Thursday, April 03, 2008

Paticus' Past Volume 10: Under The Knife

Did you bring your swim trunks ? Good, as it's time once again to take a big dip in Lake Paticus !!

Recently, I was strolling through the archives here at old Sandwich Flats, and I came across a post wherein I promise Feral Mom that I will tell the tale of my toe surgery.

Feral Mom, your long wait is over...

Lessee...I guess I was 13 or 14 or so. I do know that I spent about a month visiting my sister at her house in Western upstate New York, and working on a farm. Whilst I was there, the big toe on my right foot started to hurt. It was a bit red, but i figured that was from wearing work boots and working on the farm(Have you ever "picked rocks" ? I have...But that's a tale for another time).

I returned home to suburban New Jersey, and I figured that resuming my lazy-ass, sneaker wearing ways would help my foot. I was wrong. Eventually, my foot looked like this:

okay, that's not true. My foot looked MUCH WORSE than that, but I don't feel right subjecting you to some of the photos I saw when i searched "ingrown toenails".

That's what it turns out I had. My toenail had become ingrown, and then got INFECTED. I chose to capitalize INFECTED because my toe was really fucking infected. In fact when we went to see Dr.Henry(Does anyone else remember a cartoon PSA series called "H.E.L.P.! Dr. Henry's Emergency Lessons For People!" ? -That runs through my head every time I think about Dr. Henry. In fact, at the time, I used to say " Doctor Henry's Emergency Lessons For People" whenever we would mention him. Okay, enough of that.), he told me that if we had waited much longer, the infection might have reached the bone, and then I would have lost my toe. YIKES !!!

Thankfully, I was not going to lose my toe. However, I was going to have to lose the root of the nail on the right side of my right big toe. Without removing the root, it would probably just keep growing back under the skin. Yick.

Before Dr. Henry("H.E.L.P. Dr. Henry's Emergency Lessons For People !!") could do the operation, we had to rid the toe of infection. I started taking antibiotics,and I was told to soak my foot in VERY DILUTED bleach. Would you like to know what would happen if the bleach wasn't diluted enough ? Funny story...It would BURN your foot. Good times, good times. I sensed that maybe something was going wrong, but you see, i was always a wuss, so my parents just thought I was complaining because the water was too hot. Oh no, the skin was being BURNED off of the top of my foot. oh well, at least it gave me something for show and tell in Health Class on Monday.

Anyway, so the infection is under control, so we go to see Dr. Henry(H....No, I won't do it again, but rest assured, I'm saying it out loud as I'm typing this), and he preps me for surgery. this includes putting a little curtain up across my knee, so that I can't see my foot. this means I can't watch the surgery. I voice my concerns about this, but Dr. Henry stands firm, and tells me that I don't want to see it.

The surgery goes well, and I return home. I am given some painkillers that i am supposed to take every 4 hours. I take one at 10:00 p.m. and go to bed, figuring that I'll sleep through the night and take the next one in the morning.

Oh no. At 2 a.m. sharp, I sit bolt upright in bed, bathed in sweat,with STABBING pains in my toe. I crawl/limp my way down the stairs and take another painkiller. Slowly, the pain subsides, and I fall back to sleep.

The next day, I get to start wearing my new "shoe"... I placed shoe i n quotation marks because it is actually a wooden block with two pieces of canvas stapled to it, that tie in the center. That's a fun one to go to school in as a teenager, I'll tell you what.

Well, that's the tale. I really don't have much to add. I guess it's kind of anti-climactic. I did have the same procedure done on my third toe on my right foot a few months ago, but with that one, the just burned away the root of the nail with some acid thing- I guess if there had been more bleach in the water I soaked my foot in, the first surgery may have been unnecessary.

Here's what my toe looks like now...

It's a god-awful picture of a fugly foot, but if you look at the base of the nail on the right side of my big toe, you can kinda see the scar. Pretty manly and sexy, isn't it ? It kinda reminds you of the scar on Harrison Ford's chin, doesn't it ? Sure it does.

So, there's your story, Feral Mom.


Feral Mom said...

Ah. Thank God. I was wondering how long I would wander in the wilderness without this story. Plus, I love me some Paticus past. Bring it on, Paticus!

You know I've had the same ingrown toe surgery, right? In high school, as well? That, Def Leppard and the bloggy thing proves we're soul brothers.

You win on the near loss of appendage, though. My infection wasn't that far gone. Though, did you further know that, right now, I've got an ingrown toenail as my new nail nearly achieves maturity? And that part of my toe skin appears to be preparing to light out for the territories? Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. I don't want no stinking toe surgery.

Paticus said...

Feral Mom- I'm not sure whether I knew that or not, but I do now.
Sorry about your current nail problems.
the only thing I can say, and I don't know if it's because it was smaller toe, but the surgery I had this past year, was waaaay lees involved. there actually was no cutting at all.
i actually go to the foot doctor everye 3 months or so, and he cuts my nails for me. One of the perks of the diabetes is that insurance will pay for it.
I hope your toe feels better WITHOUT the need for more surgery.

sh said...

I also have a big toe nail that is extra straight on one side and isn't as wide as it used to be. My in-growth (??) became apparent on a four-day college spring break pilgrimage to Graceland. At first I thought my toe was just sore from walking around all day for two days, but it got worse on the drive back to Ohio –- during which time I put no pressure on it (this is also when I almost cut off my finger with a bread knife, but that’s another story). So upon my return to campus I went to the health center, then to a podiatrist who numbed my foot with a ten-foot long needle. Ok, maybe it wasn't that long, but it was big, and I turned white so fast that the doctor thought I was going to faint.

The surgery went well, I went home, took some Rx painkillers, then to hang out with a friend -- one of the few other folks who hadn’t left for the entire week. I mentioned painkillers, right? They made me loopy. Now add some weed. And somehow my gross post-surgery in-grown toenail became the impetuous for getting nekkid and hookin' up. It was spring break, ya know.

Paticus said...

sh- I must say sh, your surgery worked out much better for you than mine did for me.I didn't get lucky after mine.
i don't think i realized that i knew so many people that had the same surgery. we should form some sort of club.