On Saturday (April 16) I was in bathroom-cleaning mode. [Here's my Bathroom-Cleaning Rhapsody Playlist, if you're interested]. As I was starting the dreaded task, I accidentally slammed my left foot, toes-first, into a doorway. It hurt. I jumped up and down on my right foot, holding my left foot. But it wasn't unbearable, so I cleaned the bathroom. We're talkin' full-scale cleaning, top-to-bottom, including a long-overdue tub/shower scouring. The toe right next to my left pinkie-toe hurt a little, but not incessantly. So, I forgot about it.
Then, since my folks are back from Arizona, I went to Oak Harbor for the afternoon/evening. When I got back home to Bellingham at around 9:30 PM or so I took off my shoes and socks. This is what greeted me:
Actually, it was worse than that. The purple color was deeper. It looked like my toe had died and was getting ready to fall off. "Crud", I thought. "Guess I broke it." So I grabbed the frozen corn from the freezer and started to ice it a bit. After about 20 minutes, I figured I'd better go to the hospital to make sure everything was OK. So I grabbed a book (Van Neste's Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles, which turned a few eyes at the hospital), hopped in the car and drove to the ER.
I should stop right now and say that I hate the hospital. I mean, I hate it. "Hate" is a strong word, but I think it is accurate in this case. I've said before that for me to go to the doctor, I either have to be unable to stop the bleeding or unable to bear the pain. Neither of those was true in this case, but I went. The sheer freakishness of the color of my toe convinced me it would be a good thing to go.
So, I went to the ER at St. Joseph's in Bellingham. Talked to the guy behind the front desk a bit, who turns out to be a Music major from WWU with minors in Ancient Greek and Computer Science ... strange the folks you run into. I told him he should apply for a job at Logos. He told me to take a seat, the nurse would check me out. The first nurse took my temperature, blood pressure and pulse. I warned her, "My blood pressure is going to be really high". I could feel my heart racing just from being in the hospital. After she took it, she said, "That's not too bad, after all you're in the ER." Phew. First hurdle down.
Next there was a really helpful lady who took down my information and got it into their computer. One thing I didn't know: There are apparently three other folks in Bellingham who share my name. That's helpful news, I guess. Then I waited some more.
They called my name after probably 90 minutes. I followed some dude down a maze of corridors into another room where I waited. Another nurse then checked out my ugly toe. "Probably broken, the doctor will probably just tell you to keep it taped to the toe next to it." Yep, just what I figured. Another 10 minutes (by this time, I'm into Van Neste discussing the cohesiveness of 1Ti 2.8-15) and the doc looks at it. "Looks like it's broken." He seemed concerned that I was in pain, but I ensured him that wasn't the case. Then some other dude came in and wheeled me in the hospital bed to radiology, where they did an x-ray of my left foot. I told him I would walk no problem, but he insisted on wheeling me. It was a fun ride, we chatted the whole way. Then the radiology dude took my picture:
You'll need to click on it to see a larger picture. Then you'll see this small arrow pointing to where my toe fracture is. You can see a little bone piece sticking out on the right side of the bone, just above the joint, in the toe closest to the "L".
Pretty cool, huh?
On the way out I showed my pictures to the people who helped me in the ER. They were nice folks, generally. All in all not a bad experience. It doesn't change my philosophy about hospitals, though. I still want to avoid them.
I'll probably fill the pain perscription just in case, but I don't know that I'll actually have to use it. If the "pain" persists for a week I'm supposed to go back, but here's hoping that the Dutch blood coursing through my veins imparts its mystical healing powers to my next-to-the-pinkie-toe fracture.