Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Funky Toe Strikes Back

When I was much younger, I got into a fight with another girl and I am still paying for it. This was no catfight, there were fists involved and for a while I had the upper hand. The person I was fighting with realized this too and decided that the time for weapons had arrived. She reached for the closest thing she could find, which as it turns out was a decent sized metal pale. Since I had no weapon, I decided to haul ass in the other direction. As the smaller participant, speed was on my side and I got away from her, but not before I rammed my pointer toe into the side of the side walk. Normally this part of the sidewalk is beneath grass and dirt, but at this particular spot, the rain had washed the grass and dirt away, leaving the concrete exposed.
Safe inside my house, I inspected the damage and it was bad. I was bleeding profusely and it hurt like a bitch. My Grandma was watching me and after scolding me for once again not wearing shoes, she made me wash it and then elevate it on a bunch of pillows. The pain did not let up the next day, so I ended up making a trip to the doctor’s office, where it was decided that my toenail needed to be removed. The nine-year old Microbiologist XX did not like this idea, especially since it required six shots in my toe. After it was all over I went home, sans toenail.
Eventually it grew back, but I was less than pleased with the new toenail since it looked like a claw. It didn’t lay flat against my toe and it seemed entirely composed of the quick. Now everything that touched that toenail elicited pain. Since the toenail, while strange and funky, wasn’t odd enough to allow me to be in a carnival sideshow, I did the only thing I could…accept it. I found that if I kept it painted, no one really noticed the difference until they got really close to it, and people don’t usually get that close to feet.
Unfortunately this toenail/claw hybrid was a magnet for disaster. While my nine other toenails enjoyed an uneventful life of growing and getting clipped, the funky toenail would get stepped on, snagged on socks, run over with bikes, etc until about five years ago when it fell off again. This time I slipped on some rocks while trying to get out of a canoe. As usual the funky toenail got the worst of it. While trying, ever so gently, to wipe away all the blood, I wiped away the toenail too. Once the pain subsided, I decided I was glad that stupid toenail was gone. I was optimistic that this time what grew back would resemble a human toenail and not some weird bird’s claw. At first, I thought everything was OK. The initial nail that grew back was thin for sure, but more importantly it was flat. However, as it got thicker, it started to take on the claw appearance until my funky toenail was back in full force.
This past weekend, after a lovely four days in Mexico (pictures to come), I was exiting the shuttle to get in the car when a piece of luggage, that was apparently full of cinderblocks, rolled right over my damn toe. It bled all the way home and the next day at work. I was kind of hoping it would fall off again, but the results from my inspection this morning indicate otherwise.
After a lifetime of my toe getting jacked up, I’ve decided that I just want the nail removed once and for all. What I mean is, I want it yanked out and I don’t want it to ever grow back. I don’t know if it is possible, but it is the first thing on my agenda when my new insurance kicks in. I just hope it is possible to kill a toenail.


13 comments:

Thomas Joseph said...

Gah. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl. Kill the toenail so we don't get anymore stories about it!

Mad Hatter said...

Oh. My. God. My toe hurts just reading your post, I'm feeling slightly nauseous, and every hair on my arm is standing on end. I'd like to second Tom's request to not get anymore stories about it. Please.

biopunk said...

Eeew! There is very little that brings out the squeamishness like a toe nail trauma.

Lucky for you Microbiologist XX, there is a procedure that involves tearing off the nail (...a total nail plate avulsion...) and then chemically attempting to completely destroy the nail matrix underneath.

Thing is, if all the matrix isn't destroyed, you could get a cute looking little nail re-developing on the surface of a weird looking toe, or an ingrown one which can bring you recurrent pain, infections and trips to the doctor.

So it's possible to kill a toenail, but not that advisable. Choose wisely...

microbiologist xx said...

TJ and MH - OK, OK. No more toenail stories...I promise. I am glad I decided NOT to show a picture. :)

biopunk - Damn it! That is sooo not what I was wanting to hear. I certainly don't want things to get worse.
Sorry if I grossed you out. ;)

Thomas Joseph said...

I was just about to post ... thank goodness you didn't post a picture! I'm horrified to know you considered it.

ScientistMother said...

that is so gross!

microbiologist xx said...

TJ - LOL! I actually don't have a picture of my funky toenail. I would be way too embarrassed to show it.

SM - I hope I didn't gross you out too bad. I clearly underestimated how this story would effect others. Since I live with it every day, I am kind of numb to how gross it actually is.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Ewwwwwww no make it stop!

Stripped Science said...

It seems you recessive Velociraptor genes took over after your normal nail fell off.

microbiologist xx said...

cath - OK. no more toenail stories. :)

Stripped Science - LOL! I think you might be right.

Rhea Miller said...

lol. bummer deal. I lost mine to skiing last year and has finally grown back. However, it's slowly becoming a weird color and it's taking on a weird shape. EEeeeeek im scared!!!

microbiologist xx said...

Rhea - You should be scared! ;) I hope it ends up better than mine.

birger said...

Grossed out? No, quite interested. :-)

Both of my little ones (toes, that is) have claws. Never lost them or anything, they have always been like that. Sadly, they don't get sharp enough to function as weapons... :-)

If i clip them too much, a red dot appears in the center, so there are blood vessels there just like the real thing as well.

Downsides? They sometimes wear out socks quickly, and there have been a few occasions where they have snagged quite painfully, but never as bad as you describe. Mostly, I guess, because they seem 'right'. They follow the curve of the toe nicely even if they are only attached at the base.

Definitely a gene thing, as my son has them as well. My daughter doesn't.