We lived on Long Island. My mother bundled up the three of us, stuck us in the car, and drove to the doctor. The doctor took one look at Judy's nose, went to a cabinet, returned with something in his hand, and said, "Here, Judy, sniff this." Soon she sneezed, and out came the pebble. Pepper was the miracle drug of the day. (Penicillin had not yet been discovered.)
Scene Two: Ten years ago, I experienced pain in my right foot while playing tennis. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon at St. Joe's who specialized in sports medicine. He took one look at my foot and said, "You have a 'hammertoe.'"
"Great," I thought. "There are a lot of other labels that could be worse." Then he explained that the end joint of the toe was permanently bent down in an extreme position.
"What's the cure, if there is a cure?" I asked. "Because it hurts."
His reply: "We cut the tendon that controls the end of the toe."