There was a time when I used to stub my toe a lot. Before most chairs and sofas touched the floor or carpet, and beds had side storage that meant there was no longer a gap underneath them. A really bad toe stub could have me hopping around as if the toe itself had been traumatically amputated, rather than just come into contact with a hard object.
Then for a long time, I forgot about toe stubbing completely.
For one thing, I moved to Beetley, and became a wearer of sheepskin-lined bootee slippers, with a hard rubber sole. I have written about this excellent style of footwear before, but the short version is that they are useful outdoors as well as in, and offer very good protection to the wearer.
There are few occasions now when they are not on my feet, except when out walking Ollie, shopping, or socialising. One of those occasions is when I go to bed of course, and the other is when I am having a bath.
Yesterday, I got my bath prepared, as I would soon be taking Ollie for his walk. For as long as I can remember, I have always entered a bath with my right leg first, then swung my left leg in before sitting down. For some unknown reason yesterday, I swappped legs. Without even realising it, I put my left leg in first, creating an awkward angle for the right one. As I swung that leg over into the water, I misjudged the proximity of the edge of the hard enamel bath rim, and stubbed my toes on it.
Note the plural. Toes. Not the conventional toe stub, usually involving just the big toe, oh no. The other four toes instead.
Now I know that I have recently postulated that my pain threshold has diminshed with age, but the sensation was absolute agony. If there was a swear box in the bathroom, I would have had to put enough in it to pay for a luxury short-break.
I dropped into the hot water, still cursing my lack of attention as I tried to commence my ablutions whilst occasionally yelling out loud with pain. By the time I was out, dried, and shaving, the throbbing felt like the podiatric version of a very bad tooth abscess. But Ollie had to go out, and the weather was lovely too.
I didn’t exactly hobble around on the dog-walk, but I tried to walk ‘heel-first’ on my right foot throughout.
By the time I got home, after two hours out and about, two of the four toes were purple with bruising, and they all still hurt. A lot.
Now THAT is what I call a ‘toe-stub’!