I’ve had an ingrown toenail that has come up from time to time, and this time I finally decided to ask my doctor about it. After emailing my doctor, he prescribed treatment at the minor injury clinic. The medical assistant there took a look at it and agreed that I needed treatment.

First came the pain killer injections. Not only was the pain not killed, but the shot was painful in itself. First it felt like she was trying to insert the needle through my toe, not just under the skin, and secondly the injection caused a burning sensation. Unfortunately, this suffering was followed by the actual cutting of the toenail, which was even more painful. I pointed out that I was hurting and she thought there shouldn’t be any pain, so she made a third injection (which did not hurt, because of the earlier injections, I assume). Still, it was painful, so we just went ahead while I writhed in pain for 20 seconds.

Now I have a toe with three quarters of a toenail and flesh that looks like hamburger meat. I’d post a picture but it would be too disgusting. The good news is, the nail really was ingrown, so at least the procedure was fruitful. Oh, and they had to give me a tetanus shot, so my arm was sore for a day.

While it may sound like I’m complaining, I’m not. I pride myself on being resilient and enduring (at least some) pain. Afterall, I’m a man, I should at least be able to put up with a little bit of trouble, just don’t ask me to give birth. The point of all this is that the cure was far worse than anything I had to endure with the ingrown toenail. Each time it came up I would poke at it, then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage, and two days later it was fine again. Now I’ve got to soak my foot in warm, salty water three times a day for some extended period of time, it will be six months before the toenail completely grows back, and it hurts more than the ingrown toenail ever did. It’s a case of the cure being worse than the illness, though probably necessary nonetheless.

Update: It’s now been 10 months and the toenail is still not back to normal. Would I recommend this procedure to anyone else? No, not unless your life depended on it.