I’m trying to get back into the groove with this blog. I think the Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin cookies and all of the leftovers got the best of me. Overall, Tim & I had a wonderful quiet Thanksgiving at our house this year. It was the first time that we celebrated a holiday together without family. It was just what we needed to rejuvenate after all that craziness this year has brought us.
Unfortunately, two weeks ago my 5th metatarsal (aka baby/pinky toe) started to ache and I mean really ache. The pain was radiating through my entire body without impact on the ground. After examining my toe, I noticed an unusually large callous that resembled the appearance of a dreaded corn. CAUTION: If you don’t want to be grossed out by the picture, I suggest you stop reading this post now.
Naturally, I consulted with Internet MD to confirm my initial diagnosis of a corn. Yup, for what I researched and the photos I reviewed, that disgusting white growth on the side of my toe was indeed a corn. This was two Sundays ago. Taking matters into my own hands, since the best podiatrist, Brian Fullem, DPM, moved from Connecticut to Florida earlier this year, I decided to try a few natural remedies to treat this awful impediment before seeking a replacement for my foot doctor. Yes, I did travel from Syracuse to Connecticut to see Dr. Fullem. He is a great podiatrist, a runner and understands runners and their feet, so the road trip was totally worth it.
First attempt: I filled up my Conair foot spa with Dr. Teal’s peppermint foot soak. This concoction of epsom salt with peppermint essential oil with baking soda is supposed to soothe tired and aching feet. I also read that the epsom salt is supposed to help soften the area of the corn so I could exfoliate some of the overgrown callous. After pumicing the area and disinfecting with an alcohol pad, I applied a cotton pad that was doused in apple cider vinegar and adhered to my toe with some surgical tape. I know, I know, the smell of the vinegar is enough to make you gag, but I figured what the heck if this remedy worked. It would save a trip to the doctor’s office.
I followed the soak/vinegar routine for two days with no sigh of relief. It was time to try another natural remedy because the pain was still bothersome and I was still not able to run.
Second attempt: lemon juice. This stuff actually worked somewhat to reduce the inflammation and the citrus scent of the lemon was much more appealing to my senses. Even with several applications and soaks with lemon juice, I still could not wear even the most comfortable shoes or sneakers. Tim kept asking me if I was making a salad dressing for my feet based on the ingredients I was using. I was living in my UGG slippers -not that there is anything wrong with that but these worn out clog slippers are not very fashionable and are not designed to run in.
That brings us to Tuesday. Two days before Thanksgiving. The thought of not being able to walk comfortably not to mention run for another week was just out of the question. I knew that the only way I would receive relief was to have this corn sliced off with a scalpel. Yes, I own one of these instruments and no I was not going to perform surgery on my foot for fear that I would get an infection or chop off my toe accidentally.
So, I did something that I have never ever done before and would question the intelligence of individuals who waltz into a doctor’s office not being an established patient without an appointment expected to be seen by a doctor. I struck out with the drop-in to see if I can get an appointment method at three podiatrist offices in the Fayetteville, NY area. You would not believe how I was treated by the support staff. I’m so glad that I am not managing those practices because all three of the individuals I encountered would be fired immediately. One oversized lady holding her McDonald’s bag in one hand and a magnum sized soft drink in the other, curtly told me to just go and find a phone book. Now that’s good patient service. Unbelievable.
I persevered and luckily found a podiatrist that could see me on Wednesday. I knew that I would be sitting in the waiting room for some time because I was an add-on to the already overbooked doctor’s schedule. In my mind, the appointment was straight forward. (confirm corn diagnosis, debridement of corn and dead skin, and on my way) – NOT!
After several x-rays of both feet- 3 hours later, I was being told that I needed 4 surgical procedures to correct the inherited deformities and cosmetics of my feet. I don’t think so! I was told that I would be on “disability for at least 8 weeks each – you do the math- to correct something that is not broken yet. If there comes a day that I am in excruciating pain because of my so-called foot deformities or am scouted to become a foot model, and there was no other less invasive treatment option, I would then proceed with foot surgery.
I am happy to report that the doctor did indeed remove the corn and callous from my toe and my feet have been reintroduced to fancy footwear and sneakers without pain. There will be no orthopedic shoes on this gal-ever! The moral of my story is to remind me to take care of my feet. That means regular pedicures to keep the callouses at bay-even after the sandals are retired for the season.
Yeah for HAPPY FEET again!
Has this ever happened to you? Do you know of any other home remedies that work if this corn decides to reappear? Please share in the comments section.