My Big Broken Toe – Photos for Friends

Recently I celebrated the 3 year anniversary of The Big Toe Break, or “compound fracture” as it’s medically called. I always thought a fracture was a crack, but now I know it’s a break. And a compound fracture means the skin was broken. Mine was definitely a compound fracture. I guess if you’re going to do something, do it all the way!

Freshly wrapped after my first follow-up visit.

Freshly wrapped after my first follow-up visit.

As I hit the 3 year mark for my little incident, I asked my FB friends who wanted to see the pictures again. Many of them had told me how much they’d enjoyed them the first time around, and I wanted them to have the opportunity to enjoy them again! Yes, I’m that generous! I received mixed responses from said friends, so my compromise is to post the photos here and let the brave look and the weak pass. I’ve made the photos thumbnail sized so the scary ones won’t jump out and poke you in the eye. Don’t open them if you don’t want to look! If you’re like me, though, you’ll be eagerly enlarging them. 😉

I broke my big toe a week after I tested for Shodan. Prior to my test I was tired and klutzy, so I was extra careful about anything I did in class. The week after my test I was still tired and klutzy, but was no longer wrapped in bubble wrap and wasn’t as cautious since the test was already over.

I was doing a leg sweep in Black Belt Class. You wouldn’t think throwing someone else would be trouble, but that’s how I broke my toe! I planted my foot behind my uke, Andy, then stopped to think about what I was doing, and after a few seconds continued with the sweep.

I really should have started all over again, but now I’m just Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

I’m not exactly sure what happened but somehow when I took Andy down I went with him. He jumped up and I rolled over and sat up on my knees. Kyoshi asked if we were OK. I said I was, but thought I jacked up my toe. It didn’t hurt but it felt a little funny. No big deal, or so I thought, until I heard one of the students behind me say, “Um, there’s blood.” Well, that got everyone’s attention, including mine!

Broken Toe

Newly broken and on the way to the hospital.

I wanted to turn around to see it but the other students were reluctant to let me look. Finally they let me turn around, but someone pulled my shoulders against their legs to support me. I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I saw!

Contrary to freaking out, I was really curious. I’d never seen anything like that in my life and I wanted to look at it more closely! I’m pretty sure I could work in an emergency room or trauma unit and hold it together. I wasn’t in pain, so I was more curious than anything.

Well, the guys only let me look at it for so long and then it was decided that a) I should stop bleeding all over the mats; and b) someone should take me to the emergency room. They wrapped my foot in paper towels, put a mat on the floor of a truck, and Uke Andy became Ambulance Driver Andy.

But before I would get in the car I insisted someone take pictures of my toe. (I learned that from another Black Belt who insisted on taking pictures of the gash above his eye before he went to the ER. See? The advanced students teach us more than just karate!)

After checking my crazy-level to see if I was serious, Kyoshi used my phone to take a few photos. Aren’t you glad? Personally, I think they’re pretty good shots and the color was quite vivid! I was even asked a couple of days later asking if the photos had been photo-shopped as an April Fool’s Day joke (I broke it on March 31st).

Well, long story still long, after a couple of delays due to “real” incoming traumas, I was put under and the doctor got to work. He put in a pin to hold the bone steady and a long stitch to close up the rip.

Broken Toe

After the stitch was removed. The pin had to stay in another week – the bone wasn’t healed enough.

The pin was in for a few weeks, the stitch not so long. I was in a boot for 6 weeks, which I did not enjoy. I blinged out my boot because it was ugly, and I became known at the podiatrist’s office as The Girl with the Blinged Boot.

Three years later, I have nearly full range of motion in my toe. It looks straight but it doesn’t bend all the way. I can tell when a storm is coming in by the ache. Sometimes it hurts after I work out on the mats. But for the most part, it’s more normal than I had hoped.

The podiatrist was amazing! Despite being pulled off the golf course to attend to me, he took great care of me. He told me, “You are one lucky lady!” I agree. Lucky to have an amazing podiatrist, lucky to be healed.

I’ll just leave these here. Enjoy!  😉

Broken Big Toe

I posted this to FB. Didn’t look so bad on my little phone screen but it grossed out more than a couple of people.  🙂 I didn’t realize you could see the bone sticking out!

Broken Toe (Compound Fracture)


Broken Toe - Waiting in the ER

Waiting in the ER. It didn’t hurt until the doctor stuck a needle in my toe to numb the pain.


Party in the ER! My son (sorry I ruined your golf plans!) and Karate friends.

