As many of my close followers know, I’m “in between blogs” at the moment. My new website has not launched yet, so I’ve asked a few close friends if I could guest-blog at their sites until further notice. Dear Grunt Doc actually offered me a password and authority to post directly to his blog. Now that’s trusting! I mean, I could fill up his site with LOLcats posts if I wanted.
A few blog-hijacking fantasies later, I decided to ask myself – “What sort of content would be appropriate to contribute to an Emergency Medicine blog?” The answer, of course, is “real photos of anything gross.”
And as luck would have it, I do have a nice photo of something gross (albeit mildly so). Even better, it’s my own grossness so there’s no HIPAA violation looming. What is it? Well, it’s the sadistic work of a dermatologist. (By the way, dermatologists have the best photo galleries of really gory conditions).
Let me explain.
You know how every once in a while in life you think, “Gee, this is a really bad idea” but then you go ahead with it anyway? That happened to me 7 years ago. I had accompanied a friend to a hair salon in Rochester, New York. And since the process of having her hair colored would take about 2 hours, I figured I’d find something to amuse myself. The salon offered manicures and pedicures. So I opted for a pedicure.
A little voice inside me said, “Is it hygienic to do a pedicure in a plastic tub with tools that don’t look as if they’ve been sterilized?” But then I figured, “it’ll be fine.”
A few weeks later I noticed a plantar wart on the heel of my foot. “Crap. I guess I’ll just go and have my PCP freeze it off.” Sounds easy enough – but 7 years later I have to tell you that this wart virus is still alive and kicking. Here’s what I’ve hit it with:
Liquid nitrogen Q month x 24 months, salicylic acid pads QD x 12 months, duct tape, OTC wart spray, podofilox topical solution, aldara cream (costs $500/3 month supply), bleomycin injection (that’s the chemo that can cause pulmonary fibrosis), and now blistering acid solution.
I had the “blistering acid” applied yesterday. And it’s 4:30 am and I was awoken by a sharp pain in my foot. So I got up and saw – you guessed it – blood blisters on the bottom of my foot. Yum! Not to be outdone by Paul Levy, I snapped a photo for Grunt Doc’s blog, feeling very satisfied with my contribution.
Here it is:
What on earth is the moral of this story? Ladies (and a few gents), if you have any doubt about the hygiene practices of your local nail salon – do NOT override your instincts. Just remember my story, and how I discovered the virus that will survive a nuclear war. If this series of blistering acid treatments doesn’t do the trick, I’m coming to GD’s ER for a wide excisional biopsy. God bless EMTALA.
P.S. If the injury site begins to look really gross, I’ll snap you another photo!