The Broken Toe

I broke my toe. 

It was back in April. I was at home. I was barefoot. Why wear shoes if you’re working from home? 

Hurrying through the living room and not really paying attention, kablapppp! I stubbed it on a heavy, wooden chair leg. The chair didn’t budge. But, boy, I did! I was hopping all around and trying not to cuss (too much). 

My poor middle toe! I knew the damn thing was broken the minute it happened. It swelled all up and turned rainbow colors — dark reddish purple all the way to sickly yellow. 

But we were about a month into this pandemic, and I wasn’t about to venture out to a doctors office because I stubbed my toe. So I hitched up my big girl panties, put some ice on it, and took an Advil. I hobbled around the best I could for a few days, which turned into a few weeks. 

I had convinced myself that my toe was just banged up and eventually it would miraculously return to normal one day. But a month later, the swelling had gone down enough that I could see my toe was poking off at a weird angle and my whole foot hurt, so I masked up and went to the doctor. 

Thirty-some-odd dollars later and the toe x-rayed, my doctor proclaimed that it wasn’t broken, just badly bruised. 

So I hobbled home.

Another month passed, and my poor, crooked toe was still misshapen and discolored. So much for sandal season, I thought. I masked up and hobbled back to my doctor, paid another thirty-some-odd dollars, and got another x-ray. My doc still didn’t think it was broken.

This time, though, I got a referral to an orthopedist. 

A few days later, I masked up again and hobbled down to a new doctor. Paid my thirty-some-odd dollars and got new x-rays. 

And you know what? The damn thing was broken — clean in half — just like I knew it was! Not straight across, though, at an angle. But after two months, it had pretty well healed. And it’s not like you can put a cast on a toe. The doctor told me to get used to having a crooked toe forever and that it would probably be discolored for quite a while. 

What about sandal season? I whined.

Nobody looks at your feet, he answered. Wrongly, I might add. If that was true, there wouldn’t be a whole industry built on pedicures, but I digress. 

I hobbled back home a hundred dollars poorer and went into mourning for my formerly straight, perfect middle toe. Really the best out of the five, it was now just a sad, crooked thing with no hope of returning to its former toe glory. And still somewhat reddish purple, it seemed to mock me just like a little cherry on top of the shit sundae this year has been.

Which brings me to the next two lessons I learned in 2020. First, either wear shoes — even in the house, even during a pandemic — or buy soft furniture. And second, trust your instincts about your own health and wellbeing and always get that second opinion! Even if it ruins sandal season.

p.s. I don’t like to see injury pictures, so I’m not going to post injury pictures. That’s why you get this nice stock photo of a cherry. 😘

(This year for #BlogLikeCrazy, I’m talking about 30 lessons I’ve learned in 2020. Read the other entries here.)

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