Toenail Trouble

This was the first procedure to partially remove part of an ingrown toenail, in April 2012. Partially removing my toenail has become a yearly ritual.

This was the first procedure to partially remove part of my toenail, in April 2012. Partially removing my toenail has become a yearly ritual.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had some pretty painful ingrown toenails. I even remember getting them as a kid, but I was always able to dig around a bit to get the nail in a good spot. But perhaps in a sign of aging, my ingrown toenails have become so painful that I’ve deferred to the help of medical professionals. About once a year since April 2012, I’ve had a podiatrist essentially give me a high-priced pedicure. A doctor will trim the part of the nail that has worked itself into my skin and then call it a day. I was anxious the first time I had the procedure and was expecting to need help getting home. One friend said that I would need as much as month recovery time. It concerned me so much that I looked into filing a disability insurance claim to help cover my lost wages. However, it wasn’t as bad as all that. After each procedure, I have been able to walk out and even ride my bike home. I felt so good the first time, I even went to the once-monthly Tiki Tuesday night at the Astor Room in Astoria with Sarah and my friend Julia.

Warning: It’s going to get a little gross, here.

But after at least three procedures, most recently in March 2013, I think it’s time to get the problem permanently fixed. I want them to remove the toenails entirely so they may finally grow straight. I also have a few really discolored nails, too. They developed over time, and I neglected them so long, there might be no other way to fix the problem than to get rid of those altogether.

I’m not sure how bad the procedure will be and whether I will be able to walk on my own. When I asked the doctor how much recovery I would need after a complete toenail extraction, she said that it would only require a day or two of convalescence compared to the partial extraction. I am hopeful that means I can at least walk out of the doctor’s office and get around okay, preferably even bike around since it keeps most of my weight off my feet.

My biggest concern at the moment is my recovery. I don’t have a permanent home right now, and I am worried that I might not be able to get to my temporary home. Where will I recover, if it’s as bad as I fear? For the most part, I’ve been able to get by on my own after the previous toenail extractions, I was able to do quite a bit on my own after I dislocated my pinkie last April, and I was able to take care of myself when I had food poisoning in late May. But even through those times, I had someone to take care of me, should I needed help. Right now, I don’t have that, and I really miss it. And I’m scared.

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