Yes, a different adventure this time, this is an adventure into pain and suffering. If you have a strong stomach then carry on reading, if not, then I suggest that you go else where for this installment!
So as you know, I am currently working for a fantastic couple of companies, the Disability Charity United Response and the fantastic Radio Station, Total Biker FM, both have their difficulties, but one is more difficult than the other. Working with a delightful young man recently filed me with utter joy, until he stood on my sore toe! Yes, the old ingrowing toe nail reared its ugly pointy head and started to bite into the corner of my left big toe, nothing unusual there, years of climbing shoes and mountain bike shoes have wreaked their havoc on my poor suffering feet, so I am used to the occasional sore toe that just needs some time for a broken nail to grow out again. Only this time, it broke more when a charming young man accidentally put his body weight on my foot.
Now this was in no way the fault of the young man, ordinarily, I would just hop back a bit and curse lightly under my breath because some one has stepped on my toe, but this time the pain was like a bolt of lightening igniting the very end of my leg in white hot flame! I left work with a slight limp, the next day, he did it to me again and this time realised what he had done and said sorry. Again though, when you are helping a physically disabled person into the back of a car, it can be a bit of a squeeze, so it was hardly his fault. The final straw though came when on Saturday morning while playing about, he accidentally stood on it with all of his weight!
This time something popped, blood oozed through my sock and the white hot pain did not disperse, if anything when I took my sock off to check it, the pain grew worse! I was a very unhappy bunny. My Darling sister chose that day to visit us and when she saw the mess that my toe was, she instantly stated that she was going to take me to get it sorted out. It was fecking hurting like you would not believe. Walking was no longer and option and so I just bandaged it up and hopped to her car. Sadly, we could find no where open or anyone who could offer us a quick fix.
Meanwhile Sian, the lead singer, song writer and all round good egg of Oestrogenix mentioned in passing that one of her closest and most dear friends was a chiropodist! The card was passed over and then this afternoon, the phone call was made and I made the painful journey to meet Helen Marie Stephens, Goddess of Ingrowing Toenails!
Now Helen is not your average Toe Nail specialist, not by a long shot. Originally she trained as a Veterinary Nurse, when dealing with Aunty Jayne this is probably handy! However, having learned all that there is to know about animal care, she decided that it was time to specialise in hurting people! Well not actually hurting them as such, but helping those who are hurting with the worst pain you can have and still be a wimp, Toe ache!
Helen introduced me to her special chair with the foot plate and she unwrapped my bandaged toe, I did not know what horrors lay inside, it could have been a maggot infested, pustulating boil of a toe for all I knew. Instead, under that perfect little bandage was a bright red and very swollen toe! It had become so over sensitive that just brushing lightly against the skin, caused a huge influx of agony. For all of you perspective torture operatives for the CIA or what ever government agency, if you want to cause pain in some one, give them an ingrowing toe nail!
Having had a good look, it was time for a probe and with no anesthetic, Helen popped a probe under my toe nail. Once she had collected the detritus of kicked away apparatus and un-picked my finger nails from the ceiling, she probed again, causing mild swearing and the clenching of my teeth. Then came the surgery, now bare in mind that on this occasion I could not use anesthetic, so this was done to me while I was stone cold sober, fully conscious and able to feel every tiny movement as if she was pulling logs out of my toe! Carefully and with great humour she teased and poked the broken nail with the tools of her trade and as tiny fragments began to break off, the pain slowly increased. Then she saw it, the culprit, the cause of all of my agonies! The fragment of broken nail that was growing into a pocket of flesh on my left big toe and slowly cutting it's nasty little way through to the front of my toe. It was digging into soft damaged flesh, causing agonies beyond which something of it's size should be capable.
With a skill I have only ever seen on the most accomplished of professors of Surgery, Helen gently, firmly began to work on the poisonous little flake. Each time she thought she had it, it laughed at her and retreated back further into my soft delicate flesh. Finally with one last agonising push forwards into enemy teritory, she grasped the vile piece by the very scruff of it's neck and whoosh!
A sense of peace, calm and serenity came upon my foot, as if the greatest of Gods had kissed it better. Helen pulled out the offending flake and showed it to me, I was expecting a tiny fragment the size of a grain of sand, what she showed me would provide enough material to keep the average Witch Doctor in Toe nails clippings for a year! Eight millimeters long and three millimeters wide, the painful little bastard. As soon as it was out, the pain in my foot vanished, leaving the dull ache of a wound that needed to heal. Helen dressed my toe and for the first time in a week, I pulled on my boot with reckless abandon!
So folks, that is how I am now able to walk, pull on my socks and even tonight I managed to pull on my winter walking boots, with their extra thick thermal liner. Helen, you are an angel, the patron saint of toes. Your touch is both agonising and soothing and I cannot thank you enough for sorting out my toe nail.
If any one else wants to try Helen's magical touch, then have a look at her website here.
Weston Foot Care
I cannot recommend her highly enough, also she has a beautiful little doggie called Billy who will sit on your lap while Helen soothes your aching feet.
So Once Back Home, another story unfolds, while basking in the joy of a pain free foot and friviously wearing what ever shoes I could find, Carol came home from work and informed me that she had found a chimney sweep outside! I am not fully sure how she does these things, but sure enough a young urchin with a set of brushes and a vacuum cleaner from hades knocks on the door. Now to me a Chimney Sweep is a Dick van Dyke type character, with a mockney accent and a sooty face, the hunky mountain biker stood before me did not look like a chimney sweep to me, also he was older than eight and did not intend to climb the chimney sweeping as he went! I was disappointed.
However as the brushes went into the chimney, the filth of Who knows how long began to drop to the floor, the delicate sound of large lumps thumping down into the fire grate gave us all something to ponder. In the time that Carol has lived in the flat, she has not had the chimney swept and she has been here for some time. You know how it is, we meant to get it done, but somehow with all of the other important things in life, chimney sweeping just got forgotten.
The fire grate continued to fill and then it burst forth, a spill of jet black filth, scraped from our chimney. Finally as the brush burst forth from the pot, ejaculating a puff of sooty filth onto the roof, our young urchin declared that he had never seen a chimney so filthy. Finally he unveiled the pile of sweepings to us, well I say pile, heap is probably more appropriate. A pile so large that it would require two large bags to dispose of it carefully.
Suitably chasisted about the danger of a chimney fire, we paid our dues and gave the young scamp a cuppa.
"Gee Wizz Mary Poppins!" He exclaimed as he tap danced out of the front door and off into the night...