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During the Leave of Absence: Part 3: A Mutilated Toe


During the time in which my ankle was starting to heal enough that I could stand to walk on it, I developed another injury: an ingrown toenail.

I’d known that I had had one for some time. I often treated it myself, grabbing some nail-cutters and tweezers and performing my own nail surgery once every couple of months. This was often a success until recently when the toe somehow got infected.

So now I had a painful hippo foot and a painful toe.

It didn’t help that we were now into lambing season, and every day, I had lambs trampling all over it, which as you can imagine is rather painful.

After much convincing and nagging, I finally went to the doctor who put me on some antibiotics for a few weeks (I have a thing about taking antibiotics in that I don’t want to build up an immunity to them, so at first, I was apprehensive).

Eventually, it was time for the partial nail avulsion which is a procedure conducted under local anesthetic. Basically, they numb up your toe and chop about a quarter of it off, removing the section that is ingrown, relieving the patient of pain. After this, they apply some chemical (the name of which eludes me) that is supposed to prevent the removed section from regrowing. There is, however, a 20% chance that it will grow back, in which case the operation can simply be performed again.

I was most upset that the doctor wouldn’t let me watch the operation take place for fear that I may faint, despite my efforts to convince him that I wouldn’t. Instead, I had to assume a ‘relaxed’, prone position while they did their stuff.

The injections were mostly OK, but there was one in what felt like just below the cuticle of my nail that startled me somewhat.

During these injections, the head of on of the syringes actually came off, ejecting a fountain of anesthetic into the air, and into the doctor’s mouth, numbing his tongue.

Some time after this, the doctor and the nurse had a brief exchange about how ‘diddy’ and ‘dinky’ my toes are. I didn’t mind, because I’d rather have small feminine toes than large manly ones, but I felt embarrassed all the same.

I guess I never realised how small my toes are.

When it was all done and dusted, the doctor, upon my request, showed me the section of nail that was removed. I was actually surprised at how large the section was.

I was going to ask to keep it, but decided against it at the last minute.


From → Personal

  1. Steel-toed boots! Get some! Lamb hooves are sharp!

  2. occultoantonio permalink

    my poor… Hellraiser! 😀

  3. I am so glad you went to the trouble to document this painful experience. Just the other day I was thinking, ‘what exactly IS an ingrown toenail?’ Excellent description and I’m sorry about medical folks laughing at your diminutive toe’s expense. That is too sad, but a little funny.

    You have been on my mind, the image of you and your hippo foot crawling around your family home is a strong one. Crutches really are for the birds. How are the knees on all your pants holding up?

  4. OH dear yo HAVE been in the wars!

  5. LOL! I was laughing throughout the whole post. I’m sorry. I know it isn’t funny and it must have been really painful, but your comics make the whole thing seem to be one cute adventure of an unfortunate little girl! ha! loved it.

  6. Oh, you poor thing! You have been having a bad time of it.

  7. You tell your story well – we cringe for your pain but laugh at the way you tell us and show us.

  8. eldinsmille permalink

    Welcome back! I just realized that you`re back!

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