Being a parent is dangerous work. I was trying to tidy up the disaster area that is our house when, with an armful of things to put away, I went careening to the floor while a sharp pain went flying up my leg.
I had tripped on some toys. It's not the first time that's happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last. It's just one of the perils of parenthood.
If my arms hadn't been so full, I might have seen the basket full of play-kitchen goodies left in the middle of the hall, but the floor was a veritable minefield of plastic booby traps, so it's likely I would have slipped, tripped, or mangled my foot on something no matter how closely I looked.
I roared out in pain and frustration, hobbling around the house dodging the hundreds of plunge-inducing playthings in my path. My toe did not feel the way it should, and it began to acquire the kind of deep, purple colouration that one often finds on regal garments and grape-flavoured candy. It started to swell almost immediately.
So much for that kicksled ride I'd been looking forward to.
I put my foot up for half-an-hour in hopes that the swelling would abate. When it didn't, Fawn ushered me off to the hospital. I protested a little, saying that I didn't think it was broken, but Fawn made the point that it was better to be sure - just in case it was broken and some other sort of problem might arise because of that.
I was ushered right into an examining room. It was a quiet day at the hospital, not that the wait is ever long here. It's just one of the many benefits to living in the Yukon's capital city.
When the doctor came in, she asked, "Are you the one that tripped on a toy?" She said it in an "it's all part of the routine" kind of way.
"I'm guessing you see that a lot?" I asked.
She nodded and indicated that it happens more often that I would believe.
She asked which toe it was, but I didn't need to answer. The purple-ness gave it away. She wiggled my toes and did the same to the purple one, squeezing it this way and that. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, to say the least, but I let her wiggle away.
She was fascinated by my tips of my toes. The very tips of my toes bend in either direction (I can't make them bend back by themselves, it's just something they do naturally when I'm standing - or when someone bends them backward). I thought this was normal of all toes. Apparently not. I now know that I have mutantish, double-jointey toes.
"Well," she explained, "Whether it's broken or not, the treatment is the same. We'll tape it to the toe that's next to it to act as a splint..."
That worked for me.
"...but maybe we'll do the X-ray anyway."
"But if the treatment is the same, then we don't really need to bother, do we?" I asked.
"We'll do it for your wife."
Deferring to her sound medical expertise, I was led to the X-ray room.
The X-ray-ologist maneuvered me into position then draped a small, lead blanket over the bottom of my stomach. Now, I'm no radiologist, but I'm pretty certain that the lead blanket was supposed to cover my reproductive organs - but it wasn't shielding the parts that really mattered. I am also fairly certain that I don't have ovaries, which, had I ovaries to worry about, I could have rested comfortably knowing they were safe and sound. I was concerned. Surely, someone who performs X-rays would have a sound understanding of anatomy?
I slid the blanket into a somewhat lower position, still concerned that the little lead blanket was not up to the job.
As I lay there while getting bombarded with radiation, I began to wonder if this was all part of some modern "natural" birth control system. A parent gets injured, gets X-rayed, becomes sterile, and there you have it! No more kids!
Several angles later, the X-rays were complete.
Back in the examination room, the doctor happily wiggled my toes some more, marveling at their freakishness, while she broke the news. My toe bones weren't broken - just bruised. I hobbled home, taped my toes together, and have been admiring the bruised one's purpliness ever since.
Whether or not the kids will ever have another sibling is yet to be determined. If they want one, they had better clean up their toys.