I never gave my toes much attention, aside from the occasional pedicure and polishing. I don’t care for pedicures because the minute the technician starts rubbing the bottom of my foot with that rough pumice stone, I’m not responsible for the involuntary spasming of my foot. It is so ticklish, it’s almost painful! Pedicures are supposed to be relaxing, but not for me. Anyway, my toes have always served me well and I guess I should have appreciated them more …
Two of my kids were invited on a camping trip with my brother and his family. I cannot stand camping, and anyone who knows me will tell you I absolutely loathe it. Thankfully, other members of my family enjoy it and generously invite my kids along so they can experience the joy of sleeping in the dirt, swatting at bees, applying large amounts of mosquito repellent and using primitive outhouses in the middle of the night.
My sister-in-law asked if I could send along some cases of water and such, and I happily obliged. My 8-year-old daughter in tow, I headed to Winco, where I loaded a shopping cart with four cases of water, four boxes of Capri Suns, two cases of soda, two gallons of milk, and of course a couple of six-packs of beer (for me.) This was one heavy cart.
While waiting in the checkout line, a cashier told me she was opening up another checkstand and invited me over to her line. I pushed the large barge of beverages away from me and then gave it a big tug toward me, rolling the cart over my bare baby toe. Who would have thought flip-flops could make you so vulnerable?
The pain was excruciating. Tears filled my eyes. I winced and froze there for a moment. I glanced down at my little baby digit already turning black. Oh wait, that was the black rubber from the wheel that had rolled over my toe. I hobbled to the checkout line trying to shake it off. My daughter helped as best she could, loading the groceries. I limped across the parking lot, leaning on the cart, and finally sat down in my car.
My toe was bleeding and puffing up like a dried date. I drove home eager to put some ice on it. I elevated it and took a couple Advil and washed then down with one of the beers I’d bought. I told myself my toe would be fine the next day, but deep down I knew the truth. It was broken.
I had a step class the next morning, and all I could think about was my dear friend Lynn, who also teaches step aerobics. She had a broken toe a few years ago. She was in Disneyland waiting in line for a ride when a morbidly obese man standing in front of her lost his balance and stepped backward onto her toe. He broke it. She couldn’t teach step for a month.
The next morning my toe looked even worse. The bruising had traveled across the top of my foot. Coincidently, it was the same foot I’ve considered getting tattooed. Guess I’ll wait on that for a while. The telling moment was putting my foot into my aerobic shoe. Ahhhhhhh! I reached for the Advil and my old stretched-out shoes I found buried in my closet. I asked for strength from God and hobbled to my class.
Well, whether it was God or the Advil or raw adrenaline, somehow I made it through. It’s been a month now and my toe is slowly healing but I’m still wearing my big shoes. I’m going to be treating my toes differently from now on. They have earned new respect from me and I’m going to protect them. No more flip-flops at Winco. It’s steel-toed boots for me!