Oh, My Toe!

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2012-06-09 06:04:57 -0500
Started 2011-03-01 12:14:27 -0600

I have recently started a weekend job where I am on my feet all day. UGH…it is rough on these old bones. I noticed I was having a lot of pain in one of my big toes so I started keeping an eye on it and I thought I had some dirt at the base of the nail bed. It turns out to seem to be something under my nail and it sends stabbing pains. It looks like it would if I had dropped something heavy on it, but I have not done that.

I called the podiatrist and have an appointment in a couple of weeks, but I was wondering if any of you had any advice on how to help the pain or if I should keep it raised when I can?

96 replies

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-05-19 03:36:39 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,
Just wondering how long it took u 2 heal since u've done this b4?? I had my left big toe nail removed 4 the 1 st time 3 wks ago & it still hurts like no other..mostly @ nite.I went bk 2 the Dr last weds 2 make sure there wasn't an infection.."nope not @ all" but I've only been getting 3-4 hrs of sleep a nite cuz of the pain & constant throbbing I just wanta cry it hurts sooo frickin bad.I also have the burning sensation really bad too :(The Dr @ immediate care said DON"T soak it keep it dry with just neosporne & a band aide..not helping @ all…the lowertab 7.5's he gave me are not helping either this doc was rough with the shots my entire toe was black & purple just now getting some pink bk…it hurts down 2 the bone??any suggestions?? ty :)

KarynCandy29 2012-05-31 06:23:07 -0500 Report

Hi Victoria,
I know this was posted a little bit ago, just reading it now and wondering if you toe is still hurting mostly at night?

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-06-09 05:33:26 -0500 Report

YES it's been over a month & still hurting i'm up every hr w it..the only thing that helps is to go pace in the kitchen on the cool tile floor..i've tried ice packs but their too cold makes the pain worse so the kitchen floor is all that helps..

GabbyPA 2012-05-19 20:51:35 -0500 Report

Ouch. I am sorry to hear that it is so bad. For me, it was not that bad. It takes time for the nail to heal or grow back. I had him kill the nail bed in the corner so it would not get ingrown anymore. And it did seem to heal a bit slower, as at the time, I figure now, that I was already diabetic, but didn't know it.

Mine didn't hurt enough to disrupt my daily routine and I didn't take drugs for the pain after the first week or so. Everyone has a different tolerance for pain and different surgeons make the process unique.

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-05-30 07:08:14 -0500 Report

Hello again Gabby, just wanted 2 update u on my condition & c how u r doing.
I ended up in the hospital for 3 days w a severe infection..thr Dr @ immediate care that told me 3 days prior I didn't have an infection had just been touching on a lump in my 15 yr old son's armpit prior 2 touching all over my toe WITH OUT ANY GLOVES!! A very mean surgeon came & saw me the 3rd day & informed me that the Dr that removed my toenail didn't do it correctly he said he should have put stitches or gauze @ the bed 2 leave it open 4 a new toenail & he didn't so I will never get another toe nail again. I've been bk 2 the ER (a different 1 ) & 2 my Dr's yesterday w severe pain it feels like I've put my toe in acid it's so painful I am now down 2 30mins of sleep @ a time if I'm lucky & the only thing that helps is 2 jump out of bed & start pacing. They gave me oxycontin this time & i was up all night last nite every 30 mins medicine didn't faze it.I'm having an MRI done this morning & really scared of the results I'm afraid they've waited 2 long 2 help me & I'll probably need surgery. I'll update u as I go thru this, in the meantime back to pacing & cring can't recall ever having such severe pain & I have a high tolerance 4 it but not this time it's consumed my life!!

GabbyPA 2012-05-30 07:51:11 -0500 Report

Wow, what a mess. I will be praying for you and your toe. Amazing how one little part of our body that we don't pay much attention to can get our full attention.

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-05-31 03:20:52 -0500 Report

Thank u so much Gabby..I had the MRI done this morning i think that was the most painfull 35 mins of my life i cried the entire time. They had the bottom of my leg in the machine but then put my foot in like this thick plexa glass clamp to hold my foot still & it smashed all my toes together from the sides..it was horrible! anyway i'll get the results back Friday @ my Dr's office.I was sent straight over 2 the ER 2 get a pain shot in my butt afterward & their thinking the Dr that removed my toe nail "very roughly" may have cracked or chipped a bone or 2 in my foot is why I'm having so much pain clear 2 the bone , he did after all bend the first needle off in my foot then started over so who knows!

