Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DROP IN A BUCKET (10/24/19)
- TITLE: Oh No - Not Another Toenail Picking Story...
By Judith Gayle Smith
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Innocent, sweet pinky-white toenail - my well-behaved great toenail on my left foot, came to life. Nastily. Okay, it is hard to see what that poor little thing can start.
All I did was stub my toe - many times. Ran over it with my walker.
A little twinge. Another twinge as I listened to my audio Bible, snuggling into sweet-dream-land. Still painfully twinging, it awoke me at six am. Peering as close as my fogged reading glasses would allow, I noticed a wee bit of ingrowing.
No biggee. Soak in the bathtub, really hot water cascading over said toe. After two hours well spent reading and soaking (my toe, and unfortunately - the magazine I dropped as I zzz-d off momentarily,) I talked my toenail into letting me "play" doctor.
I am aged (very) seventy-six. I have spent my lifetime soaking in tubs and repairing ingrown toenails. Easy. I lifted that extra chunk of nail and proceeded to chew it off. Gotcha. (I stopped chewing my toenails decades ago.) I peeled that wee offender from its grasping prison, congratuling myself for a fine job.
I made the mistake of telling my overeager-to-fix-all-things boyfriend what I had accomplished that morning. Now I am unthinkingly telling my story to a guy that pulled part of his dead toenail out with needle-nose pliers. What was I thinking? A small fix on my part - a wee drop in that unfortunate bucket, and he was off and running.
"Let me see it," he cajoled, as he gently removed my willing-to-part-with shoe. "I can fix it," he chirped as he went to his medicine cabinet. I tried to tell him it was fine now - but, being overly protective of me, he didn't trust the job I had accomplished.
(Did I mention needle-nose pliers?)
He returned with one of my most dreaded cutters - toenail clippers. He sweetly swore to be gentle. He was, the nasty clippers weren't. Just a wee bitty nip where the ingrown flesh showed its face. Oh, the scream-worthy pain - and the bloody mess. He wiped up the blood and swabbed mercurochrome all over my toe. I stared at it - and at him, rather sternly.
I daily use a walker to get to everything here, but now I was being controlled by an "injuriously painful, beleaguered toe." What to do? My power chair siren-sang me, and, by golly, until that toe healed, I used that chair for every path I had to take. Worried a lot of folks who expressed grave concern that I might never wish to use my walker again. Concern justified - my power chair was my comfort station supreme.
There was such pain and discomfort after a week; I took to a hot soak in the tub again, armed with a large safety-pin and my readers. (No one ever said I was brilliant.) I was convinced that I saw a teensy spot of green in the tattered toe. Now, I have had one toenail removed on my right great toe, and I certainly didn't wish to go through that again. Did I mention that I am pre-diabetic? To be fair, there was a great deal of colorful infection underneath that toenail.
Let's examine - pain, fear of green, and being brain-dead - I took my safety-pin and started stabbing at the entire right side of my toenail. Now we are talking unimaginable pain. Sure, I used to jab only one spot that was quite noticeably green, but I was making sure this time. I wasn't able to even hobble for two weeks. And whose fault was that, may I ask? Mine-self. Gurk.
Now my power chair reclines, tilts, leg lifts and elevates. Mighty comfortable too. I ignored everyone's concerns and warnings, and rode myself around my assisted living grounds, feeling like a queen (with a very sore toe), enjoying her kingdom.
Let me review - a simple ingrown toenail has mushroomed to atrophied leg muscles? Nah. I am using my walker again. I had to go to a thrift store (forced to by my wants) and buy a large Mickey Mouse doll. A sweet friend gifted me with a Minnie Mouse to keep Mickey company. I gently affixed these two to my walker, along with a stuffed duck-billed Platypus standing in for Donald Duck. Now I have an adorable walker that cheers everyone up, and...
What's next for this adventurous gal?
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