A freak accident

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This morning, while walking around the house in stockinged feet, I banged my left big toe head on, full force, against the bottom rung of a ladder that my wife had lowered from the ceiling for access to our attic. That ladder comes down at a shallower angle than a normal ladder, and I apparently subconsciously misjudged the location of its bottom end.

The impact was square against the end of the toenail, which "flipped off" completely and cleanly in one piece, leaving the toe completely "naked."

When I took my sock off and saw what had happened, my wife managed to get an appointment for me at the doctor this afternoon. In the meantime, I left the toe as it was, just wiping away the bit of blood that trickled down the side of the toe. The rest of it congealed in place, where the toenail had been. I was surprised that there was no pain except of course at the moment of impact.

After the nurse cleaned the dried blood off (still no pain, but the surface was rather sensitive), the doctor took a look. He said it was good that the whole nail had come off, because otherwise he would have had to cut any remaining part off; that it would grow back eventually, and I just needed to apply Neosporin and keep it bandaged for a week or two. The nurse bandaged it up and gave me a tetanus shot just in case.

So now I'm sitting in a recliner with my feet up and the toe swathed in a big blob of gauze. It looks like I'll have to be careful while walking around, for a while. And I have the toenail as a souvenir!

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Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Ew, that's strange that it came off just like that.. I twice dropped something heavy on my big toe and twice lost a nail because of it, like the doctor said: it will grow back

turbo
Gold Member
Ack! Of course if that happened to me, the toenail would be my next favorite guitar pick.

Wishing you a speedy recovery and maybe (new) glasses?

cronxeh
Gold Member
Oh man that sucks. Similar thing happened to me, except I broke the ladder

Evo
Mentor
Oh JT!! ouch!! I hope it doesn't start hurting tomorrow.

lisab
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*shiver*

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At least I have a bit more than a week before the semester starts and I have to get in front of a class again (a week from Monday). I can't really sit down for the entire class period because I usually spend most of the time working out examples interactively at the board.

It looked pretty gory while the nurse was cleaning up the dried blood. An intern came in and went "eww", and I had to reassure her that it looked a lot worse than it felt. I'm not looking forward to changing the bandage tomorrow. The inner layers are pretty red, but at least it doesn't seem to be spreading.

Evo
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At least I have a bit more than a week before the semester starts and I have to get in front of a class again (a week from Monday). I can't really sit down for the entire class period because I usually spend most of the time working out examples interactively at the board.

It looked pretty gory while the nurse was cleaning up the dried blood. An intern came in and went "eww", and I had to reassure her that it looked a lot worse than it felt. I'm not looking forward to changing the bandage tomorrow. The inner layers are pretty red, but at least it doesn't seem to be spreading.
Keep applying neosporin, I swear there is nothing that stuff can't cure, IMO.

Pictures!

drizzle
Gold Member
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-shocked016.gif

But you are really lucky, it's waaaaAAAY less painful than loosing only part of it [heck it took a whole month to recover, not to mention the daily pain! :grumpy:]

Haha turbo, you don't waste anything. My own advice is to let your wife wear HIGH heels!

Kidding, I would go with Andre's advice.

Evo
Mentor
Pictures!

Oh JT!! ouch!! I hope it doesn't start hurting tomorrow.
Do I detect a hint of jeolousy in this post? Don't be getting any ideas Evo.

BobG
Homework Helper
At least I have a bit more than a week before the semester starts and I have to get in front of a class again (a week from Monday). I can't really sit down for the entire class period because I usually spend most of the time working out examples interactively at the board.
It's a stubbed toe! How could you possibly be walking within a week when you have a stubbed toe?!

Between playing soccer and refereeing soccer, I once went about a year and a half straight either being in the process of losing one toenail or the other, or in the process of one growing back. That was kind of an unlucky stretch. That sort of thing happens once in a while, but three so close together?!

