In mid-July, I got out of bed and accidentally stubbed my toe. The little toe, to be precise. I hopped around a bit, said all the things one tends to say when one stubs a toe, and then ignored the toe for the rest of the evening. Because, hey, toes get stubbed now and again.
The next day, I awakened to the cheerful sights and sounds of gentle sunshine and birds chirping...as well as a strange throbbing sensation from the direction of my feet. I got out of bed, inserted my contact lenses (without which I can't see much of anything), and looked at my little toe. And observed that it had turned an interesting combination of black and purple overnight, along with some other parts of my foot. This, it seemed to me, was probably suboptimal, all things considered. My mother concurred, and schlepped me off to the nearest emergency room, where I had to explain to the intake nurse that I had stubbed my toe. (The nurse seemed to find that amusing.) As I was obviously rather far down the emergency room scale of priorities, I settled down to read; luckily, it was a slow morning (other patients apparently being less clumsy), so I had a surprisingly prompt chat with the ER nurse, who was rather less amused by the state of my toe than nurse #1. More waiting, followed by a return visit to the nurse and accompanying doctor. "Wow, that looks broken," said the doctor, and sent me off for X-Rays. (At this point, needless to say, I began to think about my bank account.) I posed my foot prettily under the X-Ray machine, the X-Rays were processed with remarkable speed, and...my toe wasn't broken after all. Just, you know, really sore, plus of many unusual colors. (As it is still a little sore, nearly three weeks later, it's possible that I may have torn something in there. Ah well--as my mother put it, "You'll know in twenty years when it falls off.")
In any event, the day of reckoning came today--by which I mean, of course, the bill. (Or, at least, the first bill. If I'm remembering this hospital correctly, they may bill me separately for the ER doctor, whom I saw for at most five minutes, all told.) My stubbed toe cost a mere $2329--at least, so far. Thanks to my insurance, my share of the bill will not be the equivalent of the transmission for my car, and will only amount to rather a lot of secondhand books from Amazon. I told my toe to rejoice in this statement of its value, but am not entirely sure it was listening.