As a child, I seriously believed that it was a time-honoured tradition, like Christmas or Leap Year or Daylight Savings, that one had an annual illness.
I was a sick kid. One year it was asthma attacks, then it was pneumonia, then it was chicken pox, then strep throat, and so on. Something different every year. My old medical charts read like the back of a baseball card.
I still recall the milky banana taste of liquid antibiotics with loving nostalgia.
Along with this, I was a klutz. I also believed it was a biannual tradition for one to break a bone.
My first break was an arm. I was five. I remember it fondly.
Mom was at the gym: called ‘Dynafit’ because this was 1989. She wore leg-warmers.
Dad had a friend over: probably talking about manly things like construction projects and football.
I even remember that I was wearing my Batman t-shirt.
Bri and I were practicing our gymnastics on the backyard swing set. We had unhooked the plastic swings, and were vaulting majestically from the picnic table to the metal bar, swinging ourselves like little gibbons across the yard.
Two years later, right on schedule, I broke my ankle roller skating at Stardust roller rink.
Two years after that, it was another ankle sprain. Two years after that, a rib.
So it goes.
I’ve been lucky this last couple of decades. I’ve dodged major illnesses and serious bone injuries.
Until a couple of weeks ago.
I can’t remember what I did to piss off karma, but Roommate Shannon (henceforth to be referred to as Dr. Roommate*) can probably fill in the details.
I was running from my bedroom into the living room and caught my pinkie toe on the edge of some vile, accursed piece of furniture.
The pain can only be described as… demonesque.
I actually screamed.
Within a day, the entire toe was bruised and swollen so badly it looked like Sloth from The Goonies.
But it was healing….
Then I did the Exact. Same. Thing.
At this point I forced my grotesque excuse for a foot upon Dr. Roommate, requesting her expertise on the matter. She looked at it, grimaced, poked it, then said something like, ‘It’s probably broken, but what are you gonna do?’
Then I moaned. And wept. And whined. And whined. And whined.
I had not been in this much physical pain since the last time I ate too much candy.
Dr. Roommate finally scolded me for whining so incessantly. It was deserved, to be sure, but I made a mental note regarding her bedside manner, just in case the hospital ever calls me for reference.
Everything would have been fine were it not for the fact that I had to bathe. Damn society and our contemporary standards of hygiene.
I had this giant bar of soap that I got for Christmas, you know, those ones that smell like some gawd-awful fruit and have bits of plants in them.
As I was in the shower, disposing of the filth of another day, the Chia-Pet soap slipped from my hands, tumbled like a boulder, and landed with what can only be described as blunt force trauma directly on The Toe.
No other part of my foot was struck.
Just. The. Toe.
I think I blacked out for a while.
Anyway, this was a week ago, and I’ve since started lashing The Toe to the rest of my foot with duct tape to prevent further damage.
That is why I have duct tape on my foot.
*Dr. Roommate is currently in the middle of med school and thus knows far more than me about anything even remotely health- or injury-related. She is the reason I am slowly becoming a hypochondriac. Sometimes she comes home and says random things like: “What has two thumbs and held a severed head today?” and she has made perfectly clear in many an innocent situation that she knows how to kill someone and dispose of a body in a way that no one would ever find it.
She is my most favourite roommate ever.