I can only image what it must have been like, standing behind the city’s walls, facing the Ottoman Empire’s well-trained army, hell-bent on destroying everything in its path. Having your homeland under siege by a military force that had no equal at the time, fearing that everything you know and love would be destroyed if you failed to defend your land. The horror.
Adding insult to injury, the victorious Turks would then sit down and force their defeated foes to get down on their hands and knees and position themselves at the bottom of their conqueror’s feet. The Turks would then put their feet on their victim’s backs, elevating their feet and resting themselves after battle. This humiliating practice gave birth to the furniture we know as “the ottoman” to this day.
The Ottoman Empire lasted from 1299AD to 1922AD, but the influence and effect of that once magnificent dynasty is still felt to this day. Not since the Fall of Constantinople (1453) was the military might of this former dynasty on display, as it was yesterday afternoon…in my living room.
With the amount of pain and devastation caused by one single piece of furniture, I thought Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror had shown up in my living room yesterday afternoon as I got ready for work. This simple ottoman, situated in front of my couch, decided to attack my left pinky toe without provocation or justification. It was a blatant attack which will not go unpunished. The aftermath of the attack was immediate discoloration of the toe, swelling of the toe and sustained, intense pain.
Although I was severely injured by this relic of the former Empire, I managed to fight back with a string of verbal obscenities and limp away with only a broken pinky toe.
With all the amazing advances in modern medical science, the broken toe remains a throwback in health care. There is not much to be done to help “cure” a broken toe. Doctors will tell you to tape it to the next available toe in order to give it some support, don’t bend the toe, elevate your foot whenever possible, take ibuprofen for the pain, put ice on the toe if swollen and most importantly…stay off your foot.
As I was ten minutes away from leaving for work when my injury occurred, I decided to ice it down for ten minutes, stuff it in my sock, squeeze my foot in my shoe and walk on it for the next eight and a half hours. Medical experts be damned!
I limped noticeably while at work and had to explain to several people that it was not my previous injury causing this new hobble, but rather my own stupidity and a rogue, vicious piece of furniture. I managed to make it through my shift without further furniture incidents and went home to nurse my wound.
If the saying is correct, “that which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger,” than my left leg is on its way to becoming the strongest leg in the South Pacific.