I had to remove a little bit of me and insert it into a plastic tube last night.
A part of me that has been succoured on my blood and the food I intake daily. I’ve walked around with it. Slept with it. Worked hard and played hard with it (according to my old school Principal’s motto).
And then this morning I dropped it off at the Doctor’s reception desk without even a fond farewell or a by-your-leave. We didn’t even exchange a hug.
Abandoned. Orphaned. Destined for some white coated scientist’s lab... Some Uni post grad who’ll dissect it, analyse it, microscope it and then... gulp... see if something grows on it. I have sent it out into the big wide world with neither my protection nor my blessing.
Well. It was beginning to be more trouble than it was worth. And at the end of the day dodgy toenails are notoriously hard to love.
Over the years it had become ridged, thick and ugly looking. More like a dog’s dewclaw than a toenail. By and large I ignored it. I clipped it along with its brothers same as usual but bestowed no special fondness upon it.
I was a bit ashamed of it really. Least said soonest mended.
But then the discoloration began. A dark browniness. A yellowing. A muddy blackening of parts.
It was undoubtedly a dirty protest.
An ignored child seeking bad attention.
It was a foolish manoeuvre because now things have been set in motion that I just can’t stop. The doctor requested a sample. A clipping. I had no choice but to separate us.
It all now depends on the lab results which could take 5 to 8 weeks to come back. There’s a possibility that it is merely dystrophic / atrophic growth – I can’t remember exactly what she said as I was hypnotized by the small wooden airplane that was hanging down from her ceiling on a wire. If that’s the case there is nothing she, the doctor, can do. I’ll just have to live with it and embrace my ability to climb tall trees in my bare feet. Think of the fruit I could gather for my kids!
But there is a real possibility that it is a fungal infection. Something unwholesome living off the fruits of my body’s labour. If that’s the case then it’ll mean 3 months of medication. What exactly I don’t know. But she mentioned “possible side effects”. Again, what I don’t know. And I didn’t think to ask. Curse that damned airplane!
I’m betting it’s not a sudden ability to climb walls with my hands and feet and swing from skyscrapers with webs that I can magically produce from glands in my wrists.
It’ll be constipation. Or sleeplessness. Or itchiness. Or all three.
Take care of your toenails, people, before they take care of you...