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courtesy of Pixabay

A week from yesterday my husband called me into his office to look at something on his computer. On the way into the room I jammed my foot against the metal chair leg of my office chair, pitching me forward, toward the sharp corners of a metal file cabinet. I managed to catch myself before I fell into the furniture, saving my upper body from injury. The lower half wasn’t as lucky.

As a jolt of pain shot through my baby toe, I yelped out the name of a beaver’s home. The expletive came out before I could stop it.

Hubby peered around his computer monitor. “What did you do?”

“I hit my toe on the chair leg.”

“You okay?”

I limped into the chair. “I won’t know until the pain stops.”

“Sheesh, Catherine. Why don’t you watch where you’re going?”

“I would, if I could see my feet.”

“Why can’t you see your feet? I can see mine when I walk.”

Sounds logically enough, if you’re a man, and you don’t have a well-endowed front porch that blocks your vision from the chest down. And if your middle name isn’t Graceless. And if you haven’t run into chair legs so many times that it’s become a normal habit.

“I’ll be all right.” I pulled my computer screen closer so I could see. We have a double screen setup in his office.  “Now what did you want to show me?”

Half an hour later the pain had subsided, but there was still enough aching that I was pretty certain I was not going to be all right. I eased myself out of the chair and limped into the living room where I could get a better view of my foot. It hurt to walk.

“Honey,” I called. “You need to come look at this. I think I broke my toe … again.”

He obliged. After a quick look at my toe, he said with a cringe in his voice, “You really did a number on it this time. Your toenail is to the outside of the toe.”

“Nah,” I said. “It’s been like that since I broke it about twenty years ago. You should see how I have to contort my foot to clip that nail. But that…” I pointed to the way the toe was separated from the other digits. “That is not normal. I think you need to go down to the basement and get me one of the old rigid-soled walking shoes from the last time I broke a toe.”

“Do you want to get it x-rayed?” Hubby asked.

“I’ll wait until tomorrow. Our insurance will pay for an ER visit for an accidental injury up to 72 hours from the event.  And I sure didn’t plan to walk into this chair, so it’s an accident. It’s not hurting as much now. If the bruising is worse we’ll go in the morning. Besides, this isn’t my first broken toe rodeo. I know what to do.”

A few minutes later he came back up with three different walking shoes. “There’s also one that’s boot height and another that reaches to the knee. Which one do you want?”

“I’ve got five different broken-toe shoes? I had no idea we’d saved so many of them.” I grabbed the black shoe. “This one has a rubber sole. It will be safer to walk in on the linoleum floor.” Remember my middle name is Graceless, and the other shoes had hard plastic soles. I don’t know what the designer of those shoes was thinking, putting plastic on the bottom of a broken-foot shoe. “If the x-rays indicate I need one of the other types of walking boots, we’ll just come home and lace me into a taller version.”

As a purple bruise crept across my foot, I knew with certainty that’d I broken my left baby toe. The same one I’d broken in February of 2019 when I shattered my shoulder. I prayed the break wasn’t in the same place, or I’d be in the knee-high boot for eight weeks. I covered my toe in comfrey ointment to help the bruising, put on a tight sock to keep the toe aligned, and eased into the walking shoe.

The next morning the ER nurse was quite amused when I refused a wheelchair, saying, “I’ll walk. It doesn’t hurt, and this isn’t my first broken toe rodeo.”

Heck, over my life time it’s not my first broken anything rodeo. I’ve broken my right ankle; my right big toe (I dropped a bowling ball on that and still bowled three games.); my right baby toe twice, once on the morning I was supposed to get surgery on my knee;  my left baby toe twice, my shoulder, and my right arm. And yes, the right is my dominant side.  My husband who played softball and purposely dove head first and slid feet first into bases and other ball players has never broken a single bone. But then he can see his feet.

Fortunately this break wasn’t bad or in a spot that gets a lot of pressure when I walk, which is why it doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, I was only 33 days away from making it a full year since my last bone break on October 19, 2019. The ER doctor said I’d probably have to only wear the shoe for 4 to 6 weeks. Since I never wear heels it won’t cut into my fashion sense too much. And it gives me an excuse to toodle around the grocery store in a motorized cart. That’s a much cooler option for shopping, when you’re wearing those lovely COVID masks, than trudging around the aisle breathing in your own carbon dioxide, getting lightheaded from the fumes.

And do you want to know the really funny part? All three of the old walking shoes came apart after only three days of use. Two came apart while I was out shopping. I had to Frankenstein walk to the car, dragging my left foot behind me so I wouldn’t end up barefooted. The rubber-soled shoe cracked right where my toe needed to be supported. We spent our own dime—or rather dollars—on a new walking shoe.

I just hope this walking shoe sits so long in the basement that it falls apart before I need it again.

No! Wait! I hope I never need it again!

Oh, and don’t feel bad if you’re laughing at me. I laugh at me all the time.


What about you? Do you have your own broken toe stories you’d like to share?



Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances and loves writing humor. Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.


Check out Catherine’s romantic comedy with a touch of drama A Groom for Mama. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.