About two weeks ago, on the 2nd or 3rd day of my leave from my job, I was puttering around out in my garden. I was barefoot, as I am pretty much all the time when I’m not required to wear shoes, and so when I accidentally kicked the rock, there was nothing between my toes and the immovable object.
My little toe caught the worst of it, and I actually heard quite clearly as the bone in that toe broke. It made a classic snapping sound, exactly like the sound you get when you pull a wishbone apart after cooking a turkey.
The pain that washed over me in that moment was pretty bad, but something about hearing my own bone break – even though it was just my toe – intensified the immediate pain, and for a minute, I thought I might pass out. I can’t even imagine how bad it must hurt to break a “real” bone (which I’ve somehow managed to avoid ).
After the first few minutes of pretty awful, nausea-inducing pain receded into a majorly uncomfortable throb, I used my trusty iPhone to Google “broken toe.” I figured I’d better find out whether I needed to see a doctor. It turned out that the general consensus seemed to be that the toe would heal on its own, no doctor required. So I took a large dose of ibuprofen, and went on about my day.
However my toe does not appear to be getting any better. I’ve now been hobbling around for the last two weeks, expecting it to stop hurting, but it hasn’t really improved at all. I still can’t wear a shoe on that foot, and the slightest bump to the toe – like if I accidentally kick a door frame as I dis today – nearly puts me on the floor because the wave of pain is almost as bad as when I first broke the damn thing. And one very odd thing is that the pain is far worse at night when I’ve been lying supine for a few hours than it is when I am hobbling around the house or yard. I can’t really figure that out.
Tonight my sister Betsy and my 13 year old niece El convinced me that the problem is that I didn’t tape the broken toe to its closest dactyl neighbor when the break first happened. They both think that if I’d done that, the break would be mostly healed by now. So I let them tape my toes together, which hurt like hell, and made them exclaim in horror over the condition of my foot, given that I’ve now been going barefoot indoors and out 95 percent of the time since this happened, and wearing flip flops when going shoe-less is simply not an option.
I’d show you a picture of my newly taped toes, but I don’t want to give any of you nightmares. Between my swollen purple toe, and the rest of my disgustingly UNpedicured foot, it’s just not something anyone needs to see.
So have any of y’all ever broken a toe? If you have, how did you do it? Did you go to the doctor? Did you tape it up right away? And most importantly of all, how long was it before it stopped hurting and you could get a shoe on your foot?
As for those of you who haven’t ever snapped a digit before, I want to strongly recommend that you continue to avoid the experience. There’s definitely nothing to like about a broken tie.