At 9, I fell about ten feet onto my back from the top of a jungle gym. At 13, I was thrown off the back of a Honda three-wheeler and watched it fly through the air about two inches above my body as I laid on the ground. At 15, I was thrown from the bed of a Ford Courier pickup when it overturned in a ditch at about 60 mph. Didn’t just walk away from that one–there was an ambulance ride, a nurse scrubbing asphalt out of my road-rashed back in the ER, a few stitches, and about five days of heavy duty pain shooting through my entire body anytime I moved–but no broken bones.
So after all of those much more exciting close calls, I decided to break my first bone at 27 years old, just walking down the damned hall in mine and Lea’s first house. I took a left out of the bathroom and hit the bookcase with my bare right foot just so, and broke my pinkie toe.
I’d wondered before whether I’d broken a toe, but everybody always said “no, you’ll have no doubt whatsoever if you ever really break a toe.” Everybody was right. I screamed, hopped to the couch, and cried for a good two or three minutes before I looked at it. The blood was already starting to pool under the skin, and its “resting” position was rather out of step with the rest of my toes. The pain was quite impressive.
I talked to a nurse friend, and she told me if I went to my doctor, he would securely tape it to my fourth toe and give me a prescription for pain, and that was it. Not much else to be done. I told her I could probably handle all of that myself. She said ibuprofen would probably be best for the pain, and I could double-dose it safely if I didn’t drink at the same time. I thanked her and hung up.
I was especially irritated by the timing, because I was going to Washington, DC on business the following week. It was my “old hand” trip. I’d been about six weeks earlier, and that had been my first trip to DC. So on my upcoming trip, I would have my bearings, and wouldn’t have to waste whatever leisure time I had figuring things out. I could just play.
Uh, no. You can just sit immobile in your hotel room and eat Advil.
I could get around well enough to get to and from the car, on and off the Metro, to my meetings, and the like, but if I went too long (which wasn’t long at all), there was a considerable pain price to be paid. There would be no leisurely strolling the entire trip.
It was mostly fine in three weeks, and I was back to normal after five.