gliiiide through it, sampling pork ribs and other delicacies along the way.

I’ve become a pudding fiend. A bowl of the stuff being the demarcation between early evening on the couch, foot up, and late evening on the couch, foot up.


I’ll tell you a secret about Kozy Shack. It’s no worse than any homemade pudding or gourmet restaurant mousse either, containing just milk, eggs, sugar and real vanilla. It has only one flaw. The chocolate does not have the delectable skin on it you get when it cools after you spoon it out of a hot pan. Yuck, says Gil.

Another avenue to wellness: idolize your doc, and realize you lucked into the Greatest Foot Surgeon in the World. The Greatest. There is something of the Stockholm Syndrome in this, probably, as Dr. Voellmicke is mine for the duration, so he better be good. But in truth, he has a sharp mind and a gentle touch. Not everyone could repair a fifth metatarsal with such delicacy.

foot xray

We visited with Dr. Voellmicke so that I could get my sutures removed and my plaster cast exchanged for a streamlined fiberglass model. This sterling representative of his profession performs every bit of the work himself, including creating a fiberglass mold of wet strips the way you’d make a kids’ pinata.

bandaged foot

I came up with a horror film trope. Bunions: The Movie. Or maybe The Bone Spur. Anyway, my feet have been a nightmare for a long time, and it was thrilling to see the monster bones I was living with transformed into the elegant lines that now lie beneath the mummy bandages, awaiting their closeup.


Filed under Culture, Film, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Nature, Photography, Publishing, Writers, Writing

9 responses to “The Mummy’s Bones

  1. But everyone else said it should be all stitches in the future.

  2. Thank you for your good wishes. NPR is great. Very supportive.

  3. Jennifer

    Let’s make a deal. You can write about your foot. Even Bunions: The Movie. But no more stitches pictures. Deal?

  4. Jennifer

    Re Kozy Shack: are you still on heavy meds? Signs point to yes.


    Keneally’s 29th novel. The horrors of the war… of any war. But I can’t help wondering also about the task of writing a review for NPR and what rules are set for you… or by you. Congratulations for completing it on schedule, despite your distractions. Congratulations for soldiering on.

  6. Thanks, the book will come out later this month, as will my review. The nurses of the Great War gave Keneally great grist for his mill, if you ask me.

  7. As for my tastes, hand me the Rice or the Tapioca versions. I make better chocolate pudding than they do. But sometimes I like eating their tapioca because I like the big pearls.
    Hey, Jean, what’s with the screws in the metatarsal bones above your little toe? That looks suspiciously like you have had a cast on that foot before.
    What’s the story?

  8. Nora Balaban

    I went thru a Kozy Shack phase! Want me to bring some up and visit?

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