about the photo

Downtown Temple,NH

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Heebe Geebees

Ok, I'll warn you this isn't a pleasant post and most likely will not add any value to your life today.
Following last weeks 33 mile epic adventure I developed a painful blister under my big toenail. It would fill up with fluid and try to push my nail off my foot and was generally very painful. I eventually popped it with a needle and have repeated this several times a day for over a week. In fact, I could actually stick the needle under my nail almost 1/2 way down my nail, like some sort of Chinese torture technique or something (or was that bamboo shoots?). I was doing it to myself and it was creeping me out!

At times, there was so much pressure on my toenail that I couldn't even put weight on my foot. Ever try to walk without using your big toe? Exactly. In the last week I ran 3 painful miles, all because of my toe. Every runner is familiar with black toenail, but have you ever had white toenail?

I finally went to the doctors on Friday to make sure it wasn't infected and see if there was something I could do to speed up recovery. She said as long as it was draining it was fine but she could do something to help it along - drill a hole in my toenail to let it drain. Are you kidding me? Of course I said no but then reluctantly agreed when she said it wouldn't hurt too much. It wasn't the pain I was worried about, it was the idea of someone sticking something through my toenail. Certain things just creep me out. This happened to be one of them. Anyways, I had it done, it didn't hurt but I was never comfortable during. The nurse tried to relax me by telling a blond joke but totally botched it (no, she wasn't blond but could have been).

Now when I push on my toenail fluid bubbles out the end of my toenail and through the little hole in the top of my nail, like a mini volcano....you know, sort of like KrakaTOEa (sorry, I couldn't resist). So far I haven't seen much relief. It still hurts and I still can't run, but I can bike (for now).


Jim Hansen said...

I had my fingernail drilled once after I squished it bad. I have had toenails come off after marathons, but how in the world does a blister get "underneath" a toenail? Isn't there an ultramarathon runner who had all of his toenails removed?

Scotty "PHAT" Graham said...

Wow Steve, You are really taking this injury series your on to a new level. Try and get well and stay that way.

Steve Wolfe said...

Mucking up my toe forced me to focus on my mountain biking 'skills', or highlighted the fact I'm generally lacking skill. True, I'd love to be able to run but I'm far from laying around doing nothing (although sometimes I wonder if that might be safer).
By the time I'm ready to get back to running (after next weekends bike race), my toe should be fine. Can't guarantee the rest of me though!

Douglas said...

Yes, I've gone through this a number of times. It's no fun, but it does pass. Relieving the pressure is the right thing to do, so it keeping it clean and disinfected. The pain is usually completely gone in a week. Also, even if it hurts when you run, it's usually only for the first 10 minutes. One other hint: while it's tender and still healing, run without socks in shoes that are little big. Keep it from hammering into anything. Hang in there.