Broken Big Toe - Healing!

After the pin was pulled. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Broken Big Toe

Underside of the toe

Broken Toe - Follow up visit #1

First follow up visit when I got a look at the post-surgery toe. Pin and stitch still intact. So is my pedi! 😉

Broken toe in the boot (pre-bling).

Home, Sweet Home with my really lovely boot and a hospital sock!


Get Well Package from the Sisters

Get Well Package from my sisters made me smile!









Bows and Curtsies

Saturday afternoon I was at the pre-black belt test workout. The focus was self-defense, so we worked our sets for close to 2 hours.

At one point Hanshi (9th degree, head of our system and my karate grand-daddy) stopped to watch one of my sets.

Hanshi: That looked good!

Me: Thank you, Sir. And I curtsied. Curtsied!

Hanshi: Don’t curtsy when I compliment you!

Me: Sorry, Sir. Thank you, Sir! And I bowed, just like I was supposed to.  😉


Prepping for Black Belt Class

Tomorrow is Saturday and Saturday means Black Belt Class. At the crack of dawn. 8:00. In the MORNING! Crazy.

I have never been a morning person. Ever. It’s hard enough to get my brain going early in the morning (and usually I don’t even try), much less get my body moving. I’m not coherent before mid-morning.

So how does a girl who rarely makes it to work before 8:30/8:45ish manage to attend an 8 am class? I bet my boss is wondering the same thing! I don’t think she reads my blogs so this will stay just between us.  😉

It’s all in the prep! Before I go to bed I will choose what I’m wearing for class, as well as what I’m wearing for the commute. I’ll lay out exactly what goes on my body after my shower and pack everything else in my gym bag.

Sadly, even this plan isn’t fail proof, as one time I got to the dojo and didn’t have my gi, but Hanshi was kind enough to lend me one of his. I was hoping for some 9th Degree Black Belt mojo in that borrowed gi but that morning I learned the mojo is in the person, not the cotton. 🙂

I’ll put my gym bag, weapons and water jug at the top of the stairs so I don’t leave without them. I really am that muzzy in the morning! If I didn’t put things where I’d trip over them, they’d be left behind. Tonight I’ll pack a couple of snacks for the morning and put protein powder in the shaker. Blended protein shakes take an extra 5 minutes, which is asking a bit much of me in the morning so I’ll have the not-so-tasty shaken shake.

Before I go to bed I’ll set my usual 3 alarms – 1 with music, 2 with annoying tones. Speaking of annoying tones, it might be time to change those up; I’m becoming immune to them. And then I will attempt to go to bed earlier than my normal 11:30 pm and please, please, please beg the sleep fairy to visit.

Tomorrow, when all 3 alarms have gone off and I’ve hit all the Snooze buttons too many times, I’ll drag my butt out of bed, take a shower so I can be clean before I get all sweaty, pop some Aleve and slurp a protein shake on the way to the dojo. I’ll be Little Miss Sunshine when I arrive, and all the other students will be joyous to see me! Well, maybe “joyous” is a bit too enthusiastic, but hey – a girl can hope, right?

Now that I read all that, it seems like a LOT of work just to over-exert myself at some crazy-early hour! But it’s two months to my next Black Belt Test and I need the extra workout. Just to make sure I get there, I’ve got some incentives. After class I’ll reward myself with a pedi and a massage on Sunday. And maybe a nap. Most likely a nap!

Not the sharpest kama on the mat…

I’m not the sharpest kama on the mat at 8 am, so I’m quite gleeful that I made it through classes this morning in one piece.

I did not block with my face, did not spear my brain with my sai, and did not hurt myself in any manner.

There was a moment when I turned on the mat and tripped on my own feet. Happily, I stayed upright and no toes or ankles were injured.  🙂

What a difference…

I went to the Hombu for Hanshi’s classes tonight. I’m happy to report my bad attitude did not attend with me. 🙂

I led warm-ups for the Family Open class and, oh gee – I must have forgotten to have everyone do push-ups!  <wink! wink!>

I learned a new kata in Brown & Black Belt class, which was encouraging, then got some focused attention from Hanshi on my newest bo kata in Weapons class.

Overall, it was a great night of classes and I’m feeling pretty good.

What a difference a day makes!

My Love / Hate Relationship with Black Belt Class

I have a LOVE / Hate relationship with 8 am Black Belt Class.


LOVE: Black Belt Class

Hate: Getting up at 6 am to be there by 8. Ugh.


