Search This Blog

Friday, April 21, 2023


When Sholom, my dialysis ride-along buddy, entered the car during this morning's shared commute, he handed me a copy of the first volume in his series of books on "early Chassidic personalities." His works are mostly geared to an audience of Chassidic kids between the ages of 10-14, but he wanted me to check one of them out because he knows I write, so he wanted honest feedback on the writing, the structure, and the overall package. I began reading during the ride, and I have to say that he writes well for his intended audience without talking down to them due to their age, but his liberal deployment of Hebrew words was way beyond my layman's familiarity, so I occasionally asked him to clarify some pronunciations and context. I plan to read the whole thing, as I enjoy biographies, especially when it's introducing me to someone I know nothing about. 
And his cover credit was the first time I became aware that Sholom is a rabbi. That said, he is a self-proclaimed rabbi, as he is not ordained. He says he did all of the studying and took the test to be a licensed slaughterer, but they asked him to take the test again because they claimed he never took it. He called bullshit on that, so he teaches, gives advice to the community (people approach him), leads prayer groups from the shul in his basement, and pretty much performs as a rabbi, and ordination be damned. Upon explaining that, he once again fell back on "If you understand," and to that I told him of Bruce Lee's maxim that when it comes to martial arts, a belt is only needed to hold up one's pants. If one has earned the skills and teaches from the heart with knowledge, then have at it. When I told him that, Sholom's eyes widened and a huge grin split his bearded face. "You DO understand!!!" he exclaimed, and he smiled all the rest of the way to the center.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


Had my bi-weekly check-in with my podiatrist. The healing of the wound on my callused big toe was going well for a while, but now that the weather is nicer and I have been out walking around, the callus keeps rebuilding and not allowing the wound to heal properly. My podiatrist cut away a good portion of the callus and the current state of the toe after that debridement is seen above, but he noted that since the wound is healing too slowly while being obstructed by the callus, it's time to get more aggressive with my treatment.

The problem is with the biomechanics of my feet. the pad of tissue that would otherwise be a normal arch is completely flat, thus rendering the sole of my foot too tight to allow proper flexing of the area's muscles and joints, which causes the buildup of callus. So Dr. Chung gave me a referral for the NY Presbyterian-Methodist ER for next Thursday morning, so I will be swiftly admitted and determined to be suitable for surgery. Either he or the resident will perform the procedure, which will entail cutting the pad to loosen it, and also pretty much full removal of the callus followed by a graft to aid the wound's healing.

Unfortunately all of this means that I will be hospitalized from next Thursday through the following Tuesday, during which time I will receive dialysis in the hospital. I am not looking forward to five days at Presbyterian-Methodist, but better to take care of this now than have things worsen with delaying.