The Granola Incident

On Sunday night I cut my heel. No big deal. I thought I stepped on a particularly pointy piece of granola since it’s the only thing I could find on the floor. I soaked my heel in hydrogen peroxide, rubbed some Neosporin, and put a little Hello Kitty band-aid on it. Healed? Basically.

It hurt pretty badly, so went to Urgent Care after work, but they had a two hour wait, so I left. I just had a paper cut on my heel. From a piece of granola. It’s fine.

I usually bus, metro, and walk 10 minutes to work. I balanced on one foot on the metro and took the shuttle form the metro to my office this week to avoid excessive walking. I couldn’t really put any weight on my heel, but I assumed that’s because, you know, cuts are sensitive. I got dinner with a couple friends, trekked over to Yogi Berry, loaded my car up with some furniture.

Five days went by. I was still limping around. Still hydrogen peroxide-ing. Still oozing… oozing? Gross. Infection.

I reluctantly went back to Urgent Care Friday morning just to get it checked out and make sure I was healing properly. They laughed at the little piece of granola I had in a plastic baggie and suggested an X-Ray. Two X-rays and a Tetanus shot later, we see that:

There is a radiopaque foreign body in the soft tissues along the posterior plantar surface of the calcaneus. This is a dense foreign body located approximately 3-4mm deep to the skin surface; the foreign body measures 5 x 2 x 2 mm.

They said it was either metal or a dense glass. They said they were going to have to take it out. I tried to hold it together but inside I was FREAKING OUT because I couldn’t see this little nugget of pain. It was IN my foot. And I’d been walking around D.C. for five days like I had a bad run in with a granola cluster.

Up until this point, I was proud of myself for making it through the Tetanus shot. My mom called me and told me to be brave and ask to lay down and I just cried because I hate pain. And blood. And people digging into my body.

Let me paint a picture for you. It takes THREE (3) people to assist in this 45 minute procedure. I laid on my stomach and buried my head in a pillow while they numbed my foot. One person’s job was to hold my legs down so I wouldn’t kick people. One persons job was, obviously, to use all tools at her disposal to remove mystery object from my foot. And the very kind X-ray technician’s job was to distract me with my chart… while I cried. And screamed. I wailed things like,

“I knoooow you’re doing a good job … but … this hurts really bad!”
“Ow. Ow. AHHHH!”
And then I sobbed. Like a five year old. Until they pulled it out and I screamed.

Then they had to FLUSH it which sounds cleansing and wonderful but that kind of hurt, too, since they had hold my foot open.

These people were amazing and patient and perfect and I would go back there for anything, but I hope this never happens to me again. While I was laying there they brought me this large yellow piece of bloody glass in a plastic bag and asked if I wanted to take it home. I nearly passed out at the sight of it. So, no, I didn’t bring it home with me.

It’s going to heal and I’m going to feel so much better soon. The moral of this story: wear shoes, and go to the doctor when you’re hurting.

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