Update (Probably Not-for-the-Squeamish)

So, sadly, no writing news to update, but I haven’t posted in a while, and I haven’t written in a while, and I think it’s time to update.

So last Sunday I was all set up for a massage day.  I was stressed from querying and my work, which involves hunching over a microscope while I mount bugs on slides these days, had my shoulders all in knots.  Now, when I get a massage, I make a full day out of it.  I always get an ice cream from Cold Stone (mm, oatmeal cookie batter this time–I was looking forward to it), and I always hit Panera to write or do some other writerly thing like query or edit.  This time I was planning on rereading the 18K of Boy/Girl I had already written.  These days are supposed to be relaxing.  I play either my Happy 2 playlist or my Cool and Easy playlist while driving, I take it easy.  If possible I sleep in.

Apparently nobody gave the cats the memo that I needed to take it easy.  They wake me up to feed them, and so I’m stumbling around into the kitchen to get two of the cats fed (of our 4 cats, one’s on a special diet, one will eat everyone’s food if she’s left alone with it, one needs to be alone or she won’t eat it, and the fourth has just decided he won’t eat in my room anymore so I was planning on putting his bowl in Roomie’s room since she was at work).

As I reach the corner of the kitchen door, two cats yelling at me to hurry up, I slam my pinkie toe into the corner of the baseboard.  And I do my usual hold-in-a-scream-I-just-stubbed-my-toe-and-it-hurts biting of my tongue.   I looked down and see that I have also skinned my toe.  Awesome.

I hobble, quickly, to feed those last two kitties, and then when I return to my room, I realize that I am bleeding all over the carpet.  I run to the shower and stick my foot under.  I didn’t just skin this toe.  I took off a good fifth of it, but it’s still connected at the bottom.

I’m still comparing it to when I used the cheese slicer and got the very tips of my index and middle fingers when I was younger.  All I did then was  stick on a band-aid.  I want the bleeding to stop too, so I dry off the foot and stick on an antibiotic band-aid and start doing other things like brush my teeth while I decide whether I’m going to do a shower with this thing.  I end up realizing that if I was a masseuse, I would want me to have taken a shower, so I go to take off the band-aid so I can clean it again and not have a wet band-aid over it the rest of the day.  

In trying to take off the band-aid, this is where I figure out that I maybe broke my toe because it just hurts so much trying to manuever the band-aid off.  But I know doctors can’t do anything for a broken toe.  I take the shower and re-band-aid it, and head out the door in sandals (in winter) to my massage.

So, several torturous hours of walking (and one nice hour of massage) later, I return home and tell Roomie.  I wash off my toe again, and as I’m looking at it, I’m like, “Weird.  It’s swelling so much, the toenail looks like it got pushed aside or half fell off.”  And I examine it some more (even though I was kinda squeamish about looking at it) and realize I’ve lost half my toenail. Ew.

I tell Roomie, and she’s like, “We should go to urgent care, but they’re probably closed.  Because it’s only urgent when it’s convenient for them.”  So I elevate and ice it all night, with a band-aid still holding the cut closed.

In the morning before I shower I do the contortionist thing to look at the bottom of my toe.  And I realize just how deep the cut goes by looking at the other side of it.  See, on the top, it basically goes along the toenail bed and then past it.  On the bottom, it makes a nice little curve that hits the middle of my toe.  No wonder it hurts so much.

As I shower, I’m thinking about how long something can be cut off from the skin and still be saved.  I’m getting kind of scared about whether I’ve totally screwed up my toe by not going to urgent care the previous morning.  I end up asking Roomie to drive me to urgent care (which wasn’t open until 10 a.m., btw).

I get there and wait an hour in the waiting room, and a nurse takes my blood pressure and x-rays, and he’s very reassuring.  He says that after 8 hours, they can’t do stitches, but they can use a sort of glue that basically does the same thing without as much risk of infection.  He tells me stories of when he broke his toe.  He’s very understanding about me not coming in until the next day and tells  me that it was good I cleaned it right away and that I used an antibiotic band-aid

But the doctor’s not there yet, so I end up waiting on a bed forever for her to come and look at the x-rays. When she does, she’s very brisk and says it’s an open fracture and they can’t do anything for toe fractures and they can’t do stitches on open fractures, so just buddy tape it to the next toe, take antibiotics, and wear a special shoe.  Then she leaves.  Forturnately, my nice nurse comes back and I get to ask him questions like how long until I can go to the gym and how often should I clean it and can I get the most hypoallergenic tape they have because I’ve been known to get hives from it, etc.   He puts some tape on my toe to hold down the cut (this is all that’s holding my toe together, lol), then shows me how to buddy tape the toes, although I didn’t perfect this skill until yesterday.  I get a tetanus shot, antibiotics, and a special sandal that I think was worth the whole trip because it is easily the best shoe (and better than barefoot too) for this injury.  It’s shaped to keep me off my toes when I walk, there’s no top or side rubbing against the cut, and there’s enough sole extending past my pinkie toe that I can’t possibly kick the wall or a chair or my bedframe or anything with my injured toe while wearing them.  Now, if only it would stop snowing so I could wear it outside.

No pain meds, but Vicodin makes me sick, so that’s fine.

And really it only hurts when something is rubbing against it right now.  For the first day after going to urgent care, it only hurt when it was touched at all.  I had a little bit of a problem getting my toes comfortable with the buddy taping because even though I put gauze between them, my pinky was irritating my fourth toe by being so close to it, and I think it might not have been healing straight either because of this.  So now I put more gauze between them and it’s straight and comfortable, yay.

So, yeah, obviously my toe isn’t to blame for me slacking all week, but it is a contributing factor.  One good thing about it?  It’s given me something else to think about other than writing and querying and agents all the time.

Hope I didn’t squick you out too much with this post. 

Lots of love,


7 thoughts on “Update (Probably Not-for-the-Squeamish)

  1. Oh no! That sucks so bad. I always claim that it FEELS like I’ve broken my toes when I stub them, but I’ve never had anything like that. Get better soon.

    Also, best wishes on that Query Contest and feedback.

  2. *cringe*

    you should totally turn this into a story, sage. if you pick up the dry humor and add a teensy bit more sarcasm, it could be a very funny beginning to an interesting book. perfect day including oatmeal batter ice cream and [potentially] gorgeous masseuse sabotaged by four angry cats and a viciously stubbed toe.

    just when you thought the day couldn’t get any worse…

    [insert plot]

    tehe. sorry. i can never stop thinking outside of plot lines.

    hoping you’re feeling better soon!

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