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“Who’s next? Foot pain?”

Two-and-a-half hours in the emergency room wasn’t that bad, considering the relative nonemergency of my complaint. I was referred to by the nurses and technicians as “foot pain.” When the resident came in, he prodded my foot while a medical student looked on. When I went for my X-rays, the radiology technicians laughed and said my story wasn’t nearly as ridiculous as the guy last week who broke his ankle playing frisbee golf. But falling out of a dumpster isn’t that much better a story: at church this morning, everyone saw me limp, and one-by-one they asked, “What happened?”

“I fell out of a dumpster.”

“What were you doing in a dumpster?”

“Looking for boxes.”

“There are much better places to get boxes, you know.”

Such is what counts for wisdom in the Midwest. Had Solomon been from Iowa Proverbs would have been a tenth as long and every aphorism would have been some variation on “You live and you learn” and “You shouldn’t have gone there to do that.” The beauty of such wisdom is that, indeed, there are better places to get boxes. My work, for example, ships lots of stuff nationwide and uses boxes to do it. My boss has been telling me for weeks that somewhere on campus there is a place I could get my box fix, if only I would call the right building and ask. But I have been busy, and as of Tuesday night, I had not yet called, and we needed boxes then, you know?

Besides, in my defense the dumpster I fell out of isn’t a bad place to get boxes. It is the corrugated cardboard dumpster at the recyle center, after all, where there are piles upon piles of boxes ripe for the taking. Regardless, I fell out of it, and while the swelling had subsided, my foot still hurt almost as much as it did Wednesday, and this morning my toes and my ankle were bruised. I complained a while to K, who finally convinced me that it would be a good idea to the emergency room.

Turns out I have an avulsion on my fifth metatarsal, which is to say a tendon pulled away a tiny chunk of my footbone. The resident gave me a big boot to wear for a week, told me to take more ibuprofen, and sent me home.

Das boot!



ah, man!

no invasive surgery?

may it not be!

good thing you have k aroung, or i doubt you’d’ve gone to the emergency room.

you can say that again! :)

I know, I’m disappointed about the absence of surgery too. Now that I’ve got all this health insurance, I want to USE IT, dammit!

Not really.

Every step I take sounds like ripping velcro.

First, apologies for my absence from these comments. . . summer reading, Tour de Wyoming, forest fires, hiking, National Day of the American Cowboy, interrupted internet access—it’s been a busy few weeks.

Second, my condolences both on the breakage and on the lack of surgery. If you need boxes, my mom probably still has some that I didn’t take to Wyoming. Of course, she’ll probably want them back.

I have never injured myself doing something interesting. I fell off my bike in my own front driveway (8 stitches in my forehead), fell over in my friend’s front hall (knee dislocation #1), and slipped while moving out of the basement of that very house on Iowa Ave (knee dislocation #2). Eventually I just started, when asked how I’d hurt myself, quoting a guy I knew at UAY, who would say, when asked about his broken arm, “Tried to fly.” When pressed further, he’d say, “Flying was fine. Landing was a bitch.’