Since I first began running, I've had toenail "issues." So does my dad, so does my brother. It's mostly our second toe (even though it's not longer), though all of mine are affected. I've mostly ignored them or taken care of them myself by removing them with pliers.
When I finished my run on Sunday (17 miles), I took off my shoes. I immediately felt a pulse in my left second toe. It continued to pulsate throughout the day. I didn't realize how bad it was until Rowan came up to my feet and barely hit my toe. It made me jump it hurt so badly. So I sat down and finally looked at the thing. Not only was it throbbing, but it was red, warm, and swollen. The skin around the nail was extremely taut. I couldn't stand for the sheet to touch it while I was lying in bed.
Monday, I called a podiatrist. I saw him today. I explained that I'm a runner, which didn't make him wince. That was a good sign. He deduced that I'm a toe runner and said that those two toenails were beyond repair in terms of them getting better on their own. "The best option is to remove them and let them basically start over. If they do the same thing when they grow back in, we'll do it again and kill the root so they'll never grow back." Deal. These two toenails bother me SO much. I loved the prospect of them being GONE.
He announced that he'd numb up the toes and get on with the procedure. I wasn't nervous at all about him numbing them. After all, I've had those awful cortisone injections to the abdomen. Well, these injections were exponentially worse. Imagine a needle going into the base of your toe, being moved around in different directions, and a medication injected. It was some of the most unpleasant pain I've ever felt. And I've felt a lot.
Finally, they were numb. He brought in some plier-looking things and got to work. I was numb, but it was hard to watch what he was doing. He hooked onto the nails and twisted and pulled. It took some effort. Just like that, the nails were gone. Just flesh on the ends of those toes. While I'm sore from the procedure, I must tell you that my toenails, especially the left one, feel SO much better. Tomorrow I will run 11 miles sans those two toenails. I can't wait!