Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Underappreciated Toe Nails

Do you see these sandals?

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I got them for 70% off about four years ago and have worn them and worn them. (And then worn them some more.)

In fact, these particular sandals are the backbone of my entire summer wardrobe because they go with pants and skirts and dressy Capri’s and even better than that, they’re incredibly comfortable. Every single winter, I count down the months, days, and weeks until the weather is finally warm enough for me to pull out my golden standbys and wear them twenty-seven (or even twenty-eight) hours a day.

I really do love them that much.

However. I have some sad news to share with you concerning these beloved shoes. (I’ll pause here for just a moment so that you can go find your Kleenex box and prepare to wipe away a few sympathetic sniffles on my bereft behalf.)

The sad news is this: This summer, I will not be able to wear The Sandals. (sniff)

Well, let me rephrase that. Actually, I can wear The Sandals, but the experience would not be terribly inspiring for anyone in my immediate vicinity.

Let me ‘splain.

You may recall my post yesterday about my pending visit to the podiatrist. Well, I did visit said doctor and it was not a happy moment in my life. (If you’re squeamish about reading about toenails, you may want to skip down to the place where it says it’s safe to start reading again.)

For those of you still reading, here’s the toe nail scoop. Not only do I have ingrown toe nails on both sides of both big toes but I also have a fungus underneath each of those nails. (Lovely, I know.) I was actually tested by another doctor a year ago for the fungus (a culture was taken and sent to a lab) and was supposed to have been put on medication back then. After two weeks and half a dozen phone calls to that doctor that weren’t returned (trying to get a prescription), I was diagnosed with breast cancer and sort of lost the momentum to pursue a fungus medication when a double mastectomy was pending.

So when this new doctor looked at the results of last year’s culture (that I had brought with me) he said, “Oh yeah, you should have had this treated last year. The longer it sits, the harder it is to get rid of.” Sigh.

At any rate, he ended up removing half of my nail on the left big toe and just a little less than than on the right big toe.

And even when both nails grow back in sufficiently, I will not be allowed to polish them for twelve months! Also, I have to take a prescription med every day for three months, plus brush a certain prescription liquid on them every day for a YEAR. A whole year! (And halfway through the course of the prescription med, I have to get blood work done to make sure my liver isn’t being damaged.)

I left the podiatrist’s office yesterday afternoon and hobbled back to my car like a 103-year old woman, my aching back exacerbated by my assaulted toe nails. Needless to say, I was not the happiest of happy campers.


So. What’s a girl to do?

I guess what this girl is going to do is try and find some sort of versatile, dressy (inexpensive) sandals that will be lovely, perky and feminine and yet completely enclose the toe area. And then I will also have to try and find something casual in that same, toe-covered category as well.

Do you know how hard that will be? Do you realize how few summer shoes have closed toes? Not many!

I think I shall have a small period of mourning today for my lovely, favorite sandals before I stick them way in the back of my closet so that I don’t see them every day and get plunged into yet even deeper sandal grief.

Of course, this just has to be the summer that Nathan is graduating from college and getting married, which are two really big occasions for pulling out perfectly pedicured toenails and fancy shoes.

Okay. I’m done with my whining, ranting and raving about this particular toe and shoe crisis. I do realize that this is a very small thing in the light of huge medical crises that people face; in fact, having just come through my year of breast cancer treatment, I know that fact extra, extra well.

But since this is a blog about what’s going on in my life—well, that is what is currently going on.

Snowy’s Post

Snowy says to thank you all for your responses to his post yesterday. He and I especially got a lot of good giggles over your comments about his hair styling technique. You all are so funny!

You know, after re-reading that post in addition to your comments, it has occurred to me that Snowy and I truly are kindred spirits because I actually use a similar hair styling technique on my very own personal hair.


I had a hairstylist several years ago who showed me a little trick: When my hair was just about dry, she would take the heel of her hand and move it in a firm, circular motion on various parts of my hair, making each part really messy; she especially concentrated on the crown of my head and the area around it.

Then when my hair looked like it was completely ruined, she would brush it out a little and smooth it into place and it would provide nice volume in those “circular hurricane” areas.

I still use that technique now and while I was doing my hair this morning, I thought, “This is basically what Snowy does for his hair!”

Well, except that I like my technique a bit better because it can be done standing up and does not require my ancient, aching body to get itself down on the floor in order to rub my head on the the carpet. Like this:


We 49-year old women have to draw the line somewhere.

So there you have it. Hairstyling tips that work for dogs and humans alike and a Toenail/Sandal Crisis Story that is guaranteed to make you feel extra appreciative of your very own toe nails.

Because just so you know?

There are few things in the world any worse than an underappreciated toe nail.

17 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Shannon said...

Becky I can relate, sorta. I work in a manufacturing facility. While I don't directly work on the production floor (finance office), I am requred to follow the dress code, which is closed toe/heel shoes and low heel.
Let me tell you it's hard to find cute summer shoes with closed toe/heel/low heel shoes.
I always have a little jealously to some friends if we meet after work and they have cute summer sandals and I have hot loafers. sigh!!
Good Luck finding some cute sandals for the summer!

