Break a Leg Toe!

Filed in General, Health, Life, MemoirsTags: , , , ,

In show business, people wish each other 'break a leg' meaning that they wish success for the person they're talking to. Perhaps, I've unwittingly taken this good luck wish to a whole new level.

A week ago while walking with a few of our kids, I was walking rather lazily and stubbed one of my small toes on a tree root sticking out of the ground. It hurt but I didn't think much of it. After all, who among us has never stubbed their toe? I continued the walk and an hour or so later returned home.

I did what any experienced person would do with an injury. I iced my toes two or three times, ten minutes each time. This flushes the blood out of the injured area carrying debris with it and allows new healthy blood to enter in its place.

Before going to bed that night, I was aware of swelling in my foot and hoped that it would go away after a night's rest.

It didn't, at least, not completely. When I woke up, my toe and foot were still mildly swollen. Since my wife had to visit our family doctor to examine an arm injury, I decided to go with her.

xray of broken toe

The red circles on these two xrays indicate the position of the break just above the head of the fourth phalange (toe bone).

Our doctor looked at my toe and promptly reported that one of the phalanges (i.e., toe bones) was probably cracked. An xray would be needed to confirm it. We went upstairs to another medical clinic and took the xrays. When we returned and showed our doctor, he was noticeably stunned. The phalange was not cracked. It was broken!

I was lucky though. The bone broke and then reconnected itself. I won't need a surgery or a screw to connect the pieces. I'll just need rest and time.

So now I have to keep my walking to a bare minimum for the next four weeks and I have a new walking stick to help keep the weight off my right foot when I'm walking. And I'm not allowed to wear shoes. I can wear my Birkenstock sandals but not closed shoes. I'm not sure how I'm going to work around this when filming my current TVB series but we'll see. For a further four weeks, I'll be able to walk but will have to take care nonetheless.

But I believe that the broken toe has a purpose. My wife and I originally planned to go to Finland or Africa for the last two weeks of December, but that's not going to be possible now. I believe that something important is going to happen in those two weeks that would not be possible if we had left Hong Kong. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the future, I'll try not to be so literal when people bid me 'break a leg'. Oh. Wait a minute. I've already done that. I broke my right thema femur back in 1977 while trying to rescue one of our cats (I think it was Jacob) off the roof of our house.

1977. In the Gympie Memorial Hospital with a broken leg.

Just for you, I've scanned a newspaper photograph taken while I was in the Gympie Memorial Hospital recovering from a broken thema. Cute, don't you think?

For a 750x550 version, click here.

I was in hospital for 11 weeks and enjoyed most of my time there; watching horror movies on TV at night, playing with the nurses including one great male nurse, drawing, painting and more.

I developed a serious crush for the nurse on the right. She was wonderful. A few years after leaving the hospital, I accidentally came upon her again at her home while walking house to house for a Scouts Bob-a-Job fund raiser. That was a happy day and also the last time I saw her. I pray she is well.

In any case, for the time being, just call me Dr House. Believe it or not, Dr House and I have many similarities. We are both injured on the right side and walk with canes with very similar gaits. We both share the name Greg/Gregory. We've both studied medicine, and of course, we're both good looking ;-)

Bob-a-Job. A Scout fund raiser where scouts go from door to door asking to perform any chores available in return for any remuneration the other party was willing to pay. Historically 'bob' was slang for an English shilling. (here is another good read about Bob-a-Job.)

In my days as a scout, the chores I performed included cleaning shoes, mowing lawns, and painting houses, walls, etc.

In some countries, Bob-a-Job is now known as Job Week, and in some countries, it has been cancelled completely because of fears of abuse; people unfairly paying little for difficult chores. The world as we know it continues to degenerate.


Comments (Comments are closed)

24 Responses to “Break a Leg Toe!”
  1. 杜格拉斯 says:

    it remind me the movie "unbreakable", may be you should start to look for a "invincible". ha ha....

  2. sapphire says:

    I think it's time for you to put on your shoes for protection. Barefoot walking or running could be hazardous to your health. :)

    I hope you have a speedy recovery. Take care!

    PS:You looked very cute in that photo. ;)

  3. Julia says:

    Haha~ ^_~ you schould is good looking even if you were a kid.
    This one actually reminds me of "Barefoot in the Park" written by Neil Simon.
    I wish your toe good luck & please be hurry to get well !

  4. Pegasus says:


  5. May says:

    hey..hmm sorry to hear bout your toe. hope you recover soon! that picture is too cute. :-D

  6. Jasmine says:

    Hope you get well soon, Greg!! (BTW, Dr House is my favourite TV doctor..heehee)

  7. yanni says:

    Dr. House.. hahahahah..! How come you got into newspaper when you were small?

