Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On Big Toes and Chiggers

Yesterday was a big adventure and a day that has affected the outcome of every day for the next couple weeks, especially this Thursday and Friday. Since I'm a very graceful woman, I slid down the stairs in our pool and broke the big toe on my left foot. When it happened I was alone and it hurt enough for me to grab it and dance around in pain on my right foot, but I just rubbed it and decided to forget about it. I had no idea that it was broken, so I even went on a short hiking trip thinking that I could just walk-off the pain. When I got home and took off my shoes and socks I saw that it had turned black and blue and it was then that I suspected it was broken. Since it was Labor Day the local immediate care centers were closed so we went to the emergency room at the hospital. I knew it wasn't a big emergency and probably could have waited until the next day but I didn't want to take any chances, especially because I thought about my dad and the bad limp he's got for the rest of his life. We were there for three hours because they were very busy. They "buddy taped" it and sent me home with some pain medication. I took some earlier this morning and it knocked me out the entire day. It is now 10:00pm and night and I just woke up a half hour ago. I am never taking that stuff again! Anyway, I say this event has affected the next 14 or so days because they told me to keep my weight off it and that I can't go hiking until it heals. This means I can't volunteer at the animal sanctuary Thursday, nor can I go on the big hiking trip my mother and I had planned out-of-town for Friday. I also won't be able to take my nightly hikes at the park. :( All this right at the end of summer, just when I'm wanting to pack in as much outdoor activity in a day as I can.

During the visit to the hospital I did find out from the doctor that it's not poison ivy I've had for three and a half weeks. It is an infestation of chiggers! When I came home from my hike to Mt. St. Francis three weeks ago, both of my ankles looked like this woman's: http://www.dailyyonder.com/chiggers-try-wire-brush-black-decker I thought I had poison ivy so I've been putting calamine lotion on them. Now I know to put fingernail polish on them. I had no idea that chiggers could live so long inside the skin, but the doctor informed me they could be there for months, so I'm going to work on getting rid of them. It has been a maddening experience. There were times I thought I'd scratch the skin right off my bones.


GAEA said...

Take a moment and see if you can figure out what I am. I loved your blog by the way.. There is a solution to any an every disease that you may come accross has a cure. Be the miracle today./

Sophia said...

Don't tell me you're a chigger! ;)

Thanks for the visit. I visited your blogs and main site - very colorful.

Anonymous said...


I hope that you recover soon. But don't worry, you can hike even in the winter. Snow hiking is even more fun than summer hiking if you have good water-proof boots.

Siegfried said...

I don't know what chiggers were until today. But I still have to look up the word.
Been very busy with my own teacher and disciple. We're both very needy for each other. She's great fun. I'm funny.

Josephine Carr said...


Fun to discover your blog. I am somewhat curious about why you felt you needed a Teacher so strongly. I've been on an intense spiritual journey for the last six years, and I've been happy that I DIDN'T have a teacher. I believe we're meant to find our own way....I will certainly return to read your blog.....I'm wondering how it will go with Daniel.

Feel free to visit me on my blog, if you'd like, but I'd also like to recommend another place for you to visit, written by a guy who is extremely gifted as well as a terrific writer:


Cheers, Jody

Simone said...

I understand the value of having true teachers. In the end I do believe that Enlightenment is a path that we walk alone but since I started working with different teachers I've really started to move. I'm sharing some of my own experiences and wanderings at my blog too:


GAEA said...

so what is a chigger? It does not sound very kind. As we progress on the path together we learn to live without labels. Wisdom teaches that unless we have walked one mile in another shoes, then there is no way to determine who they are or why they show up the way they do. The greatest part of this awakening is that we will not be targeted by gathering. Never will history repeat itself again.

serenity said...

Hi Sophia,
Wow, a lot to this post. From the physical to the spiritual. Perhaps the realization being they aren't really separate :)

My best wishes for your speedy healing, and foremost my best to you in your seeking and your teaching relationship as well.

Mark said...

It's great that you found someone whom you can learn from. Enjoy your journey and be careful with your toes!

Sophia said...


I already made my husband promise he'd go hiking with me even in the cold temps.

Sophia said...


Today's lesson: when you go hiking, be sure to spray bug spray on your ankles and socks.

This is something I didn't think about doing, and here I am almost four weeks later with chiggers living in my skin.

Sophia said...

Hi Josephine (Jody),

I felt I needed a Teacher for spiritual progress much in the same way I needed teachers to learn math, and hence receive my degree in mathematics. Teachers (real Teachers) have trekked the confusing terrain of spirituality and thus they have a method. I wanted to learn from someone who has been there before. Also, I know that if I am only accountable to myself I'd never make any progress. Being accountable to someone else in addition to myself gives me more motivation.

Very good question, by the way. I've been told by many before throughout the past four years that I didn't need a teacher, but I tried it alone for two years and found that I didn't have the discipline necessary to accomplish things, mostly because I didn't have a "lesson plan".

Thank you for providing the link.

Sophia said...


You have a beautiful blog. I've enjoyed reading through some of your posts.

Thanks for your visit and I wish you the best on your spiritual journey.

Sophia said...


Sorry for the confusion. A chigger is a very tiny insect, undetectable to the human eye. It is a parasite. You may have been bitten by them after laying around in the grass. I went hiking almost four weeks ago and somehow walked through a hive of them. They itch horribly. It appears they live a long time in the skin because I still have the red marks as well as the annoying itching.

Maybe you can explain what you mean by "gathering".

Nice to meet you, by the way. Thanks for your comments and visit.

Sophia said...

Hi Serenity,

It's good to see you again.

Thanks for the kind words.

My best to you, too!

Sophia said...


Thank you. :)

I'm happy to have found someone, too. I don't know that the entire journey will be enjoyable as some sacrifices will have to be made, but overall it's what I've wanted for a long time.

GAEA said...