Anonymous said...

I'll take those shoes off your hands if you want them to get some use this summer:) Very pretty!

I totally sympathize with your dilemma. I had ankle surgery a couple summers ago, and after getting out of a cast and walking boot, had to wear "supportive" shoes for a year! Oh my!

So happy that Snowy is doing so well. He looks good!

Cindy in VA

LizW said...

Toenail fungus is not fun! You will be glad you took care of it, but sure isn't the best of timing.
I'm a big Naturalizer fan, so can understand your missing your shoes. Also impressed that you are comfortable in a heel that high, and that they still look that good (or is that a photo of when they were brand new?). Must admit that Burkenstocks are my go-to shoes these days!
Hope you have had a chance to recharge your battery.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

OH Mamma~
I feel your pain. Jan 2009 I had surgery on my right foot...then 3 weeks later my entire nail removed from my big toe on said foot.

It took 7 months...count them...7 months for it to grow back....and the ick under the grew back with the nail. BOO!!!

So now, I have to keep the nailtrimmed up short of it bothers me if the nail hits the tip of my shoe.

I did find out that if I have to have it removed FOREVER..the nail salon can put on a fake I can wear cute summer shoes and polish.

I'll be praying for you....when I had mine done..I had to wear this boot shoe thingy....for a couple weeks...cause my toe was very swollen!

Lizz said...

You could always just wear Crocs!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Doesn't that make you feel better? They aren't the cutest things but everyone says they are so comfy! Hope I made you smile! :)

Anonymous said...

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jmckemie said...

Or, you can wear those favorite sandals anyway - paint the other 8 toes and milk the sympathy all summer!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster that said, wear them anyway. I have lost toe nails before and just wore sandals anyway, when you live in AZ you wear sandals in the summer no matter what. I say give it a try, when the healing of the procedure yesterday heals.
Love ya,
Cousin Sandy

Anonymous said...

Treating fungus and risk liver damage????????? And it is a real risk!!!!
Why did you do it??????

Jen said...

I am all for the cute nikes with socks. They are not inexpensive, but they make very cute, light weight nikes that look good. Obviously not church material, but they work everywhere else!

Anonymous said...

if your only concern is how your feet look in open shoes. be greatful! all i read is feel sorry for becky!

molly said...

Every time I get a pedicure (which is... not a lot of times, come to think of it), the pedicurist informs me that "you know, you should really get a podiatrist to remove those". Those being my pinky toenails.
This entry further convinced me that I am NEVER doing that. Consider it your public service for the day!

I only have about 1 sq cm, TOPS, of little toenail, but I just paint what little is there and sandal away. You may want to try it, depending on what nail it is.

molly said...

Er, when I pressed "publish" I remembered that nailpolish isn't an option. How about some kind of false nail over the top? Not affixed to the nail, but like a toe mask? Or a toe hat? I'm sure you can jazz those puppies up!
OK, for real, slingbacked close-toed shoes still look kind of summery, maybe try those. Latticework-looking ballet flats are in this year, and those look like spring/summer too!

becky m said...

oh no! that is terrible timing.yet knowing it is you, i am sure one of these times you walk into one of your favorite shoe stores, there will be the perfect shoes just sitting there calling out your name.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous @10:48 p.m.March 30:
1. Grateful is not spelled "greatful".
2. Try to be less judgmental.
3. Feel free to read another blog.
4. Be brave and sign your name to your anonymous posts.

Hey, Becky, as a preventative when all this is healed, try Vicks vaporub at the first sign of nail fungus. As dumb as it sounds, it works. I put it on at night and cover my feet with white cotton socks. That way One doesn't smell like Vicks during the day. It works well but I usually get lazy about the application, so the fungus returns.

Jan (from Toledo)

Angela said...

Hi Becky,

I had parts of my toenail removed last year. It took a good 8 weeks before I could wear shoes again. I had to wear sandals and the last 2 weeks I wore them with socks as it was really cold by then. It is six months now and my nail is still not perfect. It will happen... all in good time.

Debbie said...

Hi Becky,
I really feel for you. I had to see a Podiatrist for ingrown toenails in both big toes. I will never go back again! He removed both sides of the big toenail on the right side, at first with no local anesthesia. He came at me with big clippers that looked like they could chop down a tree, lol. He proceeded to start to cut the nail bed and when I flew off the table, he decided to give me a local which hurt quite a bit too. He finally got the nail done and wanted to do the one on the left side, which I declined. So now I have one funky toe nail that is a little bitty nail half the size it should be, and the left toe is still ingrown and I try to cut it when it gets ingrown and needs help. My toe nails have not been polished in 2 years and I had just stopped worrying about it. I think I might give it a try and see how it looks since it is sandal time again, and I sure would like to have pretty toe nails. Maybe no one will give them more than a glance and just see the color.
Good luck to you finding some sandals that you will like.