It was a nasty roller skating incident in the 1970ís that put my under the care of a missionary doctor from Africa.
Memo to self: If the skates donít fit ask for a pair that do.
Within two days of the vacuum-packed foot fiesta the large toenail on my right foot was looking blacker than James Hookís heart. I eventually had a convertible toe and then the nail packed its bags and left me.
In its place came a new nail slowly, but surely along the surface of my big toe. Perhaps this should have been cause for rejoicing, but this nail apparently did not understand the need for directions. It grew at about a 5% angle.
Sure that doesnít sound like much except when the toenail reached the place where clipping generally takes place and began slicing its way through the inside portion of my toe. No amount of self-administered aid would assist in curbing the directionally challenged toenail.
Several doctors took their stab at my toe issue and I was generally left with a surgically removed nail only to have it happen all over again.
Dr. Blount had recently returned from being a medical missionary in Africa and he told my dad he could fix the toenail so it would never be a problem again. Obviously we were filled with a mixture of hope and cynicism. I mean after all I was tired of being jabbed in the toe with those hypodermic needles.
By the time I was ready to go in the other big toe was causing me a similar problem. Both toes were infected and I had to consume significant quantities of anti-biotic to clean up the mess my toes had become.
I couldnít believe the doctor asked if I wanted to watch them perform the surgery. It involved the removal of a part of each of my big toes, a portion of the nail and a scraping of the matrix (where the nail grew).
ďUm, no thanks Doc. I mean it sounds wonderfully educational, but I think Iíll just pass out over here.Ē
I took a dozen or so shots to the toe with no deadening effect. The infection apparently was prohibiting the anesthesia from taking affect. Eventually a shot to my ankle did the trick, but by then I was very emotional as I told the doctor what a great friend he was in a demeanor very much like a weeping Foster Brooks. Iím told I even shared the Gospel with the nurse and pleaded with her to leave her life of sin behind.
Twenty shots will do that to a guy.
More than two decades have passed since that double surgery and my toes are smaller, but the ingrown toenail issue is no longer. My dad still falls into a fit of laughter when he remembers the surgery. Maybe I should be upset with my dad for his insensitivity, but who am I kidding Iíd probably do the same thing.
This is the time where I would typically place some sort of application to the thought and frankly I did consider several possibilities. In the end all I can do is thank the good Dr. Blount for learning how to fix my toes because he agreed to follow Jesusí call to Africa where many men and women would have the same problem.
I wonder if Dr. Blount has a cure for wrinkles. Maybe itíd be best not to ask.
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