Thursday, June 04, 2009

Broken Toe

Last week I'd just enjoyed a nice long run, had cooled down, let Milly lick a bit of sweat from my ankles and was ready for a refreshing shower.

Ours being a small house with a tacked-on bathroom the shower and bathtub is a one-and-the-same space-saving affair. I leaned over the tub to switch on the hot tap and then, like the Hokey Pokey suggests, put my left foot in.

Unlike the Hokey Pokey, I didn't take it out again but left it there and as the water became warm enough for me to want to step into it instead of squealing and shrinking back up against the far wall with the towel rail digging into my arse, I absent-mindedly flicked my right foot in.

Or thought I did. Instead, the fast flicking motion and my distance-defining dyslexia meant that --- CRACK --- my toes forcefully smacked themselves against the edge of the solid ceramic edge of the bath.

I was in a painful quandary: did I sink to the bottom of the tub in the foetal position to fully immerse myself in the spiralling maelstrom of twingeing agony, or blindly stagger to my feet in order to turn off the hot tap which was now sending scalding jets of water down my spine and into my butt cleavage? Neither option was attractive and both involved a fair bit of swearing, crying, yelping and moaning.

My middle toe had turned an angry maroon colour and whatever pulse I had left was concentrated within that dented digit as it spasmically throbbed in a monotonous but regular heartbeat of pain. Letting the shampoo run into my already teary eyes, I gingerly bent down to touch the toe - PHARCK! It looked wonky; as though it was leaning on a lamp post; the lamp post being the second toe.

I - yes, me, the woman who cries during Master Chef eliminations and likes to watch Sparrows pick at discarded lunches in shopping malls - actually yanked at it to straighten it. It crackled and crunched like a cocoa-pop-lined gravel driveway under a moving car and hurt like jammed jackhammer might if it landed on your toe and worked its malevolent magic for mincement and misery.

But I did it. Somewhere in that hellishly horrific self-inflicted torture I remembered that medicos don't do anything to broken toes but tape them, so I turned off the water, stepped over the edge of the tub like a foppish flamingo playing hopscotch in ultra slow motion and taped it up.

Oooo Oooo Owww! But it was done. And, to be honest, was a nice excuse to have to wear ugg boots all day instead of sneakers or leather shoes.**

And as I settled in front of my laptop attempting to write a scintillating article on how to achieve
work/life balance during a recession and my toe felt as though it was imprisoned inside a TicTac container, my mind started wandering away from the task at hand towards something far more urgent, more intimate, more compelling.

Being Injured Whilst Completely Naked. How grateful I was in this instance to have been able to treat myself and not have to call for help!

Who amongst us hasn't occasionally imagined some of the more humiliating ways that we fervently hope we won't find ourselves in, desperately requiring assistance? My mate Jill and I have said in the past that even if we slipped on the wet bathroom tiles, snapped both hips into smithereens, smashed our foreheads on the vanity unit and had our eyes unpleasantly poked out by the taps there would be no way we'd call - much less whimper - for help until we'd covered our rude bits up.

It's true. Would you really want to find yourself spread eagled and nude yelling out for your house mate, nanna or parcel delivery guy to come in and give you a hand? When all you meant to do was reach for a towel but somehow misjudged and ended up paralysed from the waist down as you slid into an ironically perfect demonstration of the splits; albeit on beige tiles lightly sprinkled with dust bunnies and stray pubes?

I thought not.

** That's right, reader dear. Even though I write at home, I've been making an effort to always wear some kind of outdoorsy, socially acceptable shoe. Sure I'm overly fond of elasticated tracksuit pants and polar fleece, but wearing slippers or Crocs all day is just giving up altogether.


the projectivist said...

good lord!
you're like that outdoorsy bloke, the survivor chap that makes his own shelter out of fallen bits of tree trunk.
i'm impressed with your first aid skills. good job!

perhaps when i reach a certain age, i shall always try to remain clothed, even in the bath, to save incidences of embarrassing nakedness such as you describe?

LJP said...

Oh my God!! Are you ok? So funny to read but it must have really hurt like hell. And you're right - naked and getting injured don't mix. It just shouldn't happen. Hope your foot feels better soon!

Kath Lockett said...

Sadly, Projectivist, I'm nothing lke that outdoorsy bloke - I had to add this comment asap or you'd hear the derisive, hooting and meanly mocking laughter of my husband Love Chunks from where you're sitting. Having said (written!) that, I'm surprisingly good at enduring physical pain. Of my own; not others. Brain tumour, migraines, blistered feet & dead toenails from marathon training and childbirth helps in that regard.

LJP - yep, we'd all somehow find the will and the way to reach for that 15cm by 15cm flannel and drape it over our map of Tassie before hollering for help, wouldn't we?

Kath Lockett said...

Oh and hey, Projectivist, what's all this about reaching a 'certain age'? I still wouldn't have hollered for help even two stone and twenty years ago! :)

River said...

It's good that you straightened your toe immediately, if you'd left it there would have been swelling as well as bruising, so probably more pain getting it straight. Now that I've read this, I love my separate shower even more. How is the toe now?

the projectivist said...

no, i was thinking more along the lines of when i reach 70, but you raise a good point - why on earth would i want the neighbours or the ambulance men to see me naked now?

i wouldn't care how many pints of blood i was losing or whether half my arm was hanging off, i'd somehow drag myself into my clothes before passing out.

"map of Tassie" !!!

Helen said...

ouch! I've broken a few fingers, but my toes are largely ok.

And now that I've considered your question, I think I wil shower in my clothes. Just in case!

Baino said...

