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My Ingrown Toenail Adventure

Ingrown toenails are a very common problem that wreak all kinds of havoc for people. Most podiatrists will tell you that the only way to take care of ingrown toenails is to have some very painful shots in the toe, and then have the doc slice off the offending nail and pour acid into the opening that is left.

This does not sound like fun, so most people try other techniques. This is the story of one of them.

What happened when I discovered that I had ingrown toenails.
What happened when I discovered that I had ingrown toenails. | Source

My Big Toenail Is Taking Me On A Pain Trip!

Now that I'm growing older, I find myself waiting with great anticipation to see what my latest health adventure will be.

At my age, you don't have to wait long.

This time, it was a problem with ingrown toenails. (Disgusting, but true) When I first noticed that there was a problem, I had no idea about what was happening. All I knew was that the big toe on my right foot was hurting...a lot! I could not imagine what it was that might be making this happen.

Some Internet Photos Of Ingrown Toenails Cause Me To Hyperventilate

I immediately started searching the net for an answer.

After digging around for awhile (pardon the pun) I found some really gruesome photos of infected ingrown toenails.

There were also photos of people who were getting their toenails removed.
It scared the bejeesus out of me!

I couldn’t imagine those people ever being able to walk again, not to mention the excruciating pain they had to be enduring.

At this point, I started hyperventilating.

My Foot Definitely Doesn't Look Like That!

I kept looking back and forth at my toenail and the photos. I finally decided that I could not possibly have an ingrown toenail.

My foot looked nothing like those in the photos. It wasn't swollen, or red, or puffy, and it definitely was not oozing!

In my opinion, I was not going to need someone who clearly was NOT in a sterile operating room cutting on my foot, even though it was hurting more than ever right now.

I'll Take Care Of This Ingrown Toenail Myself!

I researched further and found some sites about people who got rid of their own ingrown toenails without having to go through all of that bloody, cutting type stuff.

This was more like it!

I decided to work my way through all of the different options until I hit the one that would work best for me.

  • First I took some cotton and tried to wedge it under the toenail. No go.
  • Then I started soaking the toe. No go.
  • I tried cutting back the skin near the sore toenail to see if I could get some relief that way. No go.
  • I tried cutting a little “v” at the center of the toenail. That didn’t work either

This was going to be a little more difficult than I thought.

Eventually was able to wedge some dental floss under the nail. That took care of my problem, or so I thought.

That darned toenail was persistent. The floss relieved the pain, but it didn’t fix the problem.

Like the others I'd read about, I thought I could fix this problem myself. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. This time it definitely did not work!

The doctor made me a little nervous!
The doctor made me a little nervous! | Source

The Doctor Just Does Not Understand!

I gave up on the home remedy thing and forced myself to see a foot doctor. The news was grim. I actually had two ingrown toenails, one on each foot!

A piece of toenail that had gotten wedged under the one nail was causing the pain. When the doc removed it, the pain disappeared.

However, she told me that if I had to come back, cutting, bleeding and pain would take place.

This was a very clear indicator to me that there wasn’t going to be any return visit.

Just the thought of a shot in the toe was enough to make me run screaming out the door. The thought of getting those shots in both toes? Well, you can just imagine my horror!

The doctor said it was no big deal. After all, it was just a shot. I almost believed that until I watched a few YouTube videos. Sometimes they were shooting each toe as many as three times to numb them.

Didn’t this doctor understand the meaning of the words “low pain tolerance”?

Besides, my toes were now just fine. NOT!

It never hurts to visit another doctor and get a second opinion.
It never hurts to visit another doctor and get a second opinion. | Source

Second Opinions Matter...A Lot!

After a few weeks, the darned toe started to hurt again.

I gathered up my nerve and fortified myself with 10mg of Valium, and went to see a different foot doctor.

I thought she might know a better way to deal with my problem, and I was right! This one told me cutting would not be required as long as I saw her regularly and kept the toenail clean.

She was pretty surprised when I jumped out of the chair and started hugging her. (The Valium may have had something to do with that!).

Thanks to her, today I am the proud owner of two ingrown toenails that have never been cut on and don’t hurt.

Everybody was right: second opinions can be very important!

No More Hugging

After the hugging incident, she said she’d only let me come back if I promised to keep my distance.

I was more than happy to comply with her wishes. (I think I may have unwittingly given her a little scare that day.)

Some day I may have to get more serious about possible upcoming adventures with my ingrown toenails, but I’m happy to announce that even after a year, all is well in the toenail department.

However, I do wonder about those bunions that are starting to hurt!

Causes of Ingrown Toenails - Animation

If you've ever had ingrown toenail surgery, how did it go for you?

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