And just when I thought I couldn’t get any sexier, I develop a raging toenail fungus.
I count my blessings everyday to be in very good overall health. Overall, except for my feet. My feet, man. My feet have problems.
First, there was the great ingrown toenail incident of 1994. You try walking on the side of your foot for two weeks in high school and see how cool you feel. Finally my mother dragged me to the doctor, and the thing was so deep I had to have a localized shot on my toe.
Years later, I began hitting the podiatrist regularly for the corns that would magically appear between my toes every winter. I still remember the first time I met the doctor I see now–a great guy who’s right around my age. I wanted to lick this problem, so I took off my shoes and let him inspect the area.
“So, you’re here to take care of those big bunions, are ya?”
“No, doctor. Actually I’m here because of my corns.” Step aside, Angelina Jolie. You just met your match.
Every two months I was back in his office so he could file my corns down with an emery board. I was glad to have something to bond with my grandmother about, but the regular appointments were a financial drain and a monumental pain in my ass. Not to mention, corns freakin’ hurt.
I ended up having minor toe surgery so he could shave down the bone spur that was causing so much friction. A bone spur. How very Texan of me.
I’ve been able to mostly avoid the podiatrist ‘s office since then, until last week when I finally took the 2-month-old nail polish off my toes (stop judging me you well-groomed girls with your weekly pedicures).
“Now that ain’t right”, I thought to myself. I did some quick googling, and yep–just as I suspected. Toenail fungus. (BTW: Do yourself a favor and stop yourself from googling toe fungus right now, especially if you do your blog reading over breakfast. PS: If you truly can’t help yourself, let me reclaim just a smidge of dignity and relay that mine wasn’t nearly as heinous as the horror stories on WebMD.)
So me and my fungus made a trip to the podiatrist. Everyone on staff recognized me immediately, and as much as I’d love to think it was because of my dazzling wit and unforgettable beauty, I’m pretty sure it was actually because I’m the only patient at this clinic who’s not diabetic and a member of AARP.
They were really sweet to me, as usual, and made a big deal out of the fact that I’ve gotten married since the last time I was there. I so appreciated their efforts to make me feel like a pretty, pretty bride, but let’s face it– I’m just a married hag now with big old bunions and fungus on her toe. This man clearly didn’t marry me for my feet.
The assistant gave me hydrotherapy, which is just a fancy word for a foot soak with bubbles.
“So what do you think, you think he’s gonna have to cut the nail off?” I ask.
“Oh no,” she said with confidence. “Nothing like that.” She dried off my hooves and called for the doctor.
“So,” he greeted me with a smile. “What’s new? Married? Kids?”
“Married. No kids. Fungus. That’s what’s new.”
He grabbed both feet in his hands, and surveyed the scene. I had taken the liberty of painting all but my offending toe a deep plum in anticipation of fall.
“You sure this unpainted one is the only one with fungus? Have you checked the others?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I’ve done a thorough inspection of the area. Just the one. But why, Doc? Why me? Why fungus?”
“You know, Jenn. Sometimes God can’t make women too perfect. It just wouldn’t have been fair for him to give you so much beauty everywhere else, and then to give you beautiful feet too. Something had to give.”
I told you this guy was good.
“You make an excellent point,” I said. “Now what do we do about it?”
“Well, fungus is very insidious,” He shut the door to give my fungus privacy. “You can take pills every day for the next three months, but I recommend we just cut the nail off.”
I totally called that.
“Many women are worried about the aesthetics of cutting off a large portion of the toenail however…”
“Listen, I gave up on the aesthetics of my feet a long time ago. Let’s do this.” So I put my head inside the collar of my t-shirt like a big girl, and let him saw off the majority of my big toenail. By the time he was finished it looked the rough, craggly leftovers of the Berlin Wall.
“They’ll give you some anti-fungal serum at the front desk that you should use religiously twice a day. Really get it in there good, and come back to see me in two months.”
Seventy-five dollars and half a toenail later, I made my way back to my apartment. I decided to walk because the weather was so nice. While paused at a streetlight, I glanced down at my feet. My bunions looked especially pronounced in this particular pair of sandals and it was hard not to notice my new half-nail since it was the only one not painted a deep plum in anticipation of fall. In that moment, I decided I was going to be kinder to my feet. I might even give them some hydrotherapy later. They deserved a treat after what they’d been through today.
After all, my feet may not be pretty, but they always get me home.