Skip to main content

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!!

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.


8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"


Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.

But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…