Toes, Bros, And Recognizing My Own Wimpiness

An interesting thing happened to me during my last annual physical: my new general practitioner recommended I have the toenail on my “driver’s side” big toe removed due to ongoing pain caused by the nail becoming ingrown. Kinda gross, I know, and ego-shattering to some degree: I’ve always prided myself on my healthy, good-looking, fungus-free toenails. I spent my youth roaming around SoCal beach communities in my flip-flop sandals, and exposing my healthy digits became even more critical as I became a teenager. I’ve always had a dandy set of toes, which is why I was crushed to learn the big toe wasn’t perfect anymore. Equally crushing was the realization that I wasn’t exactly undergoing some complex medical procedure for a rare condition. When I shared my plight with my younger brother Brian, he laughed. “That used to happen to me all the time in college,” he said. “I’d just take one of my exact-o knives from my graphic arts class and cut the nail out myself.” Continuing to look for sympathy, I shared my toenail tragedy with my good friend John “JT” Taylor, who nodded his head. “Yeah, in-gowns are tough,” he explained. ”I actually have a ‘kit’ full of different tools I use to dig out my nails every couple of months.”  What have I been doing wrong? Right before my doctor removed the offending ingrown-ness on my OTHER big toe recently, he stopped to admire my other four toes on that foot: “Who does your pedicures? Your toes look great.” Thanks, I think…

John Young 

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