Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Dose of Misery

     As of last month, my Summer was going great! I woke up at five thirty every morning; I then practiced my instrument, got ready, and went straight to 7:00 marching band. Everything was going great! I got to see my friends occasionally (which was more than during the busy school season,) and everything just seemed to be going so well. When disaster struck a fatal blow to my Summer. I received my nastiest most crippling injury in my life.

     The way I'm going to describe it probably won't sound bad, but everyone is shocked by what my foot actually looks like now. Almost every layer of skin on my left foot was scraped off, and on the right I have blisters the size of Texas. Now you are probably in curious shock, "What were you doing?!?" It all starts and end with two words "marching band."

     Some kids think that "band kids" are "nerds." I disagree strongly with that (well maybe because I'm in the band,) but our dorky outfits for band prove that common stereotype. We wear these scientific shirts that say "Matter" and underneath it says "Vapor, Liquid, Solid." Well that is just the first bit, we must tuck the shirts into our brown Davis High shorts! Yet that's not the worst part, it's the shoes! They look like something my brother would wear to church, and they are the most uncomfortable shoes that I've been forced to wear (well they're the only shoes I've ever been forced to wear, but still.) When I ordered my shoes I thought I'd have no problem wearing my normal shoe size 6 1/2, boy was I wrong! I picked up the shoes in the band room and tried them on. They were about an inch longer than my foot, but that didn't seem to be the problem. They were so narrow! Looking at my friend Aubree as I tied my shoe laces I inquired, "Wow, Aub, are these supposed to be so tight? I have duck feet!" She merely replied, "Yeah, that's how they all are! That's how they're supposed to be!" Putting my faith in her I took the shoes home.

     That's where the injury came from, my little marching band shoes. I was trying to break them in on Monday during the parade route. Little did I realize that that was a horrible idea! I've never really worn anything other than tennis shoes! So I marched along in the neighborhood next to Barnes Park for about an hour enduring a pain that I'd never felt before in my life.

     I was walking along next to my friend Jason in the parade, and I was not having very much fun. My feet seemed to be on fire from the sun! It was about 100 degrees that day, and I was feeling the heat on my feet. Or so I thought. Steadily the heat rose in my foot, but I wasn't about to break every rule I'd learned in marching band. Rule #1 was not to break attention, ever. That meant no looking around, or breaking out of line. The heat went on for about 45 minutes, when I realized it wasn't heat, it was pure pain! I tried not to limp, I tried to look up and stay in my line, until I couldn't stand it anymore. Like many people who had messed up during a song, I ran to the side of the road and did push ups. I forced myself to do push ups for not walking in the rank very well, then I would try to adjust my socks a little. Adjusting socks didn't help, and it hurt even worse when I had to run the length of a football field to get back in my position.

     When the pain was about to make me scream, I gave up. I sprinted to the side and tore my shoes off. Tying them together, I slung them over my shoulder and ran back into position next to my fellow baritone players. Jason laughed at me, "Why were you doing push ups?" I just whispered back, "Well.... For multiple reasons." Not wanting to get caught talking, I rejoiced in the freedom of my aching foot, then continued marching the next hour.

     When we got back to Barnes Park, I decided to assess the damage... I could never have imagined the pain that I'd forced myself to endure. I thought it was just the sun! So I lifted my sock up a ways and looked down. Jason was still standing next to me, and you should've seen the look on his face, "Oh, woah, ow!" I closed my eyes trying not to throw up and disgustedly repeated the last word Jason had said, "Ow....."

     When I got home I took my socks off and called down the stairs to my brother. "Mitch, it's practically eleven o'clock! Wake up!" He woke up and came up the stairs. I told him what had happened and showed him my lovely foot. His eyes practically popped out of his head. "I'm calling mom, now!" So my brother called my mom, "Mom, Beth has really bad blisters...." my mom was at work in Salt Lake, "Okay I'll do what I can when I get home, Mitch, there's nothing I can do from here."

     When my mom came home she demanded to see my foot. I calmly obliged, and all calmness was instantly extinguished, "OH MY GOSH!!!! Oh eww!!!! Beth, what the heck did you do?!? This isn't a blister, this moleskin isn't going to cut it! We are taking you to the doctor, now!" Hating to go to the doctor, I tried to reason with my mom, "What?!? The doctor? Isn't that a little drastic mom? It's not THAT bad." my mom's reply seemed a lot less enthusiastic than mine, "Don't get me started!" So with that being said, I was taken to a medical clinic.

     When we got there, my mom offered me help walking to the door. "Do you need help walking?" still refusing to think my injuries were "THAT bad," I refused her help and limped through the doors. Finally when the doctors were ready to see me, they brought me through some terribly clean white doors. The nurse proceeded to tell me to sit down on the cold, metal, medical table thing, and said that she would "be right back." Well she came back, right back after a good six minutes, by then I was getting a little impatient.... Which was nothing like the anger that welled up inside me at the nurses next few words. As she looked at my foot from across the room with her clip board, she studied my heel like it was a fiery monster. "Oh," she said feebly, "Is that a band aid?" My mom looked at her, and the nurses eyebrows shot up into her head, "That's the skin?!?!?! Oh wow! Oh wow wow wow!" This whole time I was thinking, "This is the nurse..... Is this how she's supposed to be acting? Why is everyone making such a big deal out of this?..... She sure knows how to make a patient feel better....." Without looking at my foot again the nurse asked my mom a few questions, "What happened?" And no matter who I tell the story, I always get the same reaction, "How could a shoe even do that? How's that even possible?"

     As quickly as she could the nurse sent me to the more ominous doctor. After waiting on another cold metal table for ten minutes, the doctor came in. He wasn't that impressive of a sight, but apparently my heel was an impressive sight to him. It reminded me of dissection in science class this year. He just stared and stared at my foot, observing every detail as if he were completely fascinated. He asked my mom all the same time wasting questions as the nurse. The doctor also had a way of making me feel a whole lot better about my predicament, at one point bringing me to tears. "Well, that's a good injury we've got here.... That's like something you'd see in the pioneer days!" When I told him about how it had happened at band, and how I was breaking in shoes for the parade on the fourth of July, he gave me a terrible response for a "band geek," "It's a miracle that you are even walking. You shouldn't be able to swim for about a month. You've got a parade on Friday? There's no way in the world that that will happen!"

     I didn't cry from pain, I didn't cry from being told that I had to go to the doctor, but I couldn't help my eyes watering when I was told that the thing I'd been working so hard for all summer was "not going to happen."  The doctor ordered, a dose of misery on my Summer.

     But it's been okay. It's hurt a little here and there, it's a little painful to walk. But all of that bad stuff doesn't really matter to me, I'm just grateful that I'm not dying. I feel a lot worse for the people living in Africa. And with my friends coming to my house on Tuesday to visit, my perspective is turning brighter. Even though I can't run or play sports, I still have the most caring family and friends, and that has made all the difference.

     Yep, that's my foot! That's before it swelled and turned all red! It looks prettier there for your own convenience.