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Toes. And Nails.

I’m anxiously anticipating the loss of a toenail, and it is making me nostalgic.

A year and a half ago (where does that time go), Kirsten and I spent three weeks walking across northern Spain. Most of you know this. Most of you also know that Kirsten was plagued by foot troubles. Intense blisters that doubled the size of her pinky toe, a strange and inexplicably fiery rash, and then a blister UNDERNEATH her toenail.

I was sympathetic. Deeply sympathetic; in contrast, I merely broke/sprained one toe, in a non-hiking accident one rainy evening. Taped to its neighbouring toe and with solid shoe support, I wasn’t so badly off.
We persevered, of course. Kirsten’s endless will and pain tolerance amazed me, we laughed often, we cried (only a little), and we ate a lot of lemon yogurt.

A few weeks after we returned home, she told me that her toenail was gone. It was sad and gross to hear. I had seen her feet at their worst, but I was relieved not to see a nail-less toe. It is a weird thought to me.

A very weird thought. Which brings us back to today:

On Sunday night, an aggressive soccer striker (whom I proudly and effectively defended against during our first shut-out of the season) landed on my foot early in the game.

It hurt. Like the dickens. BUT we were without girl subs, and if I left the field, we would be at a one-man disadvantage…hardly an ideal situation in our last pre-playoff game. Plus, the adrenaline! It’s easy (though maybe not wise) to play through most injuries.

I was sure my foot would be bloody when I took off my shoe, but no! Just a throbbing, pounding toe and the hint of a bruise under my polished nail (hooray for the Christmas pedicure).

Three days later, I am walking normally again, but the toenail is an ominous purple, and heaven forbid I should let anything touch the top of my foot! It was recommended that I ice the nail and/or drill a hole to relieve the pressure.

DRILL A HOLE. IN MY TOENAIL. Not gonna happen, thankyouverymuch.

Some of my more athletic friends seem to view the losing of a toenail as a rite of passage into the world of the “true athlete.” I’m not sure I want to be in this world after all.

Have any of you lost a toenail before? How gross is it, really? Will it last forever?


MLW said…
From your picture on twitter, I would say that there is a chance you might not loose your nail. Just saying. Trust the pain is or has subsided.
Beth said…
Thanks, MLW. That is heartening - although I must say, the pic didn't accurately show the purpleness of the nail... Pain is much less. Just a dull throbbing.
Sarah said…
I think it was Stephen who had holes punched in a fingernail as a child to relieve pressure from an injury. Ask him about it if you get a chance.
Beth said…
Sarah, I remember this - maybe not punched, but drilled or poked?

I think my toe is okay, drill-wise...the pain is not unbearable. Just a kind of irritating throb. Sooooo, we'll stick it out for now.
Lisa said… just about all of it...

Good luck!!

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