One was caused by a 13-year-old girl that somehow managed to come up out of nowhere and stomp on my toe in a game I was refereeing. Never even saw who did it. Just hear the high pitched, "Sorry" as I tumbled to the ground. Funniest part was when I quit tumbling I look up and the player with the ball and a defender are both sprawled on the ground, both looking at me to see what I was going to call. I was sitting there shocked, wondering what in the world I missed. After about a second, the offensive player realized there probably wasn't going to be any call, hopped up and started dribbling again, and away we went playing on through whatever the heck happened.

Mentor
I changed the bandage for the first time tonight. It took a while get the old one off because the bottom layer of cloth was stuck pretty firmly to the exposed tissue that had been underneath the toenail. I dribbled warm water on it and peeled it away gradually and eventually got it all off without too much pain. When I was done it looked like I had taken my old toenail and painted it red.

When I applied the Neosporin it slid around on a thin film of blood. But the toe doesn't hurt except right on the surface which is still sensitive. There's no broader redness or pain or swelling. I still walk very carefully on that foot, but that's mainly because I can really feel it when the bandage slides around. After I get over this phase I should be able to walk normally.

Evo
Mentor
I changed the bandage for the first time tonight. It took a while get the old one off because the bottom layer of cloth was stuck pretty firmly to the exposed tissue that had been underneath the toenail. I dribbled warm water on it and peeled it away gradually and eventually got it all off without too much pain. When I was done it looked like I had taken my old toenail and painted it red.

When I applied the Neosporin it slid around on a thin film of blood. But the toe doesn't hurt except right on the surface which is still sensitive. There's no broader redness or pain or swelling. I still walk very carefully on that foot, but that's mainly because I can really feel it when the bandage slides around. After I get over this phase I should be able to walk normally.
They should have applied a shiny material that does not stick to the wound. Who are these heathens?

Yes, I have been to he ER for wounds so many times I qualify as an expert on wound dressings now.

Day before yesterday I feel into one of 2 holes they forget to fill and ripped off my thumbnail halfway down. HO&^%$* Mo*%@#$%^ of @*&%^ that hurt. But at least I have the bottom half attached.

Keep applying the neosporin. I had cats that had half of their faces rotting off that was regrown thanks to neosporin. Evo Child will confirm.

OmCheeto
Gold Member
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Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Yuck!

Don't feel too badly, JT, you aren't the only physicist with a TOE problem.

Office_Shredder
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cronxeh
Gold Member
Yuck!

Don't feel too badly, JT, you aren't the only physicist with a TOE problem.
Oh that was good :rofl:

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I finally remembered to get out the camera when I was changing the bandage tonight. This is after soaking off the old bandage and before slathering a big gob of Neosporin on the toe before wrapping it up again.

And here's the old toenail, which has curled up a bit since it came off. The bit of dried blood comes from my picking it out of my sock after the accident. It came off so quickly that there's no blood at all on the inside surface.

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Update

I was going to do this last month, on the first anniversary of the accident, but I forgot. This is what the toenail looked like before I trimmed it a bit just now, for the first time since it started growing back. It basically gradually grew forwards from the root end, starting as a narrow strip, attaching itself as it went along. It's slightly off-color, and isn't yet attached quite as far forward as before, but the attached area has been growing steadily, so I expect in a couple of months it will be pretty much back to its normal length. I'm impressed... the bright red area in the old picture healed so it looked like normal skin at first, so for several months I was wondering if I would end up with only about half a toenail.

Before the accident, it was narrower than its mate on the other foot, so that's normal.

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Evo
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I just realized that while I don't notice much difference between the length of people's fingers, that there seems to be no rules for toes. I have short, stubby toes. I'll have to upload a picture.

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I must have inherited my toes from my father, who also had longish toes, at least to start with. They became kind of cramped up and he developed persistent problems with calluses and bunions because he wore tight-fitting shoes when he was younger. So when I was a kid, he always insisted that my shoes should be long and wide enough in the front to give my toes room to wiggle and "breathe."

Evo
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My toes. Not many (if any) people have toes like mine.

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