Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Right Foot

having an ingrown toenail pretty much tops the list of ridiculous ailments. it’s one of those things that should be endured instead of admitted to, like an STD. it’s quite silly and i would have thought nothing of it if it didn’t hurt so damn bad. but it hurts really fucking bad, bad, bad and bad.

it’s like the hand of g-d is electrocuting me at the toe, flooding my entire nervous system with pain when even the smallest amount of pressure is applied to my toe. walking makes me very unhappy lately. it’s so difficult that i’ve thought of attaching a pillow to my mouth for biting.

the nails on both my fingers and toes are something bionic – they grow super fast and stay super strong (an unfortunate contrast to my hair, which grows an inch each year and is damaged from years of processing). mom and sister also have these crazy growth nails, much to the envy of our brittle-nailed female relatives. the dang things are also sharp as hell, causing accidental scratches galore. i’ve always considered them my secret weapon in a catfight. they can really cut a bitch up.

point is that when the big toe on my right foot started to bother me on monday, it was just a negligible pinch at the corner. on tuesday, it became red and swollen. by wednesday it was throbbing and purple, and when i finally saw the doctor on thursday the fucker was black and crusty with puss and blood. gangrene seemed on the horizon. amputation would surely follow.

“wow, that’s really infected,” said the doc when i removed my band-aid to unveil my toe.
“it really hurts, doctor. please fix it. but whatever you do, don’t touch it!! please don’t touch it!!”

i was near hyperventilation as he put on his latex gloves and approached my toe to give it a squeeze. my foot began to jerk wildly. i held my leg down at the shin as he poked around to my chorus of “ow! ow! ow!”

“you’re going to need to see a specialist.” i got the feeling he was beginning to hate me and just wanted to make me someone else’s problem. i tried to toughen up, shake free of the crybaby i had (suddenly?) become.

“can you put me under to do your exam? you can remove the nail while i sleep and send me on my way.”

sadly, it wasn’t that simple. the swelling needed to subside before the open-toe surgery, scheduled for soon, which means i have to consume antibiotics for a few days before the specialist can remove the nail. doc sent me on my way with a 10-day supply of Keflex, some weak-ass painkillers and a cane.

being dehabilitated by an ingrown toenail is embarrassing enough, but the cane is the cherry on top of the shit sundae. it’s not even a cool wooden cane i could rock like a pimp, it’s an aluminum orthopedic cane with a foam handle built for grandpas.

problem is it helps; my gimpy, limpy ass needs it. for some authenticity i’ve decided to wrap my ankle in an ace bandage and tell people who ask that i fractured my foot rock climbing. to make matters worse, this is the week when all the painting has been going on in my living room, meaning the room is a minefield of paintbrushes, buckets, scattered trash and a big ladder, with all the furniture pushed together in the center. this leaves me cranky as hell, frustrated as fuck. it just makes me want to use the cane for pure evil.

but i can only use it on myself, as i’m the one to blame. it’s as though my body is poisoning itself with itself. perhaps it’s karmic retribution for not fasting on yom kippur this year, for not even taking the day off of work like a dutiful jew. maybe g-d is pissed at me.

i’m fucking sorry, Man.

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