“Too Late” She Cried, And Waved Aloft Her Wooden Leg.

As I exited College Park, I saw there was a woman behind me in a wheelchair, so I held the door. She came straight at me.

“I was going to hold the door for you,” she said. “You are limping. Did you go to the doctor yet?”

“Yes, I’m just coming from him”, I replied, thinking how kind (yet slightly invasive) it was of her to ask.

“Are you going to get your medicine?”  Hey! How did she know I got medicine?

“Yes, I’m headed to the Shopper’s right now.” I pointed across the street.

“Good!  Make sure you do.  It’s important to look after your leg. You don’t want to lose it. I lost mine. You have to look after your leg. It’s very important. You don’t want to lose your leg.”

That’s when I looked down and realized why she was in the wheelchair.  She only had 1 leg. And she’s warning me I might lose my leg?!?
Evil Splinters!

So now I’m not only am I limping, in pain and slightly freaked by my leg responding so badly to a little scratch I got on the island, I’m scared silly!

It turns out this “little scratch” I got walking through the overgrown Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes to the FoodTV crowd) in the garden, was actually a much bigger deal than any of us thought.

Sure it hurt more than a scratch should have. Sure there was a weird long bump near the scratch. Okay, there was a puncture too and it got red, hot and swollen very quickly… but nothing that a couple of long soaks in a cold salt river wouldn’t cure. Right?


I had 2 “splinters” in my leg.  One was almost 2″ long and thicker than a penny, and the other was 31mm and shaped like a combination of an arrowhead and a lightening bolt.
These Were IN My Leg!!

It took almost 10 days of antibiotics, compresses and pain for any of us including my doctor to even think there might be something IN my leg.

By day 11, when I got the ultrasound, the tip of the first piece had surfaced and I had pulled it out.  The second piece surfaced 2 hours after the ultrasound.

In about an hour, I’m headed to the plastic surgeon for what I hope is the last of my appointments about this little scratch.  I’m hoping he will poke my leg, say “that hardness under the skin is normal and will soften over the next couple of weeks”, pat me on the knee and send me home with a cherry-flavoured lollipop.

One cherry-flavoured lollipop to indicate we didn’t catch this too late, and I don’t need to become an icon from an old English Drinking song.

Can someone tell dad he can stop whittling & humming now?

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

3 thoughts on ““Too Late” She Cried, And Waved Aloft Her Wooden Leg.

  • October 6, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Lex, I think I speak for all of us when I say “Holy fucking shit. How did that happen??”
    Glad to hear your leg is on the mend!

  • October 7, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Holy geez. I wasn’t sure where you were going with this post at first, but HOLY GEEZ! Those are some wikkked mean ‘chokes man.


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