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No matter how careful you are around the house, no matter how heightened your senses are when you’re navigating the space around your office, no matter how observant you are…

There will always be that very moment when you stub your toe against the bed frame, reverse your heel into the couch or smash your fingers between the sliding doors of your wardrobe.

That last thing was basically what I did to myself last week.

Followed by a howl (even if there isn’t a full moon) or a silent scream (and quite possibly a rain dance as well because why not?).

I’m not alone in this now, am I? I’m sure some of you have had this before, and are ashamed of saying so. Well, don’t be because it’s normal. A smashed finger or stubbed toe is a universally shared experience. Everyone, at some point, will have felt that sharp pain and throbbing when it happens. It doesn’t matter whether you smashed your digits into a table leg, tripped over a crack in the sidewalk or slammed it with the car door. What matters is what happens after that.

If you’ve had this before, this is where you can get some advice. When I smashed the middle finger of my right hand between the sliding doors of my wardrobe, I cradled my hand for a bit while doing that rain dance. It could have been what the weather deities needed for a spot of rain that day. After that was over, I went to the freezer and took out an ice pack. I held the ice pack for a solid few minutes to prevent any swelling.

It was only after that, that I realised we really take our fingers for granted. Not so much of our toes as we can still walk (maybe a little slow and lopsided). But fingers play quite a big role in our lives. If you’re a musician, strumming the guitar or playing the piano can be a real pain (pun intended). If you’re a writer, how you hold your pen depends on which finger you injured. Me? Well, I could hardly hold my cutlery when eating. Texting was a chore. Don’t get me started on showering.

By the way, did you know that in your brain, your big toe and genitals are neighbours? Neither did I but here’s what I found, since we’re on the topic of stubbed toes and other delicate little digits.

According to science and tech writer David DiSalvo in BrainSpin,

Your feet and sex are considered ‘old friends’ in your brain. The somatosensory cortex of your brain receives sensory information from all over the body, and the part of the cortex that receives said input from your feet happens to be adjacent to the area that receives information from your genitals!

This close proximity might explain the foot fetishes some of us experience. Vilayanur Ramachandran, the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, theorises that foot fetishes could possibly result from a cross-wiring in the brain between the foot and the genital sensory centers.

Whatever you do, don’t go making out with your feet now, alright?

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