The Easter Toe

I had off Friday and the weather was great, so I wore sandals. Later in the day I decided to tune up my lawn tractor. I changed the oil, the transmission filter, air filter, lubed the chassis and then decided to put the deck on.

It’s a big tractor with a 60 inch, 3 blade mowing deck that probably weighs 300 pounds. It has its own wheels, but they only go one way. To position properly I need to move it in two dimensions, which I do by grabbing it and yanking it towards me. During one of these big massive yanks, the deck came off the shims I’d raised it and slammed right into toe, hitting exactly where my toenail meets my toe. Then, it just kept going. It was one of the surges of intense pain you get… you know, like when you hit your head or… stub your toe really bad. The toenail is like ripped backwards and the deck is still on it, but it hurts so bad I just instinctively yank my toe out instead of waiting to lift the deck off of it first. This was a mistake. It hurt really really bad. As I hopped around cursing, it got worse. It was one of those really pains that starts out bad and then grows.

It’s like the fat little dwarf in the control of your brain (the one that’s always chewing cigars and reading Penthouse) isn’t sure exactly how bad you hurt yourself so he just kind of sets the pain dial at 4. “Oh wait,” he says, “the toenail’s backwards. That’s at least a 6” readjusting the dial. “The idiot just yanked it out without even lifting the deck first! What’ wrong with this guy? Bring it up to an 8.”

As I look at the bleeding mess, the pain keeps growing as the dwarf continuously reassess the pain of the injury. It’s clearly not at peak yet, but the check, as they say, is most definitely in the mail.

“Oh fuck, fuck fuck, you’re so stupid,” I’m whining to myself. I know better than to mess around with this kind of stuff in sandals.

The pain keeps climbing, all the way to about 11 on the dial (In case you weren’t aware, your pain dials all go up to 11.) After a minute or two, it drops back to about a 7, and five minutes later it settles down for a long visit at 4.

I push the nail forward to salvage what’s left, and then I feel like I’m going to pass out from reaction (it’s the little stuff that makes you sick.) I’m supposed to run a marathon in two weeks. I’m supposed to run 15 miles with my buddy tomorrow. Shit!

So, I go inside and wash the toe. Then I trim the nail, removing about 3/4 of it. I have some hydrogen peroxide wash, and I can see dirt and old grass and crap under the nail, so I know I need to clean. The dwarf is all “don’t even think about it.” I can imagine how much it’s going to hurt my throbbing toe, so I pussy out. I put some neosporin on it, wrap it in gauze, tape it, take some ibuprofen, drink some beer and go to sleep.

It’s not so bad the next morning, so I do my fifteen mile run. At the end, my sock is all pink and wet from blood and serum. I offer to show it to my running buddy and get some advice. He’s a cardiologist. “If you want,” he says, not all that enthused. I guess toes aren’t really his thing.

“Oh yeah,” he says. “You hurt that pretty good.” Thus, the injury has been vetted by a real Doctor.

Now all of this sucks, but it’s not really pitworthy, IMO. It’s Easter weekend, and the in-laws are in town and we have egg hunts and all kinds of activities planned that I need to attend.

Here’s the thing: In any given month of my life, my toe will almost never come into play at all. Nothing will ever happen to it. I won’t even be aware of it. There will be no issues involving my toe.

However, smash it and rip the nail off, and it then becomes a magnet for every conceivable misfortune the universe has to offer. Here’s what happened:

  • Easter Party, stepped on by wife’s fat Uncle Milton. I scream like a girl.

  • Back home, unwrap it, wash it, and let it air while watching TV. Wife’s Uncle Sam’s disgusting dog walks over and licks it (I won’t say what he was licking a few moments before.) I kick dog with good foot.

  • Try to get ice cream for my child. Open freezer, and a chicken pot pie falls out onto my toe. (Variations on this theme occur every three or four hours, all resulting on object faling on toe.)