  8. herman says:

    better ask tvb to allow you to help promote the new House series, but you may have recovered when they broadcast it. :P

  9. Kayin says:

    OUCH!!! Poor you! I've never broken anything before, but, ouch, I wouldn't want to try it.

    ^^ Is that you in the photo? SO CUTE ^^

    Hope your toe gets better again. Poor toe.

  10. 蝦米 says:

    人家話"行運行到腳止尾" 我想你的腳趾,好運是沒有踫到, 但好痛的感覺就有吧! 我希望你快點好起來啦! 你也不用太擔心拍戲時會有甚麼麻煩, 因為我相信導演會搞得掂!

  11. kantopunk...xD says:

    OH NO! This is a sad piece of news to hear!
    I hope that your toe gets better soon

  12. Sabs says:

    Hi Greg, I am now listening to your newly recorded songs, they are marvellous, especially the mandarin song, it sounds great. By the way, the photo of you in hospital in 1977 was so cute, you look so Aussie (btw, I am from Sydney, Australia) and it felt so strange cause to me, you are a Chinese!!!

  13. kent2k2002 says:

    see... 點影可以影到咁似電影咁嘅效果?
    希望你快d 好番啦~~

  14. yq says:

    I'm sorry to hear about your toe...Hope you will recover fact,I will go to Finland during the last two weeks of December...

  15. awm says:

    Hi Greg,

    I hope that you will get well soon.

  16. hithere says:

    I'm sorry to hear about your broken toe. I hope you will be recover soon. Also, you looks very very cuteeeeeeeee and handsomeeeeee little boy in the pix with the nurses. You had good taste because I also like the nurse in the picture (the one in the right) looks prettier than the one on the left.

  17. Phoenix says:

    lol Dr. House ;) blees you~~
    hope u can go to finland la~ then u can visit the santa village and ask santa to let u meet the nurse again:P
    btw thats a very cute photo of u!!!!

  18. Alex says:

    I can’t actually see the breakage
    Which is kinda good coz it means it is not too serious ~~ lol
    Anyway, hope your "toe" get well soon~~
    BTW, I have been listening to your songs and feeling very jealous at the moment
    I really wanna be like u, have singin lesson in the LA and record some songs in a proper studio...... But I can't see this happening at the moment.......
    Let's talk about your songs then~
    I think they are all sang really well
    And one thing I find interesting is the arrangement of "該不該"
    I have listened to both of them now, one is your version and the other is the original version by Jacky Cheung
    You mentioned that when Chris did the arrangement, he did not hear the original one at all.
    It is interesting to see how the chords and notes actually differ.
    He came up with something very similar to the original one I think
    However, I was expecting something complete different though.
    Chris is obviously a piano expert and he was very heavy on the piano in the arrangement. Coincidently, the original song were very heavy on the piano part as well.
    Therefore, the feel it gives doesn't differ at all to me.
    I think this is all down to your singing.
    Maybe, your voice actually told Chris how to arrange the song.
    Which is good, because u are putting across the feeling of the song
    And bear in mind that Chris doesn’t know a word of what u are singing.
    I think u have done yourself proud with the songs!!

  19. Dilon says:

    Oh! Take care man! Wish you be fully recovered soon!
    By the time, it's my first time come here, I do love your performance much! I remember once upon a time in the past, you've been play as 趙學而's boyfriend in a series. You have really done a great job all these years!!

  20. Reeba says:

    oooooooh, toe bones are quite fragile, aren't they? I remember my mum had a similar injury some years ago. She went to a Chinese bone-setter and recovered. (It was amazing - to me).
    I presume you must have put down your anatomy book for a long time - the proper name of thigh bone should be femur. Nice picutre of static traction!

  21. Doctor says:

    I am surprised that for someone who was supposed to have studied medicine in Australia, that you don't know even know that the thigh bone in the leg is called the FEMUR and not THEMA as you refer to as.

    But then.................

  22. NL says:

    haha, Dr House, perhaps you can do a House imitation one day, giving snarky remarks and wack ppl with a cane! lol, that will be so funny.

    anyway, get well soon!

  23. Sarah says:

    Get well soon!

  24. Mrs R. says:

    I broke my baby toe two weeks ago.I new I broke it because I heard a crack when I stubbed it on our rugged indoor cat house.I always stub my toe on it but never broke it before. The dr just taped my toe with the other toe to keep it straight. I never sit still,I have to work day and night,I never took a day or night off.I don't use crutches or a cane,though my feet get a burning feeling.And my toe seems to be staying in place.I only change the tape;;;not bandage..medical tape...after I take my shower.