Ooh I like your bookshelf! Poor thing I know exactly how much it hurts, I wacked mine against an old Singer sewing machine that I use as a door stop once and it was stuffed for weeks. As for undislocating my own toe . . cringeing just thinking about it. I did have a tour guide undislocate my elbow once! You'll have to start taking baths in your cossies!

Benjamin Solah said...

I have the exact same fear.

It's kind of become a reality. A month or so ago, we had a farewell party for my old housemate moving to the UK.

And my about 2am I was not in the most glamorous of states. I was wearing a tiny tartan skirt for kicks when my stomach aborted and I turned our bathroom into a horror movie set.

The next morning Margo took great joy in telling me that she walked in to find me on the floor, with my jocks around my ankles and my bare white ass sticking out of the bottom of the skirt.

I'm never drinking so much Jagermeister again.

redcap said...

Ow. Ow. Ow. Hope it's mending.

Sometimes you don't have any choice on the roaring front. I cracked a rib on the edge of the bath one morning (yes, Ms Clutz slipped while shaving her legs) and made so much noise that everyone in a 2km radius would have heard it. I even brought the shower curtain down as well, so there I was, wet, naked, howling *and* tangled up in a shower curtain and curtain rod. Oh, the ignominy.

Kath Lockett said...

This comment is from Jill who emailed it instead of logged on here:
"Just read your stubbed toe in shower blog – very funny, and true. Reminded me of the other night. I had Holly (the beagle puppy) in my arms as she was just home from her desexing operation and a bit groggy, KG was driving Rex (the adopted kelpie cross) to dog training......

..... Holly is in my arms, it’s dark, KG is backing the car out and I am going to shut the gate before putting Holly down. He starts to back out, I move forward to the gate, don’t see the plank of wood (of course I should have known it was there), hit my shoe against it hard and start flying in the air, with dog in my arms, having enough time to think “Gee, I think Holly will break some bones here” – and crash to the ground harder than I should have. Unbelievably (and probably due to anaesthetic), Holly is fine, I however smashed my knee and hand quite hard, can’t move, look around to see KG still backing out and then driving off.

I then called pathetically out to the kids as I needed help (well, more sympathy really, because I could walk, but I think after a fall like that one should have others run to their aid!). So, Patrick came, helped me up and I was fine. After KG got home I told him the incident, and said that I couldn’t believe he didn’t see me there crashed on the ground, in agony, in need of help, and he just drove off – he said he thought I was laying on the ground patting the dog and thought to himself “Gee Jill really does love that dog!”. So, I recovered of course, got a big bruise (disappointed it wasn’t bigger)!"

Kath Lockett said...

Kath again:

Helen, you don't need to keep your clothes on, but do what RedCap did and make sure you have a shower curtain you can drape yourself in if need be

River, the toe is slowly getting better and is a luridly dark shade of purple and black. I can still run if I tape it firmly but what I *can't* do and keep absent-mindedly forgetting until the pain reminds me - is bend my foot back at the base of the wheelie bin when taking it out to the kerb or stick my foot open to keep the shed door open - yeeow!

Glad you like our bookcase Baino, but it does have a tendency to shrink in cold weather....

Benjamin, you've now instilled a mental image in me that, whilst utterly hilarious, will now require a jagermeister session of my own to erase.

Oh Redcap. I'm laughing at you and with you and you should be grateful for shower curtains!

Daisy said...

LOL that last photo was totally hilarious and caught me off guard! Ha! I have to save it and show it to my friends.. yeah I know, how silly of me.

Anyway, passing by from BOTB and to say that I voted for you!

franzy said...

At least you don't type with your toes ...
Much sympathy and healing to ye!

Cat J B said...

Eek, owowow!

I too have no desire to be rescued in my birthday suit and would go to great lengths to cover up me good bits. And me not so good bits, ha! I got stuck in the bathroom once when the door handle came off in my hand as I went to exit. Although I did have a towel and didn't break any of myself, it was still the most embarrassing incident in my life to date, as I had to holler through a small upstairs window to anyone who might be outside the apt block and told them to ring the fire brigade. They suggested calling my hubby. Um, yes ok, much better idea.
Gee, I'm not sure I'd want to straighten my own broken toe, well done on that front! Hope it's mending well.

Wilmaryad Ben O'Scallas said...

Nice human shoe hanger! LOL

Wilmaryad Ben O'Scallas said...

and very nice blog that I had utter pleasure browsing :)

ashleigh said...

Yep broken toes. Tape them up and let them go. Bloody painful though (speaks from experience... but wont describe the situation by which it came about because it was extremely silly.)

drb said...

Hope the toe is mending, asked anyone to check on it?
Hope you didn't hobble to our place to fix our fngshui?

You are definitely tonnes braver than moi. I'll not be able to straighten the toe and tape it up.
Make me cringe just reading about it.

River said...

BATHrobe-keep in BATHroom...

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Daisy; don't be a stranger now, y'hear?

You're right Franzy, I do still have full use of my typing fingers, unlike your poor self. Just tell me that you won't be tempted to try some creative X-rated typing with a certain other appendage...

Thanks to you too, Wilmaryad - come again soon! (Oops that's not meant to sound as rude as it does considering my above comment to Franzy)

Ashleigh, now you HAVE to tell us!

Dr B - nah, doctor schmoctor

River - yep, I do keep it there but when I was in the shower with the boiling water carving scars into my back I wasn't thinking about it just then.... :)

Wilmaryad Ben O'Scallas said...

Oh my, I am shocked LOL

ThirdCat said...

nothing really intelligent to say, but ti seems wrong to read of such serious ouchies and not at least let you know that I think you're very brave.