Why did you give us toenails?
Two of my toes decided they did not want to function properly over the last couple of years. One of the side effects of my chemotherapy in my bout with cancer in 2006 was fingernails and toenails became brittle and warped. After the treatment they grew back in like before with the exception of the nails on my big toes. Podiatry calls these toes the “great toes” which I believe to be a misnomer. Over the last 1½ years I coaxed them, pleaded with them, and ignored them hoping they would get better. But they kept buckling – for lack of a better term – to the point it was beginning to get too painful to wear shoes and too ugly to go barefooted. There is nothing “great” about the toenails.
Friday I took my toes to the podiatrist who looked at them and basically said he was a podiatrist not a miracle worker. He said he could take the toenails off but they would grow back the same way and I would have to come back in when it got where I could not tolerate it again. I did the math and figured if I live to dad’s age I would have to go through this procedure 15 or so more times and was not interested in buying the podiatrist's next Lexus. I asked what other option I had and he said, “Kill them.” I thought it best to find out what he meant by that.
It turns out that the toenail serves no real purpose. Fingernails help us to do tasks like picking your nose or guitars and other delicate tasks. But toenails are maintenance items and just get more difficult to trim when mom or dad stops doing it for you at about age 10 or so. He said he could take the nails, kill the root and they would not grow back and the skin would toughen up and be fine. I said that was the deal I wanted and could he do the other 8 toenails too. He said my insurance would not cover the other 8 so I declined but if I win the lottery….
So, an hour later and a relatively painless procedure (thanks to some great numbing shots) the execution was complete. Since I am writing this at 2:30 in the morning I have to confess it is not quite as painless any longer. I can feel my heartbeat in these two toes and it is not the beat of love. Some clowns have red noses but I have red toeses (I know, not a word but it rhymes). All in all I think I will live and will be glad I did this.
I am going to tell Debbie the doctor said I should not vacuum or mow the rest of the year to allow my toes to heal. That’s what I am going to tell her.
Your Pain Isn't About You
4 years ago