It wasn’t my first.
My first left me with toenail fungus that took about a year to get rid of.
My daughter gave me a gift certificate for that pedicure a couple of Father’s Days ago. I had been complaining about men I saw out in public wearing flip-flops or sandals whose feet were completely grody--- calloused and nasty. I was telling her how I didn’t want to be one of “those guys” (not that I was, actually, far from it). So my daughter gave me a gift certificate for the place she gets her nails done. It was all very cute. We went together, sitting side-by-side in those big chairs, soaking our feet, while the ladies chattered away about us in Vietnamese. I had a good time, it was fun. I felt better about my feet, a great Father’s day gift.
A month or two later, I noticed the nail on my left big toe had turned a little thin, it was getting brittle and splitting. I put superglue on it for a week or two so it wouldn’t crack off while I kept an eye on it. But it wasn’t getting better. I was pretty sure I knew what it was.
Ten years ago I wrote ads for Penlac, a prescription nail fungus med you apply with a little brush like nail polish. I’d seen the pictures of infected feet, I could spot fungus from a mile away. I could tell you its medical name was onycomicosis and I could even pronounce it. I knew how nasty things could get.
My podiatrist wasn’t so sure. She did a culture, which of course, came back positive. She was surprised: it was the earliest case of nail fungus she had ever seen, that no one ever spots an infection that soon. She prescribed Penlac, just to be ironic I guess, and after only six or seven months of painting the stuff on in thick layers every day she told me it was clear.
Okay, great, time to start over, I figured. I scheduled an appointment with another salon, this one podiatrist-approved. It was a small room, dark, with beads across the doorway like a fortuneteller. I guess I expected some young, nurse-type, tall blonde. Maybe a raven-haired atheletic-type to be waiting for me. But the manicurist turned out to be a middle-aged Little Person, a midget, dwarf, whatever the PC term for the vertically-challenged.
She was nice, don’t get me wrong, it was great experience overall. Her height had nothing to do with anything, really: the job she did, how I felt about it, but somehow I thought it worth mentioning. It did allow her to already be close enough to my feet without having to stoop, I thought. So her limited stature was an occupational advantage.
We talked about my first pedicure, the Father’s Day gift, the fungus. She, in turn, told me about her 5’11” husband (who likes pedicures after his first one, too), her two kids in Catholic school, and on and on. I asked her lots of questions. She gave me grooming tips. She clipped, exfoliated, rubbed my feet with lotion, and I was done.
Let the fungus begin!