Thursday, April 3, 2008

Check out my gnarly toe!

I would be remiss if I didn't write of my latest medical woe, seeing as how records of such events make for fun gawking and squirming long after the wounds have healed. Plus, though all the excitement is over, I'm not even CLOSE to being done whining about it. You'll soon see why.

Three weeks ago, at the gym, I was loading up a leg-press machine with an impressive 105 pounds. What kills me is, this was the first time I ever tried pressing more than 80. I was feeling bold, so I walked over and tugged a 25-pound disk off the stand. The weight slipped out of my hands and landed squarely on my right big toe.

The crash, it was loud. People turned to stare, and I was embarrassed, so my first reaction was "DUDE. Be cool. Just pretend like nothing happened." So I bent over and picked up the weight, walked over to the machine, and slid the disk onto the bar. There wasn't even a flicker of discomfort -- yet. I settled down into in the machine and lifted my feet to the press, and that's when red-hot pain began to flood my foot. I laid there for a moment or two, blinking, and then I got up and walked a few feet to where my husband was on an elliptical machine. "Hi," I said. "I think you need to come with me." Then I walked into the hallway and collapsed on a bench. I whipped off my shoe and sock and clutched my foot, sobbing as my toenail turned blue.

Someone brought me ice, and which made my toe feel a little better, but also kind of made me feel like throwing up. A few minutes later, I limped out to the car. Sal drove me home and immediately fed me vicodin, because he is my knight in shining, schedule-III-narcotics-carrying armor. Within an hour, through my fuzzy-wuzzy pill buzz, I was able to wiggle my toe, vaguely. There wasn't much swelling, and other than the strange purple and blue swirls appearing under the nail, it looked perfectly normal. So I figured it probably wasn't broken and, like a dumbass, I went to work.

I made it till about 3 o'clock before the vicodin began to wear off and the pulsing pain became unbearable. My doctor squeezed me in at 4:30, but that wasn't enough time for an X-ray before the end of business hours. So he sent me home with more vicodin. It was a torturous, sleepless night. By morning, even the narcotics couldn't take the edge off. We rushed to the X-ray folks, then back to my doctor, who revealed that nothing was broken, but he would need to drill a hole in my toenail to relieve the pressure that was causing the pain. And by "pressure" he of course meant "copious amounts of blood."

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Amy. Surely they don't duh-RILL a HOLE into your freakin' toenail, right? C'mon. What happens REALLY?" OK, fine. What really happens is the doc brings out this rather innocent-looking tool that looks like a big, fat pen. Then he pops off the cap and hits a button to reveal a glowing red soldering tip. That's right, he was going to MELT a hole in my toenail. There, is that better? Oh yeah, he also put on those ER-style blood-spray goggles, which made sent me into new hysterics. "Look, I've been hit before," he explained, not unkindly. "It really ruins your whole day."

He began with a numbing spray, and then two rather torturous lidocaine injections. I actually saw stars, just like in cartoons. But once those puppies kicked in? Oh, man. It's impossible to describe to you how incredible that felt. To go from flesh-shredding, dizzying, red-hot pain to ... absolute peace. To nothing at all. To normal. From sobbing to laughing in 60 seconds. My god, the euphoria! I wanted to do cartwheels! Cartweels, with all those angels I could hear singing a chorus on high!

It made me so happy, in fact, that I barely cared about all the drilling and blood and whatnot. I even watched for part of it! And now all the excitement is over, except for one incredibly ruined toenail. The black melty-hole is still there, and I'm afraid it'll be there until it grows out. I keep insisting that people look at my toe, I'm really not sure why. And -- except for Sal, who politely asks that I get "that thing" away from him -- folks generally inspect it with great interest. They all say the same thing, though. "Yeah ... you know you're probably going to lose that toenail." Which is, naturally, horrifying to me. I'm going to post a picture in a few minutes, I'm just warning you now in case you're eating lunch or something. But I must demonstrate just how well I take care of my toes. When I'm not dropping 25-pound weights on them, that is. I mean, hello, even the ruined purple toe is PERFECTLY MANICURED! Really, it doesn't deserve this cruel fate.


Robyn said...

I think T-Shirt Face is going to love this story.

Anonymous said...

Who knew you had such pretty little feet?

Anonymous said...

Posted;;;This girl is a danger to herself, she falls out of trees. she dives head first into shallow water, she get caught in snow drifs up to her neck, she breaks her ankle ice why the heck would anyone let her hold anything heavy...ok ok all that was over a 20 yr period...but still

Sheila said...

Oh my, that was such a great post! Sorry about your toe, though. It is very pretty, and hopefully you won't lose the nail, because then you'll get months and months of showing off your toenail hole :)

What a good husband - feeding you vicodin! He's a keeper for sure :)

Doc said...

Obviously your foot was parked in a toe-away zone.

Amy said...


Amy said...

And just in time for flip-flop season!!