Thursday, 28 July 2011

(WARNING: Grisly pic.!) Such a carry on - and I only want a toenail clipped!

For many years I've been troubled with a toe-nail fungal infection under my left big toe. I think it originated back in my squash- and badminton- playing days when, after the session, one used or even shared a communal shower. (No sniggering, please!). Or, possibly, when I frequented saunas in a multitude of European cities (Now you may snigger!) Anyway, no matter how and where I picked up the infection it's been a minor cause of concern, but never having caused pain, not one to be visible on my health radar. The only nuisance is that this particular toe-nail has become so thick underneath that it's impossible for me to cut it with conventional toe clippers. I reduce its length periodically by filing it down. As you can see, the toe itself is unaffected but the angle of the growing nail, when pressed against the toe of whatever shoe is being worn, may eventually cause a deformity in the toe itself - particularly vulnerable during my (rather infrequent, sadly) morning jogs.
      I only heard recently that my younger brother had the same problem but after 3 months oral remedy prescribed by his doctor, the fungus cleared completely.
    So it was that yesterday I had my periodic routine visit to my own doctor and mentioned this matter, thinking that it was just as well to make sure that any prescription does not clash with any of the medications (5 tablets!) I'm taking to control my high blood pressure. I told him of my brother's situation, who is, incidentally, also on medication for high B.P. though, strangely, with different tablets. The doctor's reaction was not what I was expecting. He said that he couldn't prescribe any remedies unless I was diabetic (plus one other condition which I didn't catch.) I repeated my brother's case but he said his hands were tied - I suppose he meant financially. The only option, he said, was that unless I wanted to go to a private chiropodist (which I can't afford) was for him to refer me to a podiatry clinic within the National Health Service (that wicked, Marxist system which guarantees that every British citizen is entitled to free medical care whatever his/her financial circumstances) and get my nail clipped for free. So I went - and was 'greeted' by one of those cold receptionists whom we've all known, who seem to treat all enquirers as a nuisance. (They're not all like that!) After interrupting her work, she deigned to look up at me, the imposter, but not for long. Handing me a long questionnaire enquiring about my body statistics, medical history, smoking habits or not, next of kin etc etc, I took it home and filled it out and went straight back to get the darned thing over and done with. After, to her intense irritation, I interrupted her work yet again, I presented her with the completed questionnaire. She perused it and then, with weary sense of resignation in her voice, she said to me, standing there ready with diary poised, "We'll let you know in a few weeks." Weeks? I only want the darned thing cut - twenty seconds' work at most! I was stunned speechless. Then, muttering "Oh, okay." I left, feeling I'd committed a serious indiscretion.    "A few weeks" will mean I've got to file the toenail down again, perhaps twice. And what happens after it's done and it grows again? Do I have to repeat all this palaver just to get my toe-nail clipped? How absurd! So, can but wait and see how things transpire..


  1. It's the whole post code lottery which gets my goat with the NHS. Why shouldn't you be able to have the same treatment as your brother? And now they will end up paying to have your toe nail maintained for years to come when it could all have been over and done with if treated properly.
    Thanks for the warning - it is a wee bit nasty, isn't it? Poor Ray.

  2. Thanks for your 'sympathy', Craig. (Tee hee!). It's not a big deal, actually looking worse than it feels. But you are right. It does seem false economy to linger out continuous treatment indefinitely rather than to clear the problem permanently by a one-off oral prescription.
    I hope you mange to stay clear of it. There are many more worthy candidates for physical concern than this, which is little more than one of life's minor irritants.

  3. here's a corny joke to make you grin

    A man went to a podiatrist, it turned out he was a psychiatrist. He said
    there is something terribly wrong with you, your nose is running and your feet are smelling!

  4. ....and it worked! Thanks, Spo.

  5. My eyes! They burn!

    I had three toenails get the fungus in the 1990s. The doc prescribed Lamisil. I took the pills for 3 months and it killed the fungus. It took another 6 months for the nails to fully grow out, and now I have 10 perfect nails.

  6. Good for you, Cubby. That's the sort of thing that I'd be after but I was worried that something like that might be incompatible with my other medications, hence the reason why I waited to ask my doctor - but now I realise I hadn't asked the question directly. Oh well, maybe they can tell me at the clinic.

  7. This demonstrates one of the reasons I hate going to the doctor. They always make things so difficult. Hopefully things get better for you.

  8. Thanks so much for visiting, ultramanrickster. Much appreciated.
    Yes, it really takes a mental effort to allow oneself to be put at the mercy of those in the medical profession. One has to rely on their 'superior' knowledge and assume that they know what they're doing, but time and again we hear of cases where they've let down their patients. But what else can one do?
    Thanks for your wishes but it's a relatively trivial problem when one considers how many things, and some of them REALLY serious, can go wrong with one's body.