New Post from Alisa Brooks
When I started running longer distances five years ago, I became the lucky recipient of ingrown toenails. On each foot, my big toe had one side of the nail that preferred to dig into my toe itself. I kept saying that “one day I’ll get it fixed!” I kept putting up with it because I felt like I was too busy to do anything about it. Well, my one day came about a month ago. We had met our medical deductible for the year and I found a podiatrist that I really liked (I mean, I guess as much as you can like someone that enjoys staring at feet all day). I casually asked him “how do you know if your ingrown toenails are a problem?” He got very serious and said: “if you are doing minor surgery in your bedroom every few weeks to try and fix it yourself.” My jaw dropped open. “How did you know?!” And thus, it seemed like the planets had aligned and I should get this taken care of.
Well, that’s what I thought when I scheduled the appointment.
In the time between making the appointment and the actual appointment I started getting anxious. Who on earth volunteers to have giant needles stuck in their feet? I don’t have to have this done. No one ever died of ingrown toenails and maybe I should just deal with it. Really, I’m sure I’ll get better at my self-inflicted minor surgery. What if my toes look weird? What if he makes a mistake and I end up without a toe?
But I showed up. The doctor was really chatty, which partially put me at ease and part of me wanted to shout “JUST LOOK AT MY TOES AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT SO I CAN WALK OUT OF HERE IN ONE PIECE!” I learned all about his children, where they lived, and their professions. He removed a sliver of my nail that was visible, the part of my nail that was literally ingrown, and what he told me is called “the matrix,” which is where the nail grows from. Then he put a chemical on so that it would never grow back. The needle was big. It wasn’t comfortable. And I did it twice (both feet). When he was done he told me I had no restrictions (“You can swim! You can run!”) and that I could go. I’m not sure exactly what I expected, but it was not big needles followed by “off you go!” I felt drunk walking out of the office because both my feet were still partially numb and I couldn’t walk straight.
But it’s done! And it was really pretty fast and easy – not major surgery. Now my toes look pretty! I don’t have any more pain! I’m glad I didn’t let my anxiety get the best of me. I’m glad I won’t have to deal with the daily discomfort or trying to fix it myself.
I’m footloose and fancy-free (oh come on, I had to!)
Alisa Brooks is a mom to two boys, a wife and a former NICU nurse. She is now in public health nursing, working with pregnant moms and their babies through age three. In her free time, Alisa likes to run, bake, comb Pinterest for fun ideas and write for the new blog, the freeMom Files.