Overcoming a fear of feet

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 12:19 12/12/2013

Warning: Don't read this if you're easily grossed out!

Who knew a tiny little toenail could cause so much pain? For the past week I've been battling an ingrown toenail. 

Now, I've had an ingrown toenail before and yes it was painful, but never to the extent I have currently.

My feet are notoriously gross. I am usually missing at least two to three toenails and the skin is all hard. I have "monkey feet" which require me to wear toe sleeves (silicon covers) on a couple of my toes to prevent me losing/bruising two of my toenails. They're not an attractive feature, but they're not painful. 

Most of my friends know that I absolutely hate feet. The idea of having a foot massage or getting a pedicure isn't top of my list of "fun" activities. My general rule is medical professionals can touch my feet, but an ex found out the hard way when he grabbed my foot to give it a massage that it was a no go zone when my foot quickly (and by mistake) kicked him in the face.

However, earlier this year I had to let go of some of that fear when I needed help dealing with some blisters while doing the Oxfam Trailwalker. Initially, I was all about dressing my own feet. Then I hit the 80km mark and it just became that little bit harder so when someone offered to help me I let them -  he was a semi-medical professional.

Thankfully, I've been relatively lucky when it comes to feet problems. But, with my middle toe on my left foot swelling up causing me to have sleepless nights last week I knew it was time to seek help (Usually I just prod it myself to see if any pus or similar comes out, or cut the nail back).

My first stop was my nurse flatmate. She immediately told me to go to the doctor to get it sorted, but I insisted that maybe I should give it a few days. What an idiot. By last Sunday she was telling me I had to go to the doctor as my foot was turning an odd colour and I could no longer wear shoes.

The doctor  took one look and prescribed antibiotics. My toe is settling down and it looks like I'll be able to slip on my favourite runners again this weekend. 

And, I am slowly getting over my fear of people touching my feet. 

Have you ever had an ingrown toenail? What did you do to fix it? Do you have a fear of feet? Comment below, e-mail me on rachel.young@press.co.nz or follow me on Twitter @YoungRachelS

P.S. never Google image ingrown toenails while you're eating breakfast. Gross.

- The Press

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