[Fiction] Friday Challenge for July, 25 2008:When I was 13 years old, I suffered terribly. Yes, yes, I know, all 13 year olds suffer – pimples, bodies out of whack, that kinda thing. But no, Mother Nature had to deal me an additional card. Shock, horror, it was ingrown toenails.
Pick a medical condition you have (or have had), and rough out a character or story where that illness plays a humorous element.Note: The idea here isn’t to make fun of people who are ill, but to challenge us to look at things from a different point of view.
I swear, it was horrible. There were days I could hardly walk.
My dad suggested I use a big metal file to flatten the toenails, so I would sit for days on end with the file – normally used to smooth metal work – to try and tame my toes. I got rid of the skin around my nails, but the nails, they wouldn’t budge.
Someone else suggested I cut wedges into the toenails, to force them to grow differently. Yet someone else suggested I put chicken feathers in my socks at night. Hell, I would have rubbed monkey crap on them if I knew it would help.
And, as a gawky teen – all knees and ears – I was rather clumsy, so my toes often stubbed against rocks, steps and, frequently, thin air. Tears would stream down my face as I hopped on the spot, clutching my feet alternately.
Our doctor, on a random visit, could obviously see the pain through the brave mask I wore, and suggested surgery. Tired of being the toe of all the jokes, I accepted.
I was booked in one afternoon after school – because, yes, this surgery warranted a hospital stay, believe it or not – and spent the evening under the covers, trying to avoid the questions from the old ladies I had to share the ward with.
The next morning, before I had even had a chance to think about breakfast, I was whisked off to surgery to have the offending nails removed. I counted backwards: 10, 9, 8…
And then I woke up back in the ward. The first thing I did was lift the blankets off my feet – they were both heavily bandaged. Obviously, I was a pirate in my previous life, because the first thing I uttered, apparently, was Holy shit, all that for a fucking toe, much to the amusement of the old ladies. In fact, they enjoyed it so much that it was the first thing they told my parents when they came to visit me. I don’t remember this, but my parents lovingly reminded me of the little incident when I ratted my brother out the other day for swearing at the cat.