On a Friday afternoon, I wandered through work's cubicle lined hallway and noticed that I had developed a slight limp. It had arrived quietly, but became more pronounced as evening approached.
I walked across the parking lot and found it exceedingly painful. I almost needed to hire a rickshaw to transport me to my car. But I made it home and hopped to my front door.
I took off my right shoe and isolated the cause of the pain to my big toe. A distinct red crescent surrounded the nail.
As the weekend wore on, the pain became unbearable. I felt a combination of sharp pain and intense pressure -- like my toe had inflated with air and had to be released. I couldn't put any weight on my foot and even certain laying positions caused issues. It started taking over my life.
I persevered over the weekend and went to the doctor on Monday. She looked at my toe and deemed that it was infected, but found no puncture marks.
"Sometimes this just happens," she said. "There can be no external marks, but your shoe can rub the toes together in an odd way to cause an infection."
I looked down at my right shoe with extreme disdain.
She prescribed antibiotics.
"If the pressure becomes too great, can I lance it?" I asked.
"I wouldn't recommend it." She then shrugged and said, "But you're on antibiotics so nothing much can happen."
A day later and I found myself with a sharp heated needle hovering above my toe. However, there was a problem. I've lanced a thousand blisters in my lifetime, but this was different. The blister was not on the surface of the toe. Instead, it was between the toenail and skin. I had to shove the needle into the tough skin immediately above the nail.
It was unbelievably painful. I would say that it was the equivalent of childbirth, but I can't actually believe that childbirth would be this painful. I nearly wept.
Subsequently, I banished my shoe to shoe hell, located one circle beneath bowling alley rentals.