Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rice for a Busted Toe and Good Water for Paddling

The Oklahoma paddling news has been a little light recently due to a lack of paddling on my part. We went last weekend to scout a possible float on the Deep Fork River near Nuyaka Creek Winery.

We were just discussing launching our kayaks when I took a nasty fall among the rocks that surrounded the bridge we were under. I hit the ground fast and hard and felt my head bounce up about a foot! Dianne was immediately asking me if I was OK, but I was a little too stunned at first to answer. Actually, I was quite blessed that I did not bash my head into the rock pile I was stumbling across. By the time I stumbled back to the car, I had figured out that I had busted my big toe up pretty bad.

As we drove back home, my big toe started growing both larger and more painful. The toe had turned completely purple by the time we made it home. Ever since my feet outgrew my Daddy's cowboy boots in fifth grade, I have been a total klutz. This has given me the experience to know that doctors can do very little to help a busted foot that is not gushing blood. In our house, we treat stubbed toes like this with RICE.

Our Homegrown Health Treatment for a Busted Toe

The mnemonic “RICE” stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is the classic treatment for toe injuries and other minor foot and ankle sprains.

Rest is the key component to allow for successful healing to occur.

Ice is applied during the first 48-72 hours after the initial injury by placing the injured toe in a bucket of ice water for 15-20 minute intervals.

Compression helps speed up the healing of stubbed toes and sprained ankles. Try taping the big toe in a compression dressing using tape or something to immobilize the toe.

The 'E' stands for Elevation and Equipment change. Elevate the foot using an ottman and some pillows. Also, stiffer shoes may help to resist motion of the great toe or a cane or crutch can be used to keep weight off the damaged digit.

To this mix, we add daily Epsom Salts soaks and plenty of Motrin for relief of minor pain as well as to decrease the inflammation of the injury. Of course, I must warn everyone that I am not a doctor, follow my method at your own risk.

What's Next?

I'm walking around now, but I still have quite a lot of pain and swelling. In fact, Dianne has veto'd our plan to paddle down the Lower Mountain Fork River this weekend. This is a huge bummer as we were planning this trip to celebrate her birthday. Now klutzy Tom has ruined two weekend paddling trips in a row.

However, Dianne did say we can still go paddle, if I can find an easy river with flow conditions high enough to avoid portages. Now, I am burning up the phone lines trying to find a nearby river outfitter reporting river conditions high enough to float without getting out of the boat. So far, it looks like we will have to drive more than 6 hours to the Spring River in Arkansas or the Current River in Missouri.

Got any suggestions?

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