June 21, 2004

Toe Woe

I spent most of today in the Emergency room at Women’s College Hospital. Relax, mom, I’m fine… or most of me is. One toe is having some difficulties right now, but it’s nothing really serious.

On Saturday night I vaguely noticed that my right foot was hurting when I walked; by Sunday morning when I woke up the pain had localised to my second toe on my right foot, and walking was painful. Over the day it got worse, and I started to think I must have sprained or even broken my toe, though I was baffled because I couldn’t remember doing anything that would have resulted in such an injury. By this morning I couldn’t put any weight on my foot at all, and the toe was still swollen and stiff and sore, so I decided it had to be seen to. Health Services at the University doesn’t have an x-ray machine, so they suggested it would be best if I went directly to the hospital. Anyway, to slightly shorten an already lengthy tale, after sitting in Emergency for four and a half hours (and getting some x-rays done) it turned out that no, the bone isn’t broken, but yes, there’s definitely something wrong with the toe. (Though by that time my feet were so cold from the air-conditioning that the pain had almost completely subsided, and I was starting to wonder if I was imagining it all!) The doctor suggested it might possibly be an infection, though there’s no sign of a wound of any sort, so he put me on antibiotics and sent me home, where of course my foot immediately began hurting much more again.

So we’ll see what happens — I don’t know how I managed to get an infection without a cut, but I’m willing to try treating it, since I have no desire to allow anything to spread. I’m still fairly hobbled, and not looking forward to giving a three-hour lecture to a Greek history class tomorrow, but I’ll cope; knowing it isn’t broken does at least relieve my mind somewhat. (I was concerned about the level of ditziness breaking one’s toe without noticing demonstrates!)

Of course, there was one positive result of the otherwise wasted day — I got an awful lot of knitting done! (You don’t think I’d go off to something like that without bringing my knitting, do you?) I’m now almost finished the second sock, having knit most of the foot, turned the heel, and finished up to the cuff while waiting around. And I was praised by the nurse for having brought something to do so that I wasn’t up at the desk complaining about the wait every 20 mins, like many of the other patients. I might have been too, except that I couldn’t walk very well and I had expected it, so I wasn’t surprised at having to sit around for so long.

And that was my exciting day! Further updates as events warrant, but here’s hoping my toe does not feature prominently in my blog in the days to come!

Posted by Aven at June 21, 2004 10:50 PM

Sorry to hear about your toe. It is odd about infections, I lightly banged my leg on the edge of the tub several years ago, there was no break in the skin, I had a huge bruise by the time I got to work, my leg began to swell and got very hot and painful. By the time I got an appointment to see the doctor a few days later I could barely walk. It was an infection, I was treated with antibiotics and it took quite a while to get better. It was the oddest experience, I kept saying but there is no cut, the skin was clean how did I get an infection… why did it happen so fast…
Hope you are back on two feet soon. :-)

Posted by: Paula at June 22, 2004 06:22 AM

I hope that it all heals up quickly.

Posted by: Lydia at June 22, 2004 01:45 PM

Oh, sorry to hear about your toe, Aven, and I hope it gets better soon. I had something similar happen to me as a kid, and the doctors didn’t know what to make of it. It’s amazing how sometimes the simplest-seeming things are the most baffling to medical science.

I don’t suppose it could be gout, could it? ;)

Posted by: Tyla at June 22, 2004 05:40 PM

Let me tell you a funny toe story, maybe you’ll feel better about your pain being a little mysterious instead of caused by massive stupidity! So one of the guys who lived on my hall as a freshman did NOT get along with his roommate and tended to get locked out a lot, since he often lost his key when he got drunk. He comes home late one Saturday night to find he got locked out, and proceeded to scream at his roommate through the door, pretty much waking the entire hall up. But his roommate would not let him in, and he finally got so angry that he kicked the door and broke his big toe (he was wearing sandals.) Later that week, he was telling a few of his friends in the lounge about how he’d broken his toe, and to demonstrate, he kicked the wall with his other foot like it was his door….and broke his other toe! He didn’t even have the excuse of being drunk the second time around!!

Posted by: Lizzi at June 22, 2004 07:13 PM

Aven, I wish I had some toe drama (or trauma?) to share with you, but I don’t. Instead I recommend drinking as the catch-all cure for unknown ailments. Because of course you’d never have thought of that yourself.

Get better,

Posted by: Em at June 23, 2004 11:04 AM

Hi Aven,

Hope your toe feels better soon! I think you should get your students to carry you home.


Posted by: Anatole at June 23, 2004 09:16 PM

Ack Ack Ack! I heard about this from Danielle tonight at the reading. Of course I should have read your blog, but ACK ACK ACK — EMERGENCY ROOM, TELL ME!!! (you beloved nincompoop)
ps — remember????
pps — how can I rush to your aid without???????

Posted by: Susan at June 24, 2004 10:39 PM