I just wanted pretty toes. That’s all.
Which is why I got a pedicure the day before I left on my cruise to Hawaii. I mean, who’s not going to wear sandals in Hawaii, right? Pretty toes are a must.
I’d been to this salon a couple times before, one of those in-and-out cattle-call places, and they had done a decent job. Quick, seemingly clean, and efficient.
Not so much this time.
The young girl attacked my tootsies like a starving wolverine on a fallen lamb. I have neuropathy in both feet and therefore lack about 75% feeling, but the remaining 25% felt every jab, poke, and stab. During the painful process, I even posted on Facebook, “Are pedicures supposed to hurt this much?”
And is blood letting a part of the process?
Apparently not. So what’s with those drops around my big toe? When I winced and pointed out that she had cut the side of my foot with her overzealous use of the pumice stone, she applied antiseptic and made direct contact with the torn skin.
So much for sterilization.
But I was in a hurry with a ton of errands to run before my 15 day vacation. And so, I let the aspiring Samurai finish and paid with the thought, “never again.” When I got home, I cleaned the wound, applied more antiseptic, and didn’t give it another thought.
Not until six days later onboard ship, when this guy approached me and my pretty toes in my new sandals. “I hope you don’t mind me interfering,” he said, “but I’m a retired paramedic and that cut on the side of your foot looks bad. You should see a doctor.”
Not the pickup line I was hoping for.
But I guess neuropathy can come in handy because I wasn’t feeling any pain. Or maybe those endless cruise cocktails had something to do with it. Anyway, I hadn’t noticed the wound since it entailed twisting my foot at an unnatural angle. When I did, oh wow, it was looking pretty nasty. So I saw the ship doctor, a kindly South African who reminded me of Dr. Bombay from Bewitched. He confirmed an infection. Big time. He treated the wound and prescribed antibiotics. Problem solved, right?
Uh, not quite.
When I returned home two weeks later, not only was the wound still infected, but an abscess had formed underneath it. Which meant another doctor visit, more bandages, and stronger antibiotics, both oral and topical.
By week three, the wound was still red, swollen, and angry looking. My doctor was concerned that the infection had gone into the bone and ordered X-rays. Thank goodness, it hadn’t, but now the pain was bypassing the neuropathy and hurting like hell.
By week four, there was still was no improvement so I was referred to a podiatrist. He excavated the infected, walnut-sized abscess, bandaged my foot, and prescribed one of those dork medical shoes to be worn over the next week coupled with twice-daily 15-minute foot soaks in a special antiseptic bath. This was to be followed with another topical antibiotic ointment and finished with enough gauze, wrap, and surgical tape to mummify the entire entourage of King Tut.
That night I could barely sleep. My aching foot throbbed like a migraine with toes.
Hopefully, my follow-up appointment next week will put this saga to rest. In the meantime, I’ve alerted the nail salon with a detailed letter outlining visits, costs and procedures to date. You know, in case I lose a foot or something.
All this for pretty toes. Which, by the way, looked great in those new sandals.