A Lame Duck

When your feet hurt, you are lame. You can’t walk far and are stuck at home. It sounds like a problem for my grandfather, but it happened to me. Once is enough!

I got this god-awful toe fungus after a quick self-diagnosis based on some pictures I saw here. That wasn’t hard—a few photos on the Internet, a good hard look at the reality of what was under my big toe, and it was done. OK. I have toe fungus. Gross but not life-threatening. I just didn’t want it to spread and mar the pristine pink under the rest of the nails.

A bit of a research whiz, I found all kinds of solutions online that should have saved me from a long stint in a doctor’s office waiting room. I just don’t have that kind of time or interest. Here we go, I thought. I purchased some over-night delivery liquid, a surefire cure. It was probably acid in a bottle that would burn away the fungus along with the living flesh around it!

When it arrived, I daubed it on that very minute with great anticipation. Two days later—nothing. I then tried mixing it with bleach, vinegar, and lemon juice. My version of a home-made remedy, a kind of natural healing cocktail. (Maybe I should market this.)

It got a little better, turning a pasty white and removable in thick chunks. Impatient, I started to dig in and help the process along. Since I was able to remove it with a manicure scissors, I continued until I had reached the nail bed. Dutifully I also “cleaned” the corners of the toe with gusto.

It was going well. I was pleased, if not elated, to have solved the problem. Not the technical kind at which I think I excel, but a practical one in any case. I like the feeling of accomplishment, like completing a puzzle or deciphering conundrum. There is a point of pride in figuring things out yourself, a sense of self-reliance and independence. This may be a bit much when it comes to toenail fungus, and I am digressing…

I was a bit premature in my self-congratulations. A couple of hours later, my toe started to throb. Then hurt. It was pretty swollen. Downing a couple of aspirin, I waited. It got a little better but the next day it was red as a beet and probably starting to get infected. (Did I use alcohol on the scissors?) So much for taking matters into your own hands. It really hurt and I was relegated to sitting in front of my laptop to avoid any pressure on the foot – in effect, I was a lame duck of the worst kind.

I had to go to the doctor after all to get antibiotics. They worked, but not after a couple of days homebound. I think I learned a valuable lesson to share with you that speaks for itself. When it comes to medical issues – even minor – get off the Internet and into experienced hands.

Posted in Life.