10. Hair on toes grosses people out. Its like finger knuckle hair, or stray eyebrows, or lady upper lipness. Everyone has it, its designed to keep you warm, and to embarass you. Nobody wants it. When I whip out my toe to show people, I have discovered that while they are oohing and aahing over the black and blue and nail splitting, they are silently staring at my tiny toe hairs. At least, the adults are silent, my students are more like “hey! you have toe hair! I do, too!” And then I have to stop them from taking their shoes off in my classroom.

9. Its the little things that count. I damaged one toe, just like .4% of my body, and my entire daily routine has changed until this thing heals. I walk funny, everything takes longer. If I drop something, I have to overthink how I’m going to get down on the floor and get it and get back up without toe-damage. I had no idea how hard my toe was working to keep me balanced until I couldn’t rely on it! I am now about fifteen minutes late to everything. Which needs to be added to the ten minutes late I normally am to everything, for a total of….almost never even showing up.

8. Everyone has a broken toe or broken finger story. Toes are a huge conversation starter. The junior highers come up with at least five stories everyday they have to tell me, either about themselves or their mom or uncle, or people I’m sure they’re making up.

7. People love to look at gross stuff. My toe is swollen to the point where the skin looks like it would split open at the touch, with an inky blood stain underneath. I love gross things like zits and scabs, and even though it hurts to the touch, I can’t help taking my sock off and touching the nail ever so gently, asking everyone who walks by if they want to see it.

6. Toe jokes are funny. “Neat-toe.” “This little piggy…” ” Toe-tally.” They’re cracking me up.

5. I have a whole new respect for people with easily detected physical disabilities. People were looking at me funny at the Giants game as I limped along, and they give you a wide berth, as if your deformity is contagious. It takes a strong person to endure the staring.

4. When it rains, it pours. But luckily its not pouring big things, just tons of little annoying things. I had the toe thing, the very next morning I had to lead Chapel at my school with like no sleep and then lots of pain meds. Then Monday am, I went to work and my computer was completely dead. Then the band is rehearsing for their concert on the stage below my room, which feels like its in my room. And every once in a while, a clarinet player farts out a weird sound, or they all have to tune and warm up for an hour, as I’m in the middle of a lesson. It’s a bunch of little, stupid things, and all I can do is laugh.

3. I miss working out! I had just started being able to run longer distances without stopping (just like 3 miles at a time) and then toe. Its been five days, and my legs feel restless.

2. No matter how old you are, when you’re hurt, you still want your mom.

1. People can be really nice when you’re hurt. Its just a silly hurt toe. I know I have zero pain threshold and people are probably also making fun of me, but they’re also holding doors open, offering to bring me groceries if it hurts too much to walk around, loaning me crutches, and one student even wrote me a poem. Of course, another student, in his eagerness to come hug me, tripped over someone’s foot and instead landed smack on my toe, and it was all I could do to hold in the really bad word that wanted to fly out in his direction. But I did  hold it in, so that was good.

These are in no particular order. I realize I sound a little whiny. I miss my healthy toe. And I promise to be more appreciative about my toe when it returns. Please return soon.

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