Tiptoe through the process

The normal things of life: like taking a shower, eating breakfast and catching a plane are those aspects of getting around which we are all used to. It was during one of those type of events that I had a slight distraction take place which has set me back a little.

I had already begun my search for the valley and everything was ready to go. I started to put my socks on and noticed my toenails needed attention. If there is one thing that brings about multiple instances of extreme discomfort, it's toenails which are too long and catch in your hiking shoes on a long hike. After a mile or so it becomes misery amplified—especially if you leave your SAK home.

To prevent that happening, I decided to trim the nails. It was during clipping my right big toe's nail the distraction took place and I cut into the quick—ouch! Oh well, a little bit of blood never hurt anyone and once it stopped the socks and Merrell Moabs were donned, then off I went thinking nothing of it. I probably covered 10 or so miles on that day and hardly noticed the toe.

Fast forward a month

The searches had yielded nothing, plus other hikes had taken place. Some minor pain arose which then decided to have a party on the left side of the toe. It will heal up soon, after all, I did cut into the wrong bit. Finally I sat down to take a good look. Eee gads, this is worse than I thought. The toe was swollen with a streak of dried blood running the length of the nail and quite discolored. Some Volteral was applied and I set out again. This was on the final trek I found the valley. The return hike was a nightmare and 5 miles turned into 18 due to signs being painted over, ripped out, turned around, non-existent and I could not get off trail until near the end—plus my toe hurt. Not surprising though, I had covered about a 100 miles total, over the month, on all kinds of hikes including the valley search ones with the sore toe.

A few days after posting the entry, the thing was really throbbing with pain. Even sleep had become uncomfortable due to it. I had become infected and my entire body was in hard battle mode. The rampants were up, the swords out and millions of white knights were engaged in some serious combat—but they needed some assistance and fast.

I poured some anti-fungal stuff down through the top of the nail, the last thing needed was for a fungus to start on top of everything else. The whole right topside of the appendage was getting quite dark. A nearby war cry was heard from the warriors of Gangrene and I headed for the local hospital.

The Pro's from Dover are called in

Well, Cameroon actually for the first one. The hospital is a small one and a few years back had been rebuilt plus taken over by a big unit some miles in toward the center of London. Quality of service nosedived and a number of staff weren't even qualified (been in the news about unqualified staff plus, some of the 3000 immigrant doctors in the UK may not have even attended medical college). At least she prescribed some Penicillin and an antibiotic cream, but quite honestly said things which made me wonder if she had any kind of clue at all. A week later and my toe is still swollen, hurts like hell at times and so I went to see my GP (the second Pro).

We sat in her office (she was the one who sorted out the hernia situation a couple of years ago) and decided on a course of action. A standby prescription of a different antibiotic, use the antibiotic cream, better instructions, wash the toe with Isopropyl regularly, spread anti-inflammation cream a few times a day and keep walking (but I'll limit it to 5 miles max) so that the white corpuscles do their job as well. One aspirin, now and then, will also help.
Looks a lot better than it did before, but still has a ways to go.

From here on it's day by day and hopefully will be back to normal soon. I have until the end of June to get this and a couple other things sorted out then want to get back on the road again.

Jan 15, 2020
Update. One doc managed to do some stuff, because a bit of a fungal thing happened underneath the blood, fair enough. Another really screwed things up. He started messing around and made the toe worse, then started on my left foot big toe. He said both nails need to be permanently removed and set an appointment for the beginning of January 2020. By then I was back walking around and can hardly feel anything (like normal). So I cancelled the removal of the nails. I'll just let them grow back to what they were. And folk wonder why I distrust 90% of England's lousy NHS (these people are brainwashed about it).

. . . . . . .

Lesson: don't hike tens of miles on a bad toe.
Jun 15, 2019

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