I broke my foot. And while I’d like to blame it on my cat, I can’t, in good faith, do that. He was involved just a little bit, though… Our cat is a playful cat, and he likes to be chased. One of our play routines is where I chase after him, running pretty much at full speed down the length of our condo. Then we turn around, and he chases me back. We do this, back and forth, for a good ten minutes or so. It’s fun for the cat and me, and it wears him out before we go to bed.

Every time I do this, I keep thinking, “One of these days I’m going to kill myself.” Running full speed in our condo is just downright dangerous. I always thought I’d slip on the hardwood floors and break my leg or crack my head open or something. Well, it finally came true. I didn’t fall and crack my head open, but I did break my foot. We had one of those big backpacking backpacks (which is full of hard plastic) laying around, and I slammed my foot into it. The result, a fracture of the fifth metatarsal on my left foot:

Foot Fracture

[ Editorial note from the cat: Seriously, I thought I was a goner as Dave came crashing down towards me. Thankfully, I’m fine. And Dave’s new boot amuses me. ]

So now, I’ve got this silly looking shoe that I have to wear while I’m indoors. I’d probably wear it outdoors, if it wasn’t snowy, icy, and slushy outside. Thankfully, thick-soled shoes, like my hiking boots, suffice for the outdoors, and they’re waterproof to boot (punny?). The fracture needs six to eight weeks to heal. I can’t run, obviously, until it heals, which I’m a little bummed about. And even walking is tough, which sucks because I walk everywhere. I only drive my care once every week or two.

On the positive side, I still can drive my stick shift car, if I need to. I thought I may not be able to use my left foot on the clutch, but apparently it’s possible, with a proper shoe, to do this without hurting myself. Plus, if there’s any time of the year to be immobilized in Chicago, it’s December through February. I rarely want to go outside anyway. So while I’m a little pissed I’m stuck on the couch, at least it’s not summer outside. And maybe I’ll try swimming instead of running.

Of course, there’s some geeky goodness, too. When I got my x-rays taken, I had to go to another area, get them on CD, and bring this CD to my doctor. I thought this was pretty cool, since I haven’t really broken a bone in recent times and have only seen the film. But then, my doctor sent me to an orthopedic to get the silly shoe and all. The nurse at this doctor asked for my x-rays, so I proudly gave her the CD. She said something to the effect of “God, I hate it when doctors do this,” which makes me assume she really wanted film. I thought this was odd, but then I realized that each patient room wasn’t equipped with a computer to view the CD. In any case, after the visit to this doctor, they asked if I wanted to keep the CD, and I said “Yes, of course,” so I could see what was on it.

When I popped the CD in, it was clearly destined for a Windows box as it had that standard autorun.info and start.bat files. I poked around and found a PDF in the Viewer/ folder, which had this interesting tidbit:

The DICOM LiteBox viewer is designed to view medical study images in DICOM (Digital Imaging and COmmunications in Medicine) format, the international standard used in medical imaging.

Well, this required more investigation. After a bit of help from Google and my Twitter friends, it turns out that DICOM is an open standard. According to Wikipedia, it includes a file format and a TCP/IP-based network protocol. Sounds pretty cool, and sounds like there ought to be a Mac OS X viewing application. And there is. There’s a nice, GPL Mac OS X DICOM application called OsirsX. Sure enough, it recognized the CD, and I was able to view my x-ray images. OsirsX can export to JPG, which is how I got those earlier images. And it also has a Quick Look plugin, though the files need to have the .dcm extension.

[ Second editorial note from the cat: See how much fun I caused Dave to have? You, too, can have such fun. Adopt your own cat today! ]