There's a fungus among us

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Okay, so, I don't really want to write this blog. But, I want to be honest about the running process and this is definitely an unflattering side of it. 

Since the second half marathon, I've been having toenail issues. Three of my toenails developed really terrible blisters underneath them. Then they filled with blood. Then they dried up and raised... one of them quite significantly. I waited until school was out to deal with them, mostly because it's difficult to take time off at the end of the school year. So, yesterday was the day. 

I went to the podiatrist, and within a second, the nurse told me I had toenail fungus caused by a trauma to the nail bed. Ick. Before she sanded down my three nails (literally with a drill), she went over the options: 1. A topical that I would have to put on twice daily for a year with only a 15% success rate after the year was up, 2. An oral medication taken for 90 days, 3. Permanent toenail removal, 4. Doing nothing and hoping it didn't spread. Those didn't really seem like options to me, but what do I know. 

Then the doctor came in, and this is when I learned new stuff. 

First, she told me that the reason I probably have trauma on these specific toes (the middle toes, and the fourth toe on one foot) is because my calves/hamstrings are tight and I pull my toes up as I run. This is probably totally true of me (ask Janet! I have super tight legs!). 

She also told me that when those under the toenail blisters develop, you've got about 8 hours to pop them and get the gunk out before problems start. On the contrary, I'd always been told NOT to mess with blisters... that they would typically just fix themselves. Not. So. 

THEN she told me what I wish to impart on every female -- toenail polish, unless clear or opal/opaque is BAD for the toes! Fungus, when it grows, likes dark places... so by constantly having polish on our toes, we're setting ourselves up for a host of problems. Who knew!? 

So, yes, it's gross. And 8% of me feels like I did something wrong. And the other 92% of me is not thrilled about taking a pill for 90 days, using topical cream, and waiting for results. But, there's not so much I can do now. 

You've been warned, people. 


  1. Trashed toenails are a part of the gig! I still have about 1/4 of one I keep trying to get rid of and eventually I will succeed.

    Super tight legs? Isn't that why you run...lol, you know, so they won't be flabby! Just kidding but couldn't resist :)

    I hardly ever paint my nails because I'm too impatient to wait for them to dry. Who knew I was doing a good thing?

    You have grown & learned so much over the last several months. I remember you being grossed out about your 1st black toenail and somehow you "got OK" with that. Amazing what running can do :)

  2. BLECH! But totally valuable information! My brother in law just started running, so I'm gonna pass this along to him. still...blech!

  3. Sherry -- you're right, it's totally part of the gig! Dan told me that he still thinks my feet are a cute shape... even if the nails aren't lovely right now. ;) You're right, though, it's crazy what I'm "okay" with now... see what training for distance does to us?! I'm just glad I can keep running!

    And rinnieeats, yes, please pass this along! With all the running material I've read, I've never seen anything about this!

  4. I rub Body Glide all over my toes before long runs/races & that seems to have cut down on the number of blisters & black toenails. Usually just put on the toes that are currently jacked up or the ones that have been previously.

    Dan will take you AND your black toenails? He's a keeper! I'm glad you can keep running too. You have accomplished soooo much :)

    On another note, I had my follow up with the doc after my CT scans for the lump in my neck. They found some abnormal lymph nodes so next month I'm getting an open biopsy, laryngoscopy & esophagoscopy :( I "hate" surgery and it makes me an anxious/crazy person. So he's going to make me crazy, put a hole in my neck, give me a sore throat, tell me not to talk for 2-4 days & don't run for a week after...seriously??? What in the world? I guess I can always walk if I feel OK :)

    ***I got that "little something" and I put it in the mail to you this morning so I hope you like it :) I love pink but I went for white. You posted a pic of a flat tire on a red car awhile ago and I thought the red/pink would clash. Anyway, hollar when you get it & tell me what you think.***

  5. I LOVE the little something! It's going to look fantastic on my car, don't you think? I can't wait to see YOUR decals on the car after Goofy! :D

    I'm sorry to hear about the abnormal lymph nodes -- it STINKS that you have to have surgery, can't talk for 2-4 days, and take a week off running. I'm hoping the day comes and goes quickly for you!

    I will definitely take your Body Glide suggestion! I used a non-chafing foot powder, but I think it didn't do enough. Stupid ugly toenails. They look EXTRA worse since the doctor drilled them down.

    Dan is definitely a keeper. And a good running partner to boot! Who knew!?

    Thank you again, Sherry! You made my day!

  6. I saw that tiara & thought "she HAS to have that"! I got one for my car that says 26.2 with a runner girl. I did a marathon 2 years ago so I'm legit. Goofy will have to wait though. I showed the Goofy one to my son last night, he said "you have to run it first". I said, "I know, that's why it's still in the envelope on the table". Now if I can only remeber where it is mid January!

    Surgery isn't until 7-26. The closer it gets, the more whiny/anxious I will get ... you might have to block me if I get too crazy...lol.

    I really think the Body Glide helps but won't completely save them all from damage. Two 1/2 marathons 2 weeks apart & I only ended up with 1 black toenail so that was pretty good.

    A good running partner is good & he can probably help you push yourself too.

    Your welcome! Drive it around with pride - you have done sooo much :)

  7. I haven't heard any whining yet, so you're off to a good start!

    I'm heading to Metro Run and Walk this week for new running shoes. I LOVE my Mizunos, but I think I need something with a bigger toe box. We'll see what they recommend.

  8. Hope you find some shoes you like. More like, I hope your toes like them!


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