Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bad Things Come in Trees (or The Misadventures of My Feet)

It seems that whenever I go on an adventure, my feet suffer. There's of course the sore and tired feet from walking all day around capital cities and cobblestoned villages, around forested mountainsides and up cathedral towers. But that's all part of exploring. My latest foot disaster comes from a tree root in a carpark in Amsterdam. 
You could say I stubbed my toe on the uneven bricks that this tree root grew under, causing them to be considerably higher than the surrounding path. You could say it was the worst stubbed toe of my life. It hurt. I swore (sorry dad). I looked down and saw that the skin at the front of my toe was dangling off and already there was quite a lot of blood. We strung together the last three plasters we had to keep everything together until I could find a pharmacy, where I wrapped gauze around it until it resembled the toe of a fresh mummy. 
A visit to the doctor confirmed that it would be okay, and I should give it air to heal. At the same time, I had developed a bit of nasty contact dermatitis (an itchy rash) apparently from something I had touched. My feet we're not happy, but luckily healed without a hitch - aka no infection. 
Certainly the most painful of my foot injuries, it wasn't as scary as two years ago. On our first European road trip, I had caught an infection from a cut at the back of my foot from walking in bad shoes. My left foot swole to epic proportions. The doctor I tried to visit turned me away, saying I needed the hospital. Because of that, I will never again forget the Italian word ospedale. I am enamoured with the wonders of modern medicine, as the antibiotics worked a charm. Moral of the story: if you're going to be walking a lot, wear walking shoes. This may sound obvious to the more practical among my readers, but the truth is that I didn't want to look like a tourist. Trainers make you stand out from the crowd just as much as a camera dangling round your neck, a guidebook in your hand, and a fanny pack. 
And furthermore, just over our Christmas holiday, I scraped up my feet on the rocks of Stanmore Bay while having a swim. The deepest one has scarred, but I imagine it will heal with more time. 
Let's hope that my latest foot misadventure is the last.