Hit the (prosthetic? toe) nail on the head

Sort of a belated Fourth of July thing happening this weekend brought us to pals Jentry and Markus’ parents’ place in Hirschau for an evening of grilling and breeze shooting with a number our English-language Regensburg peeps. Note: it’s interesting to see how the alliances flesh out at one of these types parties when you’ve got Northern-Irish-married-to-Irish, American, and English types present for an independence celebration (I would have enjoyed some other colonial representation in the mix, but maybe next year). We rented a car and drove up. I almost parked in front of this sign (pictured). At the start of the evening I would have been an inconsiderate, improper driver, but by the end of the evening, I would have qualified for that parking spot a tiny bit more.* The squeamish are advised to continue reading the rest of this post at their own risk!

The evening was going swimmingly with exactly the kind of joyous chaos we’d come to expect at Jentry’s In-Laws’ Party Barn® over the last few years: screaming kids of all ages, 15 conversations between 5 adults happening concurrently, and tough decisions about how to spend that precious belly real estate, given all the homemade and military-base-only items to choose from (I drank my first Dr Pepper in recent memory, and OMG was that good). The evening’s culinary Tour de Force were the beef loin steaks someone managed to procure from a PX. Markus grilled them expertly (I helped a little to give him a chance to eat), and once everyone was pretty much sated already, he brought out this monster Porterhouse. I wanted to snap a picture of it, but was a little late off the mark — he’d already cut half of it off the bone.

It was at this point that he sat down on the far end of the bench to dig in. Somehow he lost his balance, or expected there to be enough counterweight on the bench support him — but there wasn’t. The free end of the bench launched into the air and Markus landed in a heap on the floor of the barn. My hands were still full of camera, but I tried to stabilize the bench with my legs, so that we could put it down gently.

Unfortunately I misjudged the weight of the bench and couldn’t hold it. It tumbled forward and the edge of the bench smashed down onto my left big toe. I yelled quite loudly, but didn’t realize I had more than a bruise waiting for me until Sarah noticed some blood on my foot and my toenail oddly askew on top of — opposed to being part of — my toe.

It was pretty gross. We realized quickly that I’d need some professional medical attention. Markus drove me and Sarah to the nearest urgent-care clinic in Amberg, where I did a lot of sitting around. There was a fest in Amberg going on that evening, and Markus accurately predicted that we were just the first of many party-related patients there that evening. But as opposed to those revelers, alcohol was not a factor in my injury. Once the clinic staff figured out that we weren’t coming from the fest, they lightened up the bedside manner a bit (I just told them a Bierbank fell on my foot, and I think they assumed I was one of the morons whooping it up at the fest and causing extra work for them). They complimented me on how professionally I managed to break the toenail clean off. Had the nail been unusable, they would have had to mold me a prosthetic one to shield my vulnerable toe flesh from possible bone infection. So they numbed my big toe up, set my very own nail in place, stitched it in nice and straight, wrapped me up, and sent me on my way.

In about 10 days, I’m going to need to have those stitches removed, allowing my toenail’s Nachwuchs to slowly force its predecessor out, like a glacier reaching the sea.

*Yeah, I’ve got a gimpy foot for a few weeks, and it might mess with our upcoming vacation. But it’s not anywhere close to comparable with “behindert.”

I love this word for “offspring”: “after growth.” Most people use it somewhat figuratively to refer to their kids. I love how literally it applies to my own next toenail generation in this case.

12 thoughts on “Hit the (prosthetic? toe) nail on the head”

  1. CN Heidelberg

    oh god….i had to stop reading halfway through so I’m not totally sure what happened but it looks like you still have your toe, so I’m glad for that! Get well soon!

    1. Sarah

      Yeah, there’s something about nail injuries that is deeply unsettling. Teeth and eye stuff, too.

      I haven’t looked at it since the initial injury. I can’t. I feel like a very bad wife.

  2. Ann

    It was nasty! Even when they said, “don’t look” – we looked – and wished we hadn’t. Can’t believe the ONE time I get a chance to chat with you – you guys had to leave. Hopefully we’ll have another night – where no toe nails are injured – to enjoy some cocktails and conversation. Hope you’re healing pain free!

  3. Anne

    Ouch! That hurts to even think about, which I’m sure is a just a small fraction of what you’re feeling! Hope you get better soon!

  4. Mom

    Ow ow ow! Grimace! You’re not a bad wife any more than I am a bad mom, Sarah, but this is where distance is helpful. I can’t even hold the thought in my head. Yuck! Ouch!

    Do you have to wear sandals to work, Cliff? Watch out for infection and rest up for vacation.


  5. cliff1976

    Hallo die Damen,

    Thanks for the well-wishing. I get to wear sandals to work now. I won’t fit in any shoes yet. I had a business trip to Nürnberg today that went just fine — no trampling on the train, which was one of my fears. The pain is a little less every day, and I haven’t felt compelled yet to take an aspirin or Aleve or paracetamol or anything like that. I can’t walk at full speed yet, but I’m getting quicker all the time.

    The uncovered foot looks pretty grody still, but it’s tons better than Saturday night. I took a picture this morning for anyone who wants to see what stitches through the nail look like.

    The clinic staff warned me not to look while they were setting the nail and stitching it in, but I explained that I’m OK with stuff like that (why not, as long as the anesthaesia had kicked in?) and that I have my gall stones at home in a jar on a shelf above my desk. They stopped warning me after that.

  6. Jentry

    It was pretty nasty. I’m glad you were able to have a bit of fun throughout this ordeal. I promise, next year, no injuries…ok, hopefully no injuries. Something seems to happen every year…not necessarily injury wise, but something seems to go amiss.

    I’m glad the Golden Toe is feeling better. ;)

  7. Steven

    Ye gods, that sounds like not a lot of fun. I’m glad you aren’t permanently damaged.

  8. German Gems

    Glad you’re feeling better

  9. Leeuwarden | Regensblog

    […] And for low angles like that, my tripod looks more like one of those pronged walking canes. And my toe is still bandaged. So I guess it’s no surprise that the friendly Leeuwarden police drove up […]

  10. […] around town to snag some kitchen equipment from local pal Penny, whom we hadn’t seen since The Magic Toenail Incident. Hunger struck and we stopped in. The clouds in the night sky were a little ominous, but moving […]

  11. […] to Hirschau for the Annual Jentry‘s Throwin’ A Party! party. (This is the same party as last year around this time, to which I now refer as The Toenail Party). We rented a car from Sixt, who have […]

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