LOVE:  Being the dumbest (aka lowest rank) in class.

Hate: Being the dumbest in class.


LOVE: Learning new and different concepts.

Hate: Being so slow to pick up on new things because I’m not awake yet.


LOVE: Getting my workout done before noon.

Hate: Trying to get my protesting, crunchy body to move before it’s ready.


LOVE: Having Hanshi tweak my techniques.

LOVE: Working out with the advanced belts.

LOVE: Seeing friends at the hombu.


The LOVE far outweighs the Hate. Guess I’ll set my alarm and go back once in awhile.  ;-D

No, No, No!

I made it through both black belt class and jujitsu this morning with no broken bones and no blood escaping my body. Whew!

I taped my big toe to the next toe, and even though it was a bit uncomfortable, it didn’t get caught in the mat when I turned in kata or during takedowns in jujitsu.


  • No broken toes.
  • No blood on the mats.
  • No ride to the ER with Ambulance Driver Andy.
  • No text to my kids saying “Look what mama did! Come get me.”
  • No calls to a friend requesting he bring my gym bag to the hospital.
  • No toe surgery.
  • No bugging someone to bring my car home for me.

This is one of those times when a bunch of Nos add up to a huge Yes. I’m back!!

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

In just a few hours I will be back on the mat at the hombu!

Although I’ve been working out with our karate club at the office, this will be the first time I’ve worked out on the mats in 7 months.

I admit I’m a little nervous. The last time I was at Black Belt Class I just about ripped my big toe off trying to throw someone. My toe has healed thanks to a great podiatrist (check out the picture!), and it’s time for me to work out on the mats again. If I don’t, I may never get back out there! Just the thought of getting my toe caught in the mat makes me cringe.  Ewww!

Broken Toe - It's healed! I did some drills on the mat at a recent clinic, but not a full, hard work-out. I noticed that I turned more slowly out of caution (and fear- ha!), and I may have developed a tendency to turn on my heel instead of the ball of my foot.

My plan is to take it easy, see how it feels, and try to do things properly, even if I’m slow.I’m not sure I’ll have a partner for self-defense drills, though – my last partner had to drive me to the emergency room. (Sorry, Andy!)

I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be, so tomorrow’s the big day. Fingers crossed that I don’t end up at the ER again. If I do, though, I’ll be sure to have someone take a picture before I go. Oh, and I have a fresh pedi in honor of the occasion – because you just never know when you’ll have a surprise toe surgery and can’t get a fresh paint job for a couple of months!

Miss Morning Person goes to Saturday Morning Karate

An encore post from Colahan’s Martial Arts, January 22, 2011

5:45 am – The alarms are going off already? Crap. What meetings do I have today? Do I have to be in at 8 or is 8:30 acceptable?

5:46 am – Wait – it’s Saturday; no meetings today. Good! But I am going to the hombu, and classes start at 8.

7:14 am – If this car in front of me doesn’t move it, I’m going to be late. Goody – now that I can pass, they decided to drive over the speed limit.

7:50 am – “Good Morning, Michele!!”  Yippie. Sensei’s wide awake. This does not bode well for the workout.

8:03 am – A young Gumby is leading warm-ups. Hope we stretch!

8:12 am – Drills up and down the floor, and Miss Morning Person is not even awake yet.

8:36 am – What am I – crazy???

8:50 am – Kata, self-defense, kata, self-defense…

9:09 am – How many more minutes in this class? I can hardly hold my arms up.

9:25 am – I’m done. Brown/Black Belt class is almost over.

9:58 am – Watching jujitsu and wishing I was doing the class too. Paying attention and learning a couple things from my seat in the Peanut Gallery.

10:30 am – Family open class. This time Miss Morning Person’s leading warm-ups; we stretch.

10:35 am – 50 more crunches, 40 more push-ups.

10:50 am – More kata. Kata is deceptive – looks not-so-bad, but is quite the cardio event.

11:15 am – Self defense with Lauren and laughing because she has the funniest hiccups I’ve ever heard!

11:30 am—Gearing up for sparring. I have lots of padding because I have lots of me, so it takes awhile.

12:00 – Ruben beats me up. What is he – 7? 9? He’s a little gizmo – full of pep.

12:16 pm – Sparring class over. I survived intact.

1:15 pm – Lunch with friends. Conversation about karate and life.

4:00 pm – At the gym, sitting in the hot tub and thinking to myself, “Yeah, this has been a good day! When can I do it again?”