Grown In

Much like the personality that inhabits it, my body is very stubborn. From my hair that refuses to do what I want it to EVER regardless of the amount or type of hair products I put in it or what style I'm going for, to my ear lobes that decided long ago they weren't going to be pierced and will immediately close up as soon as I take an earring out even after they've been pierced for years, it does whatever it wants. It's inconvenient sometimes, but I can live with it. I sort of have to.

Years ago, the nails on both of my big toes decided that they were going to grow the way they wanted to and not the way they were supposed to. So instead of my big toes looking like this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This picture is slightly inaccurate; my toes are NOT fat.

They looked like this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Except that the problem was on both sides of the nail, not just one. Both sides of both toenails. Thanks a lot, guys. Thanks also to whoever passed the half-circle shaped toenail gene down to me. I can't complain too much about that, though, since I also received the genes that gave me my fabulous good looks and incredible brainpower.

Anyway, I went along for a while, getting infections from time to time and hating the way my big toes looked until one day I realized that: a. I have health insurance, and b. I could get surgery to correct my toenails once and for all.

So I went to a podiatrist in town and had my toes operated on. What they do is cut off those curved edges of my toenail and then put some chemical in the nail bed there so that they don't grow back. So you end up with a thinner toenail, although it doesn't really look any thinner since I had a lot of extra skin growing over the sides of my nails, as the ingrown nails would push my skin up and over them. Does that make sense? It will have to; I'm not going to put any pictures of ingrown toenails up here. You've all had enough nastiness after the cockroach and house centipede entries, haven't you?

My podiatrist was a very nice woman who told me that the operation would be very simple and relatively painless. The only pain I could expect, she said, was a shot in either toe to numb the area. She said it would be like the shots you get in your mouth when you get a cavity. I've never had a cavity (PRESIDENT of my childhood dentist's no-cavity club for fifteen years running, baby!), so I didn't really have that experience to draw back on, but it didn't seem too bad. The toes would heal up in a few days and she'd even give me a few Vicodins for the pain. This sounded like a good deal to me, especially since any pain I experienced from the surgery would surely be less than the pain of having ingrown toenail infections on and off for the rest of my life.

The toe-numbing process actually turned out to be FOUR shots in each toe. Unlike your upper arm, the site of all shots I've ever had before this, your toe is a fairly sensitive area. The podiatrist explained that this was because the bone was so close to the skin. She explained this as she was MOVING THE NEEDLE AROUND INSIDE MY TOE in order to get the numbing stuff all over the place. Oh holy hell, was that not fun. But I must have beared the pain bravely, as she commented that most people are pretty vocal when she does this. Maybe I'll be the PRESIDENT of her super-brave club.

Numbing my toes and waiting for the numbing stuff to take effect actually took longer than the surgery itself. The doctor was impressed with how deep my ingrown toenails went. Of course they were deep; they're assholes.

Less than an hour after it began, it was over. I hobbled out to meet Pamie, my designated ride home, and we stopped at the pharmacy for my Vicodins and the epsom salts I'd need to soak my toes in for the next two weeks. The doctor told me to stay off my feet for the day, so I spent the day on Pam's couch in various states of Vicodin dopiness with my feet elevated while Pam attended to my every need. It was pretty awesome. I told Pam that I hoped she would get in a car accident so I could repay the favor by taking care of her. Oddly, she didn't seem to appreciate this.

It definitely took longer than a few days for my toes to heal (probably because the nails were so deep), but one month later, they're looking and feeling pretty good. I should have done this years ago.