Weekly Anamnesis #9
“Self, why are you hopping around doing a crazy flamingo dance?”
“Huh?” I asked myself back.
“You’re holding your foot doing the most ridiculous boogie I have ever seen!”
I looked down, so I was. What had happened? I fought through the tangled chaos in my brain. I took in the lawn mover stopped at the back of our yard on the edge of the garden.
“I was mowing, wasn’t I?”
“Yes self, you were mowing, and then there was a loud cachunk.”
“You were trying to edge along the garden, you hit a big bump, and there was a loud cachunk.”
“Oh, did I swear?”
”Yup, think you did.”
”Uh-oh, that was bad then,” I told myself looking down at my foot. I cringed taking in the sliced shoe.
“Did I do what I think I did?”
“You’d better check.”
I reached down and lifted the end of my shoe. I recoiled abruptly; clamping my hands forcefully around my foot once more.
“Oh, crud, it’s gone!”
“The end of my toe is gone! What do I do?”
“Umm, self, why don’t you look for it? They always say to find the missing digit.”
I franticly looked around but alas I found no forlorn half toe laying anywhere.
“Can’t find it, now what?”
“Getting help would be good.”
“Help? Yeah help. Umm, I could yell.”
”Mom, won’t hear you, she’s teaching piano and the patio door is shut.”
“I guess I’ll have to hop.”
”Hop? Ahh, you make me laugh. Just don’t kill yourself on the way.”
I surveyed the yard. We were on a double lot and had a very large yard. I was at the very back and the quickest way to the house was across the lawn and down the rickety stairs that I don’t use even when I have two feet. I’ve had ghastly experiences with those stairs, they are evil. But I took off none the less, flamingoing across the lawn, down the stairs, across the deck and into the house.
“Mom! Mom! I cut off my toe!”
There is silence, a snicker, more silence, and then, *gasp*, “You’re not kidding are you?!”
My mom abandons the poor impressionable 7 year old boy, who will probably never touch a mower again in his life, and races over. She lifts the end of my shoe surveying the situation analytically. My hand is still wrapped unyieldingly around my foot, the constant pressure keeping it from bleeding much.
“I don’t think you got the bone, we’ll take you to the doctor first. Let go and let me wrap this around your foot,” she held out an ACE bandage. The instant I released my foot there was a flood as blood surged over my hands. Mom frantically wrapped the bandage around as tight as she could and my hands snapped back into position around my foot. She called for a sitter for her student and called the student’s mom. I hopped to the car and we sped two minutes to the doctor’s office.
I had to have a tetanus shot. I eyed the nurse, “this is going to hurt, isn’t it?”
The nurse just looked at me like I was nuts. I was baffled, and then I scoffed at my self.
“I guess that was a pretty stupid question!” I laugh and the nurse chuckles, shaking her head.
The doctor comes in, “How did this happen?” I shrug my shoulders.
“I don’t remember,” I say. “The only conclusion I can come to is that I slipped and my foot went under the mower.
He wraps a bandage around my toe, instructing me not to remove it until Wednesday (it was Monday) so it would have a chance to clot and to come back then. He also informs me that he won’t prescribe any pain medicine yet because he doesn’t know how I will react to the pain. I am instructed to take some Tylenol and to call in the morning if the pain is too great.
I leave with a grin! I am super woman, hear me roar! I can cut off my toe and not need any pain meds. I am the bomb! So cool! I was very proud of myself, until . . .
The shock began to wear off about 9:00 in the evening. I would be hit with jabs of pain as though some one was shoving a knife into my foot and twisting it around.
“Okay, maybe I’m not quite so tough,” I tell my self.
All night long I suffered through waves of nausea and intense pain. Finally morning came and my mother brought in my breakfast. I was shaking so bad I couldn’t eat and she promptly called for the pain medication. A wimp after all. Things went well until Wednesday arrived.
“I’m going to soak the bandage off with saline solution, shouldn’t hurt a bit,” the doctor says. He begins the procedure. After about 5 minutes I could tell he wasn’t making much progress. He looks at me pityingly and explains, “I don’t have any choice. The bandage will not soak off, I am going to have to cut and tear. Hang on to the bench and feel free to scream.”
I think I just stared at him my jaw hanging slack. I gripped the bench, knuckles white and held my breath. I closed my eyes and nodded for him to begin. I don’t think I have ever felt anything that painful, and all I could do was sit there and say “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!” and then again, “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!” The doctor was amazed, “I would have been screaming bloody murder!”
“Just come a little closer, and you will be,” I think in to myself.
That was the end of my senior year in high school; in fact I had to attend graduation with a cane because I still had trouble with pain when I put full weight on it. It is healed now, I just have stabs of pain from time to time, and if anyone steps on it I am liable to strangle them on grounds of insanity from torture. We never did find the toe; we figure it either became great fertilizer or dog food. Hee hee. I never did remember how it happened; my conclusion was the only explanation we ever came up with.
(I still get this nervous twitch in my toe when ever spring hits and the lawn mowers start up . . . hee hee hee)