This afternoon after work, I had a little minor outpatient procedure to remove part of both of my big toenails. The crazy part is that I am totally, 100%, beyond thrilled about it. I mean really. Sooooo happy. Painful? No, I had local anethesia - still can't feel a thing. Gross? Probably- I did watch the entire process because I'm weird like that. But living for the rest of my life with no more ingrown toenails? I haven't been this excited about a health breakthrough in, um, forever.
I've been struggling with ingrown toenails on my big toes for literally my entire life. They get so horribly ingrown that they swell and get red and get grossly infected and are just incredibly painful. This happens several times a year, and usually I can - with much screaming and gnashing of teeth - dig them out and stuff cotton under there to let the skin heal, or I let my dad dig out the really bad ones... he has a natural ingrown toenail removing talent. I think he should take that show on the road! I've also had them cut out by Dr. Sidlow, my podiatrist, before. The last time I had my ingrowns cut out, Dr. Sidlow suggested that we just remove the toenail so it won't grow back... hence, no more ingrowns! However, I thought about the future of summer days and sandals and pedicures with no big toenails... and I just couldn't go there.
Well, this last round of ingrown nails have been so uncomfortable that, yes, by Monday afternoon when I made this appointment, I was so ready to go there. Remove my big toenails! Go right ahead! I'll just paint the skin or stick a Lee Press-On on there. Remove my big toes for all I care... just stop this ingrown foolishness!
The good news is that I was a little confused about this whole thing because, today at the office, Dr. Sidlow said I didn't have to take it that far. (If I'd understood that before, I could've avoided years of digging and cotton sticking!) In fact, he assured me my toenails will still be "cosmetically pleasing" after the removal. He just removed a little slice of toenail off both sides of both big toenails and (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the right term) sterilized the nerves so that no toenail will ever grow back there ... so I only have toenails running down the middle of my toes now. He said it will be noticeable if people really check out my toes or something, but most people probably won't ever see that my toenails don't actually touch the sides of my toes. Dr. Sidlow said I will have to be careful to keep the little skin strip cleaned out (like I wouldn't) and let the people know when I get a pedicure not to dig around or cut in that little crevice. You would literally not believe the freaking shanks he pulled out of the sides of my toes! He said my right toenail was very, very bad and ingrown very deep, and he was surprised that I was able to wear shoes with that kind of nail knife poking in there! He also said I had a lot of scar tissue in there, which A) explains why I could walk without screaming and B) tells him that we should've done this a long time ago.
So, I shouldn't look like a freak in sandals (although I was totally willing to do that) and will have NO MORE ingrowns! I feel like doing a Dave Ramsey/Braveheart style scream, but instead of debt free, "I'M INGROWN FREE! FREEEEEDOM!" I will take a picture tomorrow once I can unwrap the little bandages and then again when they heal so the world can see how my freakish little healthy pain-free toes wind up looking.
Now, if I could only find a cure for my palmar and plantar hyperhydrosis, I'd be one healthy, happy girl.