Operation #savethenail!

One of the effects of “extreme jogging” is that your toe nails could fall off, which is definitely the excuse I’ll be using if I ever get a personal trainer who believes in the activity. 

When you Google “bruised toe nail”, jogging is the second thing that comes up, right after “subungal hematoma.” Mountain climbing, despite being a sport people die from, doesn’t seem to rate on the “toe nail” issues scale.

If you haven’t already guessed, one of the effects of climbing Mt Kinabalu is that my toe nail could decide to vacate the premises. 

Generally, you should always cut your toe nails before climbing a mountain, and I did, but when you hike downhill as though you’re a baby giraffe, your nails just naturally ram into your hiking boots, making you squeal in pain like a baby pig, who knows it’s being slaughtered. 

At first, I thought I had escaped the Fate of Four Nails; I just assumed everything was bruised and that a night of “feet up” would solve it. There was another woman (hi, Donna) in our group whose nails were purple as soon as she got to the bottom of the mountain – so, if mine hadn’t turned, surely it was vampire rules: make it past dawn and you’re still part of the living. 

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like fiction. 

Two days later, my toe still felt like an anvil had dropped on it. To relieve the pressure, I gently trimmed the nail. Yellow puss oozed out, followed by blood. But, it felt good, like everything was deflating for the better. 

And then it started to turn purple. 

And then I borrowed some solutions from Donna and we started a “dress the nails” club – as part of the pedi-cure, only one polish colour was offered – Iodine Yellow: good at killing bacteria, fungus and even herpes. 

The last update on Donna’s nails was that she was having a fun time wiggling the nail off the toe…

Meanwhile, I’m still on a mission to #savethenail, because if it died, the odds of my actual toe surviving South East Asia would diminish by a lot. 

I’m 99% sure it will be successful – seeing how the nail no longer hurts in shoes, seeing how it has crossed into a different country (moving location solves problems, right?), and seeing as how my brain has stopped worrying about it enough to have returned to regular service and enabled me to stub it three times, it must be okay. 

Also, factually – seeing as how it is way less purple, and the purple bit is only concentrated in one area, it must be okay. 


Alright, I know, the toes are not looking very attractive, but you try constantly being on the move for six months (little toe injured from snorkeling flippers)

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