My toe - the bad one* that gets all bloody and pussy and infected, the one that makes me squirmish - has been getting really bad lately. I can't slip on my socks or shoes without wincing. I can't walk without a limp. I'm spending extraordinary amounts of money on bleach to keep my socks nice and white and clean, not pussy yellow and oozy brown. And I haven't done a whole lot of exercising since I moved to LA, in large part to me being lazy but in part to my foot hurting.
And then I get a call. It's a job in Anchorage where I'm going to be on my feet for 14 hours a day, and in the cold and wet snow, and the other night, while sitting at home watching a movie and drinking a beer, I'm picking at my toe and I rip out a portion of the ingrown toenail that's about the size of an M&M, and I'm amazed, because I know that's just the tip of the iceburg, so to speak.
So I figure I'll call a few podiatrists to see how much it's going to cost, and they all say the same thing - we won't know til we see it, and it'll cost roughly $75 to see it. I say, well, you know what? I'm moving back to Palm Springs temporarily, just long enough to save up my first months rent and my deposit for my share of a house I'm looking into with some friends of mine, so I don't have to worry about rent on the first, so $75 is cool.
I go to the office today, slip off my shoes and jump onto the doctor's chair thingy. The nurse comes in, looks at my toe, makes kind of a sickly face, and informs me the doctor will be in shortly.
The doctor comes in, makes friendly banter, and looks at my toe. I'm seeing the back of his head so I'm not sure what his reaction was, but it felt to me like stunned silence. He stares for too long a time to be good, then turns to me and says, "How longs it been like this, a couple weeks?" I laugh and tell him no, about a year and a half now. I was right - it was stunned silence. Now, somewhat self-conscious, I make a joke about being a procrastinator. He asks how I was referred to him. I say google. He says he's going to have a picture taken of my toe and post it on google under the headline "procrastination."
He tells me we should go about the fixing of my toe in two stage, and immediately I feel he's trying to screw me - two paychecks rather than one. The first step, he says, is to numb the toe, cut back the thick flap of skin that has slowly grown over about one-third of the nail, and then clip out the ingrown toe nail. Then, in a couple weeks, I'll come back and he'll cauterize the root of the portion that keeps growing wrong. I say this is cool, let's get to it.
He does this.
Long story shortish, when it's all done he shows me the size of the nail that he clipped out, that he been growing down into the skin, and its roughly the size of a nickel, and thick and gnarly looking. He says it's a record, easily.
He applies some crap to my toe and gives instructions on how to I should tend to it, and now I'm back at the office watching Candid Camera's Greatest Moments, and mentally preparing for my trip to Alaska.
(*: This is actually the better of the two. My right foot has been much worse for much longer)