Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Under Pressure

I promise, I’ll update you on the Great Dye Job of 2011 as soon as my dress finishes drying (hopefully in time for the wedding we’re attending tomorrow!).  But in the meantime, I just had to tell you about the craziness that ensued last night.

Let me warn you – this post isn’t for the faint of heart.

In general, I’ve been feeling pretty good since last weekend’s Cradle of Liberty.  But, as I mentioned yesterday, my feet took quite a beating, and my big toe just hasn’t been quite right all week.

The nail didn’t turn black, but it had a vaguely purplish hue, and it was really tender to the touch.  When I was getting into bed last night, I noticed that it was also pretty swollen.  It felt like there was pressure under the nail that had been building since I took my shoes off Sunday morning, with no relief in sight.

“That doesn’t look good,” Brent said when I asked him to check it out.  “I wonder if something’s infected?”

With two more big races coming up, I didn’t want to risk any serious issues that would prevent me from training.  So, I resolved that I would call the doctor in the morning.  And in the meantime, I pulled out my computer to peruse the pages on running-related toe injuries.

It didn’t take long to realize that what looked like a possible infection was probably just a pressure-filled blister that had formed under the nail bed.  According to the ubiquitous internet medical experts, I could either go to a podiatrist, or I could relieve it myself.

The cure?

Drilling a hole through the center of my toenail.

After soaking my foot in warm water and epsom salts, I straightened out the edge of a large paperclip, and held it over a flame.  When the metal burned red, I touched the tip to the center of the nail, applying light pressure as the keratin melted away.

It took a little while to figure out exactly how hard to press down, but after three tries, I felt a searing pain followed immediately my sharp relief.  It was an oddly familiar sensation – like drilling through a wall and finding it hollow on the other side.  You push and push and push and then, a jolt, and the bit slips into nothingness.

There was no blood under the nail, but there was plenty of liquid, and as it poured from the little hole, all of the pressure disappeared.

I spent several minutes debating what to do next —

Should I put it back in the epsom salt bath?

Scrub it down?

Take pictures for the blog?

Ultimately, I decided that nothing good could come of posting photos of my hole-y toenails.  And, since those same medical experts said that getting it wet was the quickest way to infection, I lathered it up with antibiotic ointment and wrapped it in a bandage.

Brent was asleep when I crawled back into bed.

“Want to know what I just did?” I asked him.

“Mmm…” he murmured, before rolling over and ignoring me.

Clearly, he was overwhelmed by my badassedness..


10 responses to “Under Pressure

  1. Tasha @ Voracious May 20, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Oh wow. That was hard to read…and yet I was compelled to read it all the way through. I’m SO sorry this happened to you and I hope you feel better soon. I say no to posting pictures, because if you did I would also feel compelled to look at them, and then force Cody to look at them, and then we would both probably faint and cringe and scream.

  2. Kari w/ Running Ricig May 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

    OH MAN! I kind of want to see pictures. I have a weird obsession with the grossout. You are BA, that’s awesome. Ah! Something is wrong with me.

  3. Julie Martinez May 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    yeah, I think pictures are in order!

  4. Anne May 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    That is badass! Hopefully, it feels better today and there is no infection!

  5. Sarah S @RunningOnWords May 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I want pictures! I love gross injury pictures and I was really sad when I realized my curiosity was going to go uncured. I can’t believe you did that!

  6. Julie (A Case of the Runs) May 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Pictures, please! (Of the dress, hair… not the nail!)

  7. Julie May 21, 2011 at 8:07 am

    NO pictures? That IS disappointing. My dad pulled out his toenails with pliars (don’t ask)…but after that, I can handle any type of juicy toenail stories.

  8. pawsitivelife May 21, 2011 at 11:52 am

    You know your a blogger when you want to take a pic of grossness. A few months ago I broke my toe but i thought i had a blister so i got some of that anti blister/corn stuff from the drug store and ended up giving my broken toe a second degree burn…since then i dont self medicate

  9. Black Knight May 23, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Under pressure …. i remember the beautiful Queen’s song.

  10. Shelly May 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I have stuck needles all over my feet and toes but I have yet to be brave enough to go straight through the nail. You are bada** brave!

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