My cat Sootie, drinking from the fish bowl. Photo I took at age 15.
It’s called a matrectomy, and refers to the removal or partial removal of an ingrown toenail. Yesterday, after we sat in reception at the podiatrist’s office and watched a horror film of the disintegration of the foot as we age, I had the remains of ingrown toenails on both big toes removed. Actually, my toes went through this minor surgery 4 years ago. However, little slivers of residual unwanted toenail survived, so the doc excised the areas again. I hope it works this time, because it was not fun.
(Photo credit: Plashing Vole)
Why did I have ingrown toenails? I wore sensible shoes all my life. Even when I wore heels, I wore shoes with boxy toes, never those horrible pointy toed things. According to the doc, I am drying out (meds, aging, etc.), and that includes my nails, which losing moisture, began turning in and digging into my flesh.
So, it wasn’t my fault.
When we are younger, how often do we think about the repercussions of our actions when we are older? Probably almost never. David says he wishes he had never been a jogger because he is sure jogging on hard surfaces when he was younger led to the demise of his knee and hip joints.
Often, we cannot pinpoint what might have caused a problem we have today. I have always been a walker, and I am sure my strong bones are the result of much walking as well as a love of milk. Mom kept a cow and chickens, so even during the dark days of rationing during the 1940s, I had good food to eat as a child.
After I had a desk job, I walked every day at lunch. When I worked downtown, I walked to and from the Metro to my office. I took both trains and buses to work, and to class several nights per week. I walked from the bus stop to my house and afternoons, when I had no classes, I picked up a bag of groceries on the way home.
Weekends I walked all over Old town Alexandria or down town DC to museums, art galleries, libraries, monuments, theaters or homes of friends. When I was out of town on travel, I walked everywhere. Walking built up my bones so that today, I have the bone density of a 21-year old. But the cartilage wore down in my hip and knee joints, proving you can use it and lose it.
Gardening with its shoveling and spading, as well as slinging 20 to 50 pound bags of this or that, made my arms strong, but did it harm my back? The doc says the scoliosis in my spine is “how you were born.” The spinal stenosis is tied to osteoarthritis, and apparently hereditary. Perhaps working outdoors helped my back to stay strong longer.
David and I will have blood drawn this week for our quarterly exams with our primary physician next week. Each of us has an ‘order’ for the blood work with dozens of items checked. I told David it looks as if we will each be required to give a pint of blood for all those tests, everything from CBC panels to diabetes, AFIB and PSA (prostate) for him, and white blood counts, and sodium and phosphorus levels for me.