The time I broke my foot on Chicken Finger Friday
I imagine most people at Skidmore associate the famed Chicken Finger Friday with very warm, fuzzy feelings. After a long week, it’s finally Friday and 3,000 pounds of crispy deliciousness await you. There’s a palpable shift in the energy of the dining hall (we call it D-Hall.)
After a leisurely lunch, you proceed to enter a food coma and watch Netflix for the remainder of your day. You congratulate yourself on a week well done. You relax. I too would go back to my dorm room post-chicken finger feast in desperate need of a nap.
It was all fun and games. That is, until I broke my foot.
It was the spring of my first year at Skidmore. As usual, I had returned from D-Hall and was climbing onto my lofted bed to watch the “Gilmore Girls” reboot.
Perhaps this time I had just a few too many chicken fingers, the intense fullness hindering my balance. Or somehow, only one week into the new semester, after five weeks of winter break sleep, I was already exhausted. Or perhaps I am simply a klutz.
Either way, I fell right off my lofted bed in one dramatic, sweeping motion, landing directly on a brand new (discounted!) tan suede bootie. I toppled backward and attempted to get up, as gracefully as one does when falling on a bootie.
But unlike the other times in my life I’ve lost my balance or walked directly into objects, I couldn’t get back up. No matter which way I pressed my foot down, I was met with searing pain.
I was determined to get some ice. A cold compress and I’d be fine.
So I called my roommates. No response. I called my suitemates. No response. (Side note: please call campus safety if this happens to you!)
Finally, the door flung open and one of my roommates walked in.
She got the attention of our RA and intermittently, between sobs and winces, I explained what had just transpired on this fateful Chicken Finger Friday.
They all kindly carried me into the elevator and placed me in a campus safety car that would take me to the emergency room.
Still adamant about the ice, I thought this all seemed just a tad dramatic. I may not have been able to walk, but I insisted I was fine. I may routinely injure myself but I’ve never actually broken anything! And from falling on a bootie on Chicken Finger Friday? No, come on. That’s ridiculous.
But that’s exactly what happened.
At the emergency room, they took X-rays of my foot and sure enough, my fifth metatarsal had a tiny, barely-even-visible crack in it. They wrapped up my foot, put it in a boot, gave me a pair of crutches and sent me on my way.
I must note that I had, and still have, zero upper-body strength. Needless to say, I had incredibly sore armpits for many weeks.
But there were several unexpected silver linings in all of this:
- I got really good at hobbling on my right foot.
- My arms did gain some strength.
- At meals, my friends would first take a lap around D-Hall, return to me with the report, and then make a nice plate of food for me, eventually learning all my favorites.
- People I had never spoken to before would ask me what sport I played, mistaking natural athleticism as the reason for my injury.
Most importantly, I learned that when you fall in college, literally or metaphorically, people will be there for you. And if it’s related to chicken fingers, you might actually be able to laugh about it later.