The Saga of the Broken Toe

Tuesday evening I came out of the bathroom door – the same bathroom door I have been coming out if for 6 1/2 years now with no problem – and somehow banged my little toe on the door frame. It really hurt, and after doubling over for a minute, I looked down at it – and it was angled away from the rest of my foot. That can’t be good, I thought. I showed it to Jim, and we discussed whether we should go to the ER. He taped it to the next toes and we decided to just wait, figuring that’s probably what a doctor would do anyway since they can’t put a cast on toes.

The next morning I got dressed early so I could call the doctor and be ready to go in immediately if they had an opening. Unfortunately my doctor was not in, but the nurse practitioner had an opening at 5:15. I asked Jim’s mom’s caregiver if she could come back then, and she could. So I went in, and she took some x-rays and said I needed to be seen by an orthopedic doctor. She said it looked to her like there was a spiral fracture and mentioned the possibility of needing surgery or even pins put in it. (Yikes!) There was an orthopedic clinic that was open til 8 if I could get there. I had driven to the doctor’s office because they are close to us, but, even though the injury was on my left foot, I just didn’t feel I could drive to this place. I called Jim, and he was on his way home, so we met there, made his mom’s dinner, and headed out again.

The orthopedist said the toe was dislocated, so he numbed it up and reset it (or reduced it, as they say, but I am not sure why they call it that.) I asked if it was just dislocated or if it was broken as well. He said, “Oh yes, it’s broken – it looks like a jigsaw puzzle in there.” So he taped it up with the next toes, gave me a stylish boot to wear, told me to keep it dry and elevated and come back in a week.

He said at one point that this would “probably bother you for three months.” I told Jim I hoped he was exaggerating. He said he didn’t think he was. I don’t know if that means wearing the boot and keeping it taped for that long, or just that it will be that long before it feels completely right.

I’ve been on acetaminophen round the clock since it happened. Before seeing the doctor, it actually felt better when I was walking around and excruciating when I was lying down. I thought that was so odd – you’d think it would be the other way around. But last night I slept great. It only seems to hurt now when I’ve been on it for a while, and the doctor said that’s a sign I need to go elevate it.

It was embarrassing that every time someone at either of the clinics asked me how I hurt my foot, all I could say was that I ran into the wall. πŸ™‚ It would have been nice to at least have had a dramatic story to tell about it.

I was thankful that both offices had evening hours, that Jim’s mom’s caregiver was available, that we got it taken care of that evening so he didn’t have to miss work today, and that the doctor numbed the area before reducing it. When I checked out and one girl mentioned the reduction, the other said, “And you didn’t scream?” I said no, it was numbed, she replied, “We have heard people scream sometimes all the way out here.” Yikes!

I’m also thankful I had gone to the store on Tuesday before any of this happened. I was thinking of putting it off til Wednesday because it was raining and we weren’t quite in danger of running out of anything for a day or so, but finally decided that since I had already planned for it, I’d go ahead and get it over with. I’m also thankful that the bulk of the Christmas shopping and wrapping was done: most everything that’s left can be done sitting down, except the housecleaning I was going to do next week before Jeremy came home. Jim is off next week, so maybe he can help me with that.

Trying to figure out how to take a shower without getting my foot wet was a challenge, and the boot is annoying already (mainly because it’s a different height that any of my shoes, so my gait is uneven). But I hope it’s on the mend now with no further complications.

And that’s probably much more than you wanted to know about anybody’s little toe. πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “The Saga of the Broken Toe

  1. Barbara,

    You make even a broken toe interesting reading. I’m praying you mend quickly!

    Kathie Garzony

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Wow, what an experience just with a little toe! A jigsaw puzzle, no less! Will be praying that it heals quickly and that you can be as comfortable as possible during the process. Seems like unfortunate timing … but we well know that God makes no mistakes in timing or in anything else.

  3. So sorry this has happened, Barbara. I hope you will mend even more quickly than the doctor predicted. I’m thankful you were able to see the doctors right away. Praying for you.

  4. Yikes! I’m so sorry about your toe. I hope it doesn’t bother you for as long as the doctor predicted. Can you put a plastic bag over your foot and secure the top to shower? I’m glad that the doctors you needed to see were available.

    • That’s what we ended up doing – taping a plastic bag over the “boot.” We have a stand-up shower, and I put a metal folding chair in there with a hand towel on the seat so i could sit there and keep my foot out. Thankfully that shower has a hand-held spray nozzle, so I could get it around where needed.

  5. Sorry to hear about your run in with the wall! Thankful all was put to rights so fast. That is a praise right there. I am not a medical person but have learned from friends that being consistent with the use of the boot speeds up healing. Sounds like your hubby was on the right track when he taped the toes the first night. You are now on my prayer list.

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  7. Boy, “jigsaw puzzle” sounds pretty dire coming from a doctor viewing your x-ray! I do hope you mend faster than predicted, Barbara, and that you don’t strain yourself trying to adjust to the boot.

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