Wednesday, March 11, 2009

4 Toenail Sides Removed = 1 Happy Girl

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.

6 comments:

Jillian said...

LoL i read your comment before reading this post and I was very confused...but now I get it! I hope your feet are ok and I am happy you are happy about having fresh feet =)

Dr J said...

Technically its phenol treatment of the nail bed so there wont be another nail growing out of that part.....hopefully........usually........in most cases........

Sarah said...

Katie, I had to have that procedure done in high school on both sides of both big toes, too. I totally understand what you mean about the pain, and the relief at getting them fixed! Mine weren't treated with the stuff so they won't grow back, but they haven't become ingrown since I had the procedure done. Enjoy your new toes!!! :)

Trisha said...

i'm so happy you'll have pain-free new toes. i had an ingrown toenail once, and it got infected and all nasty, but i was a very lucky soul because it took care of itself within just a few days (although i was a lifeguard at the time, so all that chlorine water surely helped keep it extra clean).

as for your hands, i saw an oprah episode a while back where one of her show managers who greets and takes care of her guests (aka shaking hands with beyonce and tina turner and everyone else in the world) has it so bad, his 3-ring notebook he was holding was just about dripping just from him holding it! dr. oz recommended botox injections... they'll close the glands there and keep your hands nice and dry. botox sounds extreme, but it's an option that works.

The Dillards said...

I think that it is good you had that done. My room mom my first year at Norton was missing a baby toe from a biking incident and she still wore sandals. I bet you can pull it off.

cdillard said...

I know you don't really know me, but I'm Meredith's sister-in-law and I blog-jump from hers. Anyway, I had this procedure done on one side of each of my big does, during middle school. Mine, too, would get terribly infected, and just having the doctor cut the nail didn't work. So a permanent solution was needed. The recovery process isn't pretty, but the doctor is right--most people won't even notice that your big toes look a little bit different!