Monday, January 28, 2008

baby toe blues

So, as most of you are now aware, i have been incapacitated by the absolute smallest digit on my body: my baby toe. well, technically, it's not the smallest any more, as it's swollen to goliath proportions, making the new smallest digit the baby toe on my right foot. the worst part is, the story's not even very good. but i'm going to tell you anyway. here goes:

saturday was the infamous Idiotarod Race, an annual January event in New York in which teams sign up to dress up like absolute fools and race with shopping carts. The idea is that they steal the carts, and then decorate them according to a "theme." they then wear as little as possible (especially if they're men, eg, the "chip and dale" team last year who sported only black bikini bottoms, bow ties, and running shoes), and show up at the starting line, without a clue about where the checkpoints or finish line are. they are given this information one step at a time, that is, the location of the first checkpoint at the starting line, the second checkpoint at the first check point, and so on. Don't get your hopes up. I was not in the race, wearing skimpy clothes, or run over by a shopping cart. As a jeerleader for the local roller derby team, i was at checkpoint one, forcing these excited, drunk voyeurs to do dizzy lizzies while they waited to be released from the checkpoint. The whole thing started when my friend, Lady Copafeel, dressed as a cop (as usual) and soliciting bribes for a free pass outta jail (erm, checkpoint), sauntered over carrying two red plastic cups.

"Mystery blue juice or beer?" she asked, a baby doll with a hole drilled through it's belly tucked under her arm. All bribes.

"Hmm," i said, contemplating. "Gimme the mystery juice."

Several "bribes" (swigs out of airplane booze bottles, a beat up can of PBR, and a slightly dirty jellow shot) later, i found myself, Miller Lite in hand, slightly intoxicated.

"Let's go grab a drink before we head home," another jeerleader suggested cheerfully. She had a legit reason, yes, besides drinking, so we headed to the nearest drinking establishment and had another beer.

By the time i got home around 5, i hadn't eaten all day and was relatively liquored up. My roommate was about to start watching "Sweeney Todd" as I walked in and took off my shoes by the door.

"Oh, oh, wait for me!" I yelled as i ran into my room. That's when it happened. i misjudged the space between my bookcase and the wall and SMACK, ran my baby toe full force into the corner of the solid wood bookcase.

"Fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck." i limped back to the living room. Now, i am no stranger to running into furniture. i currently have two rather large bruises on my legs of unknown origin that appeared after i went out for beer, tequila, and air hockey last wednesday night. i assumed i had jammed my toe. after all, i've been informed by a medical professional that i have "benign hypermobility syndrome," which basically means i'm uber-flexible--good if you're my boyfriend, bad if you're my joints and you're attached to my clumsy self. that is, i've been spraining ankles, toes, and fingers for practically as long as i've had them.

now, i would like to say, for the record, that i did not cry. i put ice on my toe. i watched it turn red, then blue, then purple. i grimaced and took a percocet when the pain reached astronomic levels. i was vaguely morbidly interested in the weird way it was bent and in the interesting swelling (more on one side of the toe than the other). When my boyfriend arrived that night, he took one look and said, "It's broken. Let's go."

"Where?" i said.

"The emergency room. Come on."

"No. No, it's fine. it's just, it'll be better tomorrow."

"You can't even walk on it." This was true. i was walking on my heel.

I convinced him that i would go to the doctor on Monday, and we settled in to watch "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." It's a good thing we settled in; that bitch is like three hours long. good, though. very good. Sir Walter Raleigh is hot.

Sunday morning I woke up in pain. This pain wasn't the sharp, stabbing, "i want to cry but i'm a big girl" pain of the night before. this was more of a throbbing, aching, "make it stop or i'm going to cut it off" pain. I was calm as i tried to walk to the bathroom and realized it was not better, but worse. I looked at this purple, swollen mess objectively, noting that my baby toenail was almost completely obstructed by the swollen flesh surrounding it. I got online to see if there were any 24-hour clinics i could go to. Zero. In the largest city in the country. Zero clinics. Fuck. I was at the end of my rope. I did what any independent 25-year-old professional would do. I called my mom.

"Hey, baby doll," she answered cheerfully. I immediately started crying.

"I hurt my toe," i practically wept into the phone.

"Oh, no. What happened?"

I told her, feeling stupid for crying. She gave me the sympathy I was looking for and the direction i needed.

"Honey, go to the emergency room. That's why you have insurance."

"Okay," i sniffled.

Off we went.

I guess i knew all along that it was broken. I just didn't want to admit it. I thought if i ignored it, it would get better on its own. The boyfriend was a good sport, keeping things moving by tracking down doctors, xray guys, whoever, and saying "You gonna take her now?" It was very sweet. It "only" took 4 hours. And the PA on duty confirmed what I already knew: broken. Across the bone between the knuckle and the foot. The bad news is that i'm on crutches. The good news is that i've now got one of those stylish blue booties i see all the cool kids sporting. I took it out for a test run this morning. Hot. Hot. Hot.

I feel kind of like a pussy gimp. it's a toe, for crissakes. that's not to say that i'm not milking it a little. my boss agreed to let me work from home. i promised not to mix the vicodin they gave me with work, too much anyway. a couple of good friends are coming over tomorrow to keep me company. that should be fun. and i've got a couple of days to lay around in sweats. always good.

and hopefully, the pain will run out before the vicodin does.


Sideshow said...

Hang in there, chica! I'm coming to help alleviate some of those "boredom hours." Vicodin...hold out!

Okie said...

Very nice. Good ole Ed. And Mom.