Occasionally, in those sleepy, random-thought moments , I have stared at my feet and pondered the usefulness of toes.  Like baby teeth (they hurt, then they fall out) or the appendix or tonsils (why?), toes seem purposed for little in the human body (besides the big toe, which is good for balance I suppose).  But the rest of them?  My little toe, in particular, is so tiny that it seems destined to vanish as evolution progresses.  And besides, they get in the way of fabulous shoes.

There you have it, folks: Jaime’s Theory of Evolution — The End of Toes.

Unfortunately, as fate would have it, January has brought with it a renewed appreciation for and exasperation with toes, grounded very much in reality.

It wasn’t the distinct snapping sound that convinced me my toe was broken, although that certainly helped.  I have broken two bones in the past (my right leg, age 8, and my right foot, age 22), so I am all too familiar with the sudden tunneling of vision and the rising knot of nausea that signal the body retreating into shock mode.  It was these two sensations that sent me stumbling out of the children’s bedroom at 10pm and into the livingroom, where I declared: “I have just broken something in my foot.”

My husband looked up from the dishes in surprise.  He was at the scene of the crime when I broke my foot falling off a sidewalk in broad daylight in front of Buckingham Palace in a platform sandal, and he has witnessed my total lack of coordination at every turn during our almost-12-year marriage, but even he could not actually fathom that I would go in to check on the sleeping babes after dinner and come out…broken.

“Are you sure?”  he asked.
“I’m sure,” I said, sinking to the couch and putting my head between my knees.  He readied an ice pack and as we watched a taped episode of Downton Abbey the top of my foot became blueish-green and swollen.

The next morning I went to the ER.  “Maybe you’ll get lucky,” the radiologist chirped.  “Maybe it’s just a bad bruise.”
“It’s broken,” I replied flatly.

The on-call doctor confirmed my diagnosis: “You’ve done a number on it.  You have a spiral fracture.  There’s not much we can do.  Tape and a shoe-cast.  Crutches, at least for a week or so.”
“I’m a very active person!” I moaned, as he quietly checked the damage, nodding.  “I have two little children!” I pleaded, half-hoping that if I made a strong enough case he would fix it.  Right then.

“You’re going to need to rest it,” he said, all doctor-y.
“But how long?” I pressed.

He shrugged.  “Typical for a bone is 4-6 weeks before you’re good as new.  After about two weeks it will start to callous -”
“Two weeks, then?”
” – but you won’t be really ready for four weeks.”
“So maybe, in my case, like, three weeks?”
“It’s going to be at least four weeks.”

My God, why is everyone here so INFLEXIBLE?

The nurse produced the cast shoe.  “It’s very stylish,” she deadpanned.
“Don’t even joke,” I said, and started crying.  My mother had arrived at this point.  “She loves her shoes,” she explained quietly.  My dad shook his head in disbelief as I crutched out to the car and tumbled into the front seat, as I had done 17 years ago.

There are times in life where there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO.  That afternoon while my husband took the kids swimming, I sat on the couch, high on codeine and trying to follow the plot of Keeping Up with the Kardashians while wishing I had a glass of water.  It was not a pretty sight.  My crutches, which Babygirl had instantly appropriated and fashioned into a makeshift crib for her babies, lay splayed on the floor next to me.  There is dinner to prepare, there is fun to be had, there is a toddler to carry and a little boy to wrestle with and stilettos to rock…

“Let go,” my mom implored me.  “Just let go and rest.”
“Please just get better quickly,” my husband said.  “Please just do what they told you so you don’t make it worse.”
“You have to listen to the doctors,” stated my sister (who has had her ankle rebuilt and a foot surgery, so she gets it).

But it was my colleague who nailed it.  “Throw yourself that pity party, girl!” she exclaimed as I woefully looked at the next week at the office.  “Honor your feelings, buy some pity shoes, drink some pity wine, then be done.  Move on.”

One ankle-strap ballet flat and a few babysitters later, I’m off the crutches, limping around the playground, and recommitting to the blog.  The funk fog is lifting.

Two weeks to go.  Fortunately, my new shoes should be here in ten business days.

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