So… Em has injured her toe. Again. Doing something wild and crazy, of course. And, by wild and crazy, I mean walking down the hallway Thursday morning.
This time she recognized that her toe was dislocated and sat down to try to slide it back in. She found it immediately swollen and more bruised than last time. It also hurt significantly more than last time and it hurt well into the next day, before it finally settled down.
(These pictures were taken a few minutes after she noticed what was going on and the bruising and swelling actually worsened significantly through the afternoon.)
Anyway, my hubby took a look at it and confirmed what I was suspecting: Em likely has ‘turf toe’ – a condition that (typically) athletes get when the big toe is injured by a sudden hyperextension – jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the toe. It is a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe and, like any soft tissue injury, can take weeks to heal. (So, 3 weeks normal healing x twice the healing time as required by EDS = a month and a half recuperation for a toe injured while simply walking down the hall. Assuming she doesn’t re-injure the toe in the meantime, of course.)
The relevant point here, in my opinion, is that usually those athletes acquire this condition after some relatively traumatic injury, not walking down the hall. But, when you have EDS, simply walking can be pretty darn traumatic!
We are opting to treat her at home – after a day or so of rest (sort of), elevating it (occasionally) and icing (once in a while), the bruising and swelling quickly improved, so we don’t think she needs medical attention this time. Hubby (keep in mind that he is a physical therapy assistant and actually knows more about this stuff than simply googling it – unlike me) has decreed that Em needs to wear properly supportive shoes at all times instead of going barefooted all day long. She needs to protect and support that toe or she could end up with an unpleasant chronic injury. So, no more flip flops or sandals or bare tootsies. I really do not relish getting a referral to an ortho so we can get x-rays of her toe, so we will be diligently trying to prevent further problems. We may try taping her toe to provide more support but her skin doesn’t do well with tape so we will have to see how that goes.
In related news: We went shoe shopping yesterday, since she had outgrown her previous pair and we never got around to replacing them – what with ingrown toenails, an appendectomy, and the fact that she is 13 and really prefers flip flops anyway, regardless of the fact that they are horrible for her.
Now, you may or not be aware of how excruciating shoe shopping is for/with this child. If you are not aware, I will just say: it is and Saturday was no exception. However, in less than an hour (I think, it seemed like much longer tbh) she found a pair of shoes she could live with and I somehow managed to avoid telling the shoe store employee all about my child’s genetic condition. It took awhile but it could have been way worse.
Obviously, I lived through the ordeal and Em is fairly happy with her shoes, at least she wore them all evening without too much complaint. Although, at 9 pm, she suddenly complained that wearing her new shoes makes her tailbone slide around and hurt – I don’t even want to analyze that one, tbh. I think it is a coincidence, but who knows.
Hopefully, these shoes will protect her toe, prevent recurrent injuries and generally help her posture/alignment. Hopefully, we can avoid a doctor visit to deal with the toe and it just heals up with some TLC. And, last but certainly not least, hopefully we don’t have to go shoe shopping again any time soon!