Sunday, November 14, 2010

Broken again

Through a combination of over-exuberance, sleep deprivation and arriving ahead of my competence, I did something horrible to my left big toe yesterday, gouging the nail and making the toe itself turn purple and swell up.

My Left Foot

I figured it was very badly bruised, but to be on the safe side I went down to the Ruttonjee hospital with my fiancee. We sat there for 90 minutes before seeing a doctor, who looked at my foot and remarked how bad it looked, then sent us down a freezing cold corridor to the x-ray room, and five minutes later we were looking at a picture of my damaged bone, and five minutes later we were being borne home by a taxi, hands full of anti-inflammatories.

Hong Kong public healthcare is pretty good; you pay 100 HKD as a resident, and that's it: no charge for examination, or photography, or for the drugs. I sort of thought this at the time, although I didn't really think much of anything, because my head was lolling to one side.

When I'm injured, I tend to get very sleepy and lose interest in the outside world, except as an abstract concept; so it was when I rode into a tree in Hokkaido thirteen years ago, so it was seven years ago when my car was totalled by a Czech lorry driver, and so it was while I sat in a wheelchair in the Ruttonjee.

The only things I did take account of, as I was wheeled through the hospital, is how being wheeled around immediately robs you of agency, of feeling you have any control over yourself. I suppose it's more convenient and safer than for me to be hobbling around and possibly falling over and making a mess, but inevitably you are accorded the same status as freight.

Also, as I was wheeled backward away from my fiancee, it was like a scene in half the zombie films I've ever watched. Would I only wake in a month's time, to find my foot healed but everyone a ravening beast?

Oh, and being moved around in a wheelchair makes you understand better the perspective of somebody several feet shorter than yourself. Which was nice.

Toe is out of action for six to eight weeks, so no martial arts, no running, no cycling, no exercise. I have a fear that I will start 2011 quite a bit heavier...


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