Usually when a married couple begin to sleep in separate beds, it suggests there’s been one domestic too many. Or they’ve just grown sick of seeing each other during the last 10 months of lockdown. Either way, body parts constantly falling off isn’t usually one of the reasons for couples to seek alternative sleeping arrangements.
Simon Charlesworth, however, is experiencing this situation with his wife, after an illness three years ago led to his toes falling off.
Simon was hospitalised with flu, pneumonia and sepsis, spending 10 days in an induced coma, but fortunately was kept alive by a team of doctors who worked tirelessly to save his life.
However, sadly, after effects of the illness have lingered, with poor circulation causing his toes to fall off.
Simon explained, “My wife refused to sleep in the same bed as me as she didn’t want to wake up with a detached toe beside her.
“Some have come off in my hand while applying antiseptic lotions, some in bed and, by far the worst, some have come off in the shower. Can you imagine putting your socks on in the morning and thinking ‘I’m sure that toe was there last night?’.”
Describing his illness, Simon said, “I woke up one morning and I felt like I had the flu. My wife came home in the afternoon from work and found me virtually unconscious on the bed in the spare room.”
“It still amazes me how little I can remember.
“[Upon reawakening] I remember looking down at my toes and wondering why someone had put black finger bobs on them.
“At some point when I was in a coma my blood pressure dropped and they gave me [medication] to increase it rapidly again.
“But in doing so it pushed blood towards the organs while starving the extremities – it’s basically like suffering frostbite. The actual falling off bit was not painful. I used to have a shower every day and then spray all my toes with antiseptic to try and stop any infections. The toe came off as I was rubbing it with Germolene.
“It was a shock more than anything else. Even though my toes were in a terrible state I still wasn’t expecting it to happen.”
Simon’s last toe fell off in December 2019.