I was about to step outside, and our back porch doors open inward, like most. I carelessly set down my left foot directly in it's path, and swung it open.
Well, surprise surprise, it jammed my left big toe.
Normally it wouldn't be a problem. Just a few minutes of pain. I ignored it at first, but, looking closer, the nail had been pushed upward, completely torn from the skin beneath. It would have most definitely fallen out. Now, I have received many accidental wounds in the past. All kinds of cuts, scrapes, bruises. They never bothered me, nor the sight of blood.
But one thing bothers me. Any skin cut away dies and falls off, eventually. It gets in the way of bandages, keeping me from protecting the wound and stemming the flow of blood, and moves uncomfortably whenever the bandage shifts. I absolutely do not like it.
The nail had to go. I wasn't going to bandage up my toe and simply wait for it to dislodge itself. Am I the only one who would think that way?
The pain from the injury, and the thought, seemed to have an adrenal response. My hands were shaking.
I ran cold water over it to shrink the blood vessels, dried it off, and gave it a tug. And another. And another.
Oddly enough, even after my decision to commit to this task, I was now apprehensive. But I thought, it didn't hurt that much when the door shoved it in another centimeter. How much could it hurt coming out?
It's like taking off an adhesive bandage, I told myself.
My hands wouldn't do, though.
I walked to the large room down the hall, where my father has his arcade machines that he works on, and the tools he uses. My eyes fell on his pliers. That would do it. Back to the sink, foot on the counter, pliers clamped on the nail, I steeled my arms to put whatever force needed to remove it.
The left side, apparently, was weaker. It slid out at an angle as I pulled. It was more firmly anchored on the right side.
I wiggled the pliers closer to the side, clamped down sharply, and pulled. The nail crunched under the force, the skin pulled, and snapped audibly in a small little sound.
It didn't hurt nearly as bad as a bandage, despite the sounds.
Although, I discovered, from moving houses, I did not actually have any bandages. It's also 4:00 AM. I can't ask the folks for bandages, they're sleeping. 'Twould be rude. I did have tissues, though. I sat down and waited for it to stop bleeding.
Have you ever lost a fair amount of skin? Got a deep cut? We're so used to most of our nerve feedback coming from the skin... when we feel something deeper, it's as if both the nerves and our brain don't know how to react.
I stepped outside once more and discovered this. The patch of skin underneath my nail did not take kindly to the breeze. Not at all. The dull pain remaining, and the thought of the situation, still had me shaking somewhat and unable to relax.
And so, here I am, wondering if I'm the only one who would straight pull out the nail from a severely stubbed toe just to avoid dealing with it.
Does that make me crazy? I don't know.