My Lost Toenail

February 8th I had a small argument with the stairs to my office. The stairs won, and I blew out a small and rather useless tendon in my left leg. No big deal, except that it landed me on crutches and a cane for a few weeks, and turned my leg the color of week old road kill for a while.

About a week into the fiasco, I started getting severe pain in my big toe of that foot. I put it down to walking on it funny, and didn’t think much of it when my toenail turned black and blue. After all, all that meant was that it was coordinated with the rest of my leg. Shortly after that, a black and blue streak began to form on the toenail of my other foot, but since I was still tripoding my way around the world with a can, that didn’t seem like anything important enough to wonder about. So I didn’t.

I also didn’t spare much thought to the fact that the nail on my bad leg remained blue long after the rest of my leg turned pink again. That’s the way of toenails, after all. Bruising takes forever to resolve.

What did make me think twice was when I banged my toenail lightly in bed on Thursday, and it lifted painlessly right up off the toe. After pushing both my nail and stomach contents back into place, I figured that maybe it was time to take the situation a little more seriously.

I called my doctor’s office that morning, expecting that they’d fit me in some time next week. Instead, they decided to consider it an emergency and squished me in that afternoon. My regular doctor wasn’t there though, and I ended up seeing some puppy of a doctor that made Doogie Howser look like a grandfather.

He approached the toe uncertainly, asked why I thought it was coming off. I explained what had happened, and he started to experimentally wiggle the toenail. “Yup, it’s loose. Does this hurt? Does this hurt? This?” Next think I know, he’s wiggled the toenail completely off my toe. He then announces that’s the most he’s ever done with nails, that it will either grow back or not, and there’s nothing else to be done. (For this I paid a $10 copay? I coulda done that myself.)

I then point out that I have a black and blue streak on the nail on the big toe of my other foot. He looks at that and starts wiggling it and, sure enough, where it’s black and blue it’s completely loose. He then zero’s in on the weird looking nail on the pinky toe of that foot. Well, yes, now that I recollect, that one fell off after following the same MO several years ago.

I see a poditrist on Wednesday. I should have just gone directly to one right in the beginning.

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  1. That reminds me vaguely of the most grotesque scene in "Stir of Echos"…this girl’s fingernail flips off toward the screen…i did a full body shudder.

    Pushed the contents of your stomach back indeed…*turns green*…wooo…i don’t feel so hot…

    i hope all goes well.

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