  • My little girl comes running up to me, “Daddy can I…” and then I scream as she steps on my toe. (Variations on this theme occur every 6 hours)

  • I go to take the garbage out and the hefty bag drips fetid stinkjuice all over my toe, which is already oozing in a disgusting fashion on its own.

etc. etc.

My toe has had more happen to it this weekend, than the rest of its existence. 42 years without incident than suddenly one weekend my toe is costarring with Bruce Willis in a Die Hard Sequel.

If I wrap it in gauze and bandages and stick it in a boot, nothing happens. But I need to wash it, clean it, air it out and let it dry in fresh air. Inevitably at this time the universe than calls upon all its dark forces and attacks it.


A Pit toe party for Scylla.

I know how you feel. On Thursday, a box cutter decided to make close friends with my finger, resulting in the very tip of my finger being sliced off. It seems I never noticed how often I stub my finger on things until now. Also, my 7 month old daughter sometimes decides the bandage over my finger is, in fact, a toy and grabs it.

Going to the ER resulted in getting some nice painkillers though.

Is anyone else thinking of a certain Friends episode?

“Oh my God . . . there’s a toe in my kitchen!”

Heh. I stubbed my big toe years ago, and cuz I was wearing socks n shoes I didn’t realize that I had actually lifted the nail off the toe at the time. It hurt like hell. That night when I got undressed I saw that my sock was bloody mess, and exactly what had happened to the nail. I cleaned it up, loaded it up with neosporin, and wrapped it in gauze and bandaids. The next day I was at the grocery store staring at the cookie aisle when an old lady with a full cart comes barreling around the corner and runs right over my toe. I managed not to scream, but couldn’t move for about a minute. The lady just said ‘Watch where you’re going!’ and kept on truckin. The nail grew back all thick and wrong, and I later had it removed.

The fact that you didn’t clean it out really well is not good. Oozing is bad, you might want to have it looked at.

A friend of mine ran outa gas in his car once (the electronic dash on it was a POS). Pushing the car off to the side of the road, he managed to run over and break his own foot with the rear tire. This was pre cell phone days, so he is stuck alongside a semi rural road, out gas with a broken foot.

I once ran into a table and it went from that horrible nausea-inducing pain to numb almost immediatly. Hmm, thought I, that numbness can’t be good. I took my sock off to see the toe turned upside down. Yup, it was both broken and dislocated.

I think amputation would be in your own best interest at this point. Also, the toe’s.

But can a toe survive as a separate existence? Toe be, or not toe be, that is the question…

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Poor baby.

But my, I always love your stories!

I was thinking this would be about an snug fitting bunny suit :smiley:

Oh man. That toetally sucks :frowning:

I make a bad pun, followed by a wretchedly bad pun, and you trump me with an unspeakably bad pun. I shall not soon forgive.

I thought this was going to be a link to that fungicide commercial with the flip-top toenail.

By the way, can we get a WOOZY warning for this thread? ::Passes out.::

Oh yeah, you should let the dog lick your toe - their saliva would clean the wound and speed healing. :slight_smile:

[Job’s Comforter]Really should have worn safety boots, shouldn’t you?[/JC]

You know, if it had whacked that sucker right off and sent it flying, you could have started a family tradition with an Easter Toe Hunt.

A similar thing happened to me in college. I got just a little but of my fingertip lopped off in a dorm door, and I ran into a bathroom and put the finger under the tap and started running water on it. Another guy comes in with the missing tip and says, “Maybe they can reattach it at the hospital”. He drops it into my open palm, and the water promptly washed it out. It made this perfect little spiral in the sink before disappearing down the drain, and I was so in shock that I just stared at it dumbly. After it was gone I started giggling like a schoolgirl.

You ran 15 miles with your toe like that? Damn. You’re a stronger man than me… or dumber. Dunno which.

I lost 5 or 6 toenails to frostbite in a freak skiing accident when I was in high school and I couldn’t walk right for months!

Scylla, I hope you’re getting your GP to look at that, especially since you say you didn’t clean it out properly and then abused it some more.

This story reminded me of Patrick McManus’s column called “Toe”. If you’ve never read McManus, I suggest you check him out.