Toenails – Viewpoint Two

February 3 – Dale asked me if I would take pictures of the surgery he had the other day so that he would have a photo reminder of the podiatrist removing the nails from both of his big toes. Because I was concerned about having the pictures turn out well, I didn’t have time to be concerned about what was going on there in Dr. Eddy’s office. Speaking of the doctor who did such a great job, I think he must have wondered what planet I lived on, when he agreed to my question of, “Is it OK if I take some pictures of this surgery?” He readily agreed, saying that he had never had a request like that before! Since I didn’t want him to think I was really missing some part of my brain, I said, “Dale asked me if I would do this; it sure wasn’t my idea!”

Dale in the doctor's chair

Dale in the doctor’s chair

Dale sat quietly, most of the time with that infectious smile on his face asking questions as the surgery went on. Before the doctor actually started, Dale had to sign a paper giving the doctor the right to apply the chemical phenol to prevent the toe nail from growing back again. Good reason for that because twice before after surgery, the nails did grow back and were very painful. When all was ready, Dr. Eddy sprayed the toes to numb them so Dale wouldn’t feel the anesthetic coming from the big needle. About ten minutes later, he started (and completed) the surgery. [Don’t worry, I won’t go into specifics!] The doctor would often stop to ask Dale if there were any pain; and there wasn’t.

The doctor’s skill was apparent as time went on. He told us about his various activities earlier in life, including some time as a high school science teacher. After the surgery was done, he wound lots of ecru-colored tape around the toes, making them look like morel mushrooms! He then gave the instructions as to what Dale should do in the next month, including soaking the toes in Epsom salts in warm water twice daily! “For a whole month!” Dale told me after the doctor had left the room. “That’s a long time!” Since there was no pain, thanks to the anesthetic, we were able to do the last of our shopping before heading to Price Chopper to buy some Epsom salts. He had a bit of that out in the barn at home, as he had been using it for plant fertilizer. I thought it might be a good idea to buy a new batch that was clean and unused!

Cat offering her toothbrush in sympathy

Cat offering her toothbrush in sympathy

As we went through the check-out line, we saw Sheila whose first words to us were, “How’s your foot, Dale?” That lady has a good memory and cares about everybody. It had been a week ago that we had told her of the upcoming surgery, and she hadn’t forgotten! Along with her we saw our friend Teri who had been out on sick leave for months because of her back. With a big smile she came up to us while we were still in line to give us hugs and the promise that she was well enough to be back at work soon. Good news!

Fortunately, Dale was in no pain after the medication wore off, and by the next day could get around more easily. After resting and sitting most of the day yesterday, all was well today. Two Epsom salt soaks, NO plastic bags, just two pairs of socks, and he is doing well. He was in pain just about six weeks before the surgery, so I am more than glad that he finally decided to get off to see the doctor. A check-up next week, and then all should be taken care of for good, thanks to the promise that those toes will never be covered up again by infected toe nails! – CHRIS

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