Yesterday the Dude underwent a minor bombardment of radiation: x-rays and computed tomography on both feet. Today the orthopedic specialist looked at the results and declared that there is no sign of the "coalition" of the subtalar joint (hooray!) but that there are signs of arthritis in the talo-navicular joint (boo!) and that surgery will still be advisable (boo!) but an orthotic heel support might do the job for a couple of years (hooray! Wait, did you say $500 for a plastic shoe insert he'll grow out of in less than 12 months? Boo!).
However, before we make a final decision either to proceed with surgery now or to go for the orthotics first and surgery later, Dr Ortho offered us the opportunity to get a second, third, fourth and seventeenth opinion all in one go by asking whether we would allow the Dude to be sold for medical experiments -- or at least put on display at a meeting of the orthopedic staff of the hospital so they can all have a look at him and give their opinions. I'm guessing this is a kind of Grand Rounds for outpatients. The idea of several specialists brainstorming the best treatment for the Dude appeals to me, and Dr Ortho said that quite often someone will ask an innocent question that leads to a whole new perspective on the case. The least that can happen is that they will simply confirm Dr Ortho's own preference.
Surprisingly, when I discussed the idea of selling the Dude off for medical experiments with the Dude himself, he was quite keen on the idea... until he figured out that he wouldn't actually get any cash.
Auction day is May 18th. Updates to follow.