Thursday, November 13, 2008

Broken Toes

Both stories are equally bizarre and unique. The two times that I broke my right pinky toe.

My First Toe Break

The first time that my right pinky toe felt a snap, I was a sophomore in high school. I wasn't your typical sophomore. I was quiet, shy, and a not-so-in-the-closet Nsync Fan. I loved Justin, Joey, Lance, and JC with all of my heart. I had a room plastered with their faces and knew all of their latest dance moves. I would belt out their songs whenever they were on the radio and taped every show that they appeared on.

I had a ritual of always watching Total Request Live on MTV, a show that allowed viewers to vote on what videos were in the top ten for the day. At this point in time, NSync was constantly in a battle with their rival band, the Backstreet Boys. I was always glued to the TV to see who would win the battle at the top. Well, on that ill-fated day, NSync took the #1 slot. I took off running and dancing around our living room.

Our living room, during a work week, was never a safe place to run around. There were always items on the floor, on the tables, and generally anywhere you could find a convenient spot to place things. The weekend is when my mother cleaned the living room or had someone help her. Well, this was a work day and the living room was not clean. As I was dancing for joy through the living room, I hit my toe on my father's steel-toed boot which was laying in the middle of the floor. Instantly I heard a snap and felt an extreme pain radiating throughout my foot. I fell to the floor and screamed at the top of my lungs. Not knowing exactly what I had done, I didn't want to get up and cause more pain. I continued to belt out ear-piercing screams until my brothers came up to see what was going on. I asked them to get the phone for me so I could call my parents.

My parents took me to the hospital later on that night. The doctor taped up my toe and made me feel like I was a silly kid for even going in to Urgent Care. I couldn't understand how so much pain could be treated with a piece of tape nor did I understand how it could elicit such a plain unalarmed response from medical staff.

My Second Toe Break

My family and I were vacationing on Memorial Day at the Lake of the Ozarks in Southern Missouri. My boyfriend at the time, Cory, had joined us along with my brother's friend, Charlie. I had convinced everyone that we should go shopping at the large outlet center there. The boys and men really didn't want to go shopping, so I had to plead with them to go. Finally, my parents gave in and decided that we would go to the outlets.

My dad always takes a long time to get ready to go anywhere. We were all standing outside the condo waiting for my father to come out. I realized that I'd forgotten my camera and decided to run in after it. Again, I was really happy to be going shopping, and so I did kind of a skipping run through the condo to get my camera. You would think I would learn to stop running through the living room by now, but I didn't. My toe caught the end of a coffee table as I was exiting the condo. My pinky toe snapped again and I fell to the floor in pain. My first instinct was to look at my toe. I glanced down and immediately started my blood curling screams, not caring who was there. My toe was sticking out perpendicular to my foot, kind of like a wing on a bird. Cory and my parents ran into the condo to see what was going on. Immediately when my father saw my toe, he ran to my side. My brothers and Charlie ran into the condo screaming to mock my screaming. My father glared up at them as they entered. Instantly the room became silent. My brothers stopped in their tracks, looked at my toe, and then abruptly left the condo.

After much discussion, it was decided that maybe we should try to get to the hospital. As if by miracle, two nurses were in the condo right next to us and happened to be leaving their door at the same time my dad carried me out ours. They took a quick look at my foot and said "They won't be able to do anything at the hospital but tape it up. And you will wait in line a long time as it is Memorial Day." We turned back around and my dad sat me on a chair. They put a big ice pack over my toe so I couldn't see my disfigurement anymore. Still screaming my lungs off at this point, my father distracted me by talking to me. Cory held my hand tight and was speechless.

Out of nowhere, I could hear my dad ripping medical tape off of a roll. Out of complete terror, I screamed at him "No, don't move it!!" He looked at me with a smile on his face, "Rachel, I already did that." He had moved my toe when he was talking to me. I had no idea. Pain was pain and I couldn't feel the move. Now that my toe was carefully positioned, my dad taped my toes together just like the doctor had done the first time- without the medical bills.

I wish I could say that my father's tape job magically allowed my toe to heal back to its normal state. But I can't. From now on, my right pinky toe will always remember the time that it became a bird's wing. It is forever pink and filled with bony notches. The bones have fused in odd places, creating the worst crooked toe on my foot.

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