The Tale of the Ingrown Toenail–The Final Chapter

The story begins many blog posts ago, when my first ingrown toenail debacle started a cycle of ingrowing of the toenail. My podiatrist equates it with a thorn growing into your skin.

Anyway, the last time he had to remove it was in July. I thought I could make it until October, when he was going to perform a procedure to end the ingrowth permanently–cauterizing the nail root. WRONG.

Labor Day weekend, I swam in the ocean. I took long walks and got away from my laptop. And my toenail pierced deeper into my flesh causing my cuticle to swell and redden. Reaching the point where I couldn’t put weight on the toe. I called the podiatrist and they squeezed me in.

I figured a little removal of the ingrown toenail–I could handle that alone. WRONG.

The doctor decided that we should do the cauterization now. Stupidly I agreed. How bad could it be? Very Very badly painful.

He started with about 6-8 shots of Novacain into my toe. I can’t remember how many. I just remember trying not to cuss or bite through my lip.

He rubber banded my toe to prevent lots of bleeding when he worked. (Smart move–I faint at my own blood)

Anyway, he got me good and numbed up, then he cut an entire section of my toe nail away. From the tip of my toe down to the nail root. He also extracted the ingrown toenail that looked suspiciously like one of Eric’s fangs on True Blood. He band-aided me up and sent me home with strict instructions to soak it a couple times a day and use a box of medicated band-aids that he gave me.

All the Novacain made me so nervous, I had no trouble driving home.

But when the Novacain wore off, the pain was in-freaking-credible. From the tip of my toe pain shot to my ankle and into my leg. All those nerves were mega pissed at being doped up.

Sometimes a crazy pain came out of nowhere and I sorta yelped. This went on for about 36 hours. It still hurts a lot. When I soak it, it gets a little weepy. Not me, the toe.

Today, I go for a check-up to make sure there is no infection.

And in my weirdness, I like to take pictures of my surgeries and procedures so here is what my toe looked like after the procedure (after the bleeding stopped). There is still dried blood under the nail. And there are red needle marks around the base of my toe. And yes, my foot is mega swollen. It always swells up after Novacain.

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36 Responses to The Tale of the Ingrown Toenail–The Final Chapter

  1. Jenny says:

    I had this done last year and the doc thought he’d taken care of the rotten nail. Guess what. It’s baaacck. It’s not infected yet but I can’t wear enclosed shoes. I’ll have to save up some money and get it done again. My podiatrist was really great because he sprayed that cold stuff on my foot so many times I didn’t feel the needle or the medicine going in. Good luck. I hope you feel better soon. big hugs.

    • Oh no! My doctor said it has a 90% chance of fixing things. I’m hopeful. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, I’ve been living in sandals for most of the year. That cold stuff didn’t help me. I felt everything. The pinch of the needle going in. The burning shooting pain of the medication. I’m hobbling around and not putting much weight on the toe. Ugh. Good time to get writing done at my desk I suppose. ๐Ÿ™‚ Big hug back! Hope the next time the cauterization works for you!

  2. Aw crikey! I’ve written about toenails too (one of the occupational hazards to long distance runners is black toenails–which do fall off) . . . but man, I gotta give you props. Your toe is positively ghastly! It just looks painful (shivering). I hope you feel better soon!

  3. Ouch. I have ingrown nails on both big toes but have found an aesthetician who keeps them under control and they never hurt. thank god.

    this post reminds me of how much those suckers hurt. Ouch. take care and get well soon.

    • That’s wonderful. Yeah the pain sucks. It hurts to have them grow in. Hurts to have them removed. They are a real pain to deal with. Thanks! Hoping the podiatrist says it looks good today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Cat Forsley says:

    Okay That Title Got me …..xx
    Ouch and sending Love xx
    Tons of it xoxo

  5. Oh, ouchy! Can you wear open toed clogs with socks? (Those are on sale now as they are “summer” shoes – as I am reminded as I pull on socks and continue to wear favorites)
    Lucky that’s a different ocean than here – don’t want to go in the gulf with wounds due to a very nasty bacteria in the water that kills..(.yes it does each year.)
    Take care of those toesies and feet!

    • Nothing can touch my toe right now or it’s agony. So it’s my summer sandals for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m lucky, the salt water of the Long Island Sound is pretty clean up here. Wow that’s terrible. Doctor said toe is healing well but I have to soak it and watch it another week for any signs of infection.

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    Yeah, that procedure can be pretty intense. Sometimes it’s those “little” things that end up being the worst. Hope it heals well for you. I suspect a little vino will help.

    • I hate being awake for any “procedure.” I think it’s so much kinder to put me under. The needles hurt the most and then knowing he’s cutting up my nail and not looking down or moving. That’s torture. I’d rather wake up and have my toe all bandaged up with no memory of what happened. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, vino will be good, going to try that tonight.

  7. 4amWriter says:

    Ack. That’s a horrible story. I hope you’re feeling better soon and that you never have to go through that again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yeah, it all started last November too. What a long tale it’s been! I do feel better but my toe is super sore and I have to baby it another week. Fingers crossed it works and this is the final chapter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. CC MacKenzie says:

    Ooooh, I couldn’t LIKE this post because you’re in so much pain. OUCH!

    Get well soon.

    • LOL. I totally understand. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was really awful. It’s hard to sleep because nothing can touch my toe or it jars me awake. But it is coming along. Doctor said it should drain/weep another week. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Ouch! Hope your toe heals quickly, and that this is the end of the problems for you.

  10. jmmcdowell says:

    Okay, I just can’t hit “like” for something so painful! I hope this takes care of the problem once and for all. Watch out on those pedicures, and take it easy while your foot heals.

    I hear writing is a good time filler when you’re off your feet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Subtlekate says:

    Oh dear, I am very sorry. I do hope this fixes it as I believe they are extremely painful.

  12. winsomebella says:

    Ouch. Times a million.

  13. Elliot says:

    Um that looks “nice”. I have a few dodgy looking nails, but thankfully no ingrowing ones. Don’t envy you on that one, I’ll leave that to the trip posts!

    • LOL. It’s hideous. The cure hurt more than the problem. But it kept causing infections so it had to be handled. Ick. Weirdly, the toe posts are some of my most popular in terms of hittage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Is it totally strange that I kind of waiting for the next “toe-chapter”? (Apparently not, when I see that last reply you wrote above, in the comments!) Cheers to the end of your toe-woes, my dear!

    • Not at all, it has been a long journey. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not completely healed yet either. Doctor says my blood sugar issues make me a super slow healer. I did have a follow up to remove some skin that was inhibiting healing. It may still end up being another chapter. Though I hope not! ๐Ÿ™‚

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