Even road warriors occasionally need medical help. One year I spent an entire autumn working in Philadelphia. I traveled to the city on Sunday afternoons and returned home on Thursday evenings. While I enjoyed the work, travel was a real grind.

A few years earlier, I had dragged a door over one of my big toenails (another story,) and ever since have had to keep it in close trim or suffer painful consequences. With so much long-distance travel and work, I neglected it, and by one Monday morning in Philly, I could no longer deny that I needed medical help. I asked my client to recommend a physician with whom I could make an appointment, but she insisted on sending a podiatry resident to see me.

He arrived in “my office” later that day, introduced himself and pulled a huge pair of toenail clippers out of his pocket. He asked me to extend my foot into his hand. I did so, but my toe was too tender, and I couldn’t stay still. He pocketed the clippers, stood up and said he’d be back in a bit. I expected him to return with a syringe full of local anesthetic… blessed pain relief.

Instead, he brought another podiatry resident, another really cute young man. The second fellow shook my hand, grinned mischievously and said, “Hi. I’m Anesthesia.” The two of them took care of my problem in short order. I was, and still am, extremely grateful and offered to pay them or contribute to the residents’ pizza fund, but they refused compensation and went back to work… two very charming young men, no doubt wildly successful in their practices these days.