GabbyPA 2012-05-31 18:54:06 -0500 Report

Good grief! You need a new podiatrist. Yikes! I hope that gets better. I hate it when my feet are giving me grief. I use them for everything.

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-06-09 05:55:54 -0500 Report

I promise I will never be 1 of the first 2 try out a "new" immediate Care unit!!& yes I need a good Podiatrist. The Dr they had come see me @ the hospital was very very mean & rude to me & the staff I was afraid 2 have him come bk the next day so I requested a different Dr & the acting cheif of staff kicked me out & told me if I needed further help go to Wesley were my medical Dr goes.Wow didn't c that coming. guess u don't have a right 2 see a 2nd DR?? the other one wanted to cut my toe off the next day & b done w it scared the crap out of me!!so shocked @ how I was treated & kicked 2 the curb!!

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-06-09 05:43:46 -0500 Report

well the MRI showed no damage to my bones thank goodness but there is a lot of lil fluid pockets in the bedding,on the bones & in the joints apparently the not so gentle Doc used way to much numbing medicine in that small area & my toe wasn't able to obsorb it all which is alot of my pain,that & the fact a new toe nail is trying to grow but can't cuz he didn't leave the bedding opened for it so there's alot of burning & pressure there :( it's been over a month & i've went from 15-30 mins of sleep to now 30-60 mins @ nite..dragging my butt.. need my sleep just bought a house moving soon need my foot 2 stop hurting!!

GabbyPA 2011-04-04 21:04:17 -0500 Report

I finally got to see my doctor today and it seems that I have the start of an ingrown toe nail. Just caution now, no issues. I have had two removed through the years already, so it is old hat.

I talked to him at length about the feelings in my feet and he gave me a very through test. The conclusion is that my big toes are in the very beginning stages of neuropathy, and that was a relief to me. He said my feet are in very good shape and if I keep my levels in good control and keep an eye on things, I should continue to do very well.

He explained the difference between the burning and gravel feeling I have. That he said is the games that sugar plays with our nerves, but it is not neuropathy. The fact that my big toe had less feeling to the touch than my small toes is what tells him I am in the beginning stages. So the burning I have is more related to being high in my levels than actual damage. That feeling has actually been getting better and I am able to sleep through the night most nights now.

So anyway, that is the scoop. The toes and feet are all looking good. Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

Pynetree 2011-04-05 07:49:18 -0500 Report

Good to hear that you're not dealing with gout or severe neuropathy. Painful feet makes everything harder! Well worth the extra vigilance and TLC to get, and then keep them in good shape. Happy feet make a happier you…

Nonna2Three 2011-04-05 07:24:19 -0500 Report

I'm glad you have answers now. It always helps to know what is going on - takes away some of the stress and worry.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-04 22:24:58 -0500 Report

Glad your Dr. was so good at explaining what was going on to you. Hope you continue to improve with both your BG and the buring sensation.

GabbyPA 2011-04-05 07:32:12 -0500 Report

That was the best part. We did more talking than anything else. He listened to me and my observations and he did suggest that if my glucose numbers continue to improve, but my feet don't, that I should see a neurologist because it could be something else and he would hate to have it go untreated if it is treatable. So I will be keeping better notes on what my feet are doing.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-05 09:42:43 -0500 Report

It's great to have an interactive Dr. Mine remembers what I've asked about and will have an answer the next visit if he dioesn't at the time. He asked how I was doing the first thing on my first vsit after escaping from the hospital. "Well, my cholesterol must be good because that's the only thing they didn't seem worried about. " was my reply. The very next appt he walked into the room and said "Your cholesterol levels look real good."

Jameesa 2011-03-15 14:02:05 -0500 Report

Soaking in epsom salts and elevating your feet, are two of the best things we can do for our tootsies…:)

Victoria G.
Victoria G. 2012-06-09 06:01:19 -0500 Report

I tried that…felt gd for like 10 seconds than hurt like no other…thats where mine is different the more "wet" i get it the more it hurts!

GabbyPA 2011-03-07 22:01:10 -0600 Report

Well, I have to say that this weekend went well and my toe has stopped complaining. It still looks funny, and I am still going to the doctor to have it checked out, but a lot of the things you guys advised seemed to help me out. I was dancing all weekend and feeling good. Thank you so much.

whitetigress 2011-03-03 22:01:16 -0600 Report

Gabby :) If there is something under your toe nail, as others have suggested, soak them and add some epsom salts to the water. The epsom salts will help to draw out whatever it is…

GabbyPA 2011-03-04 05:15:21 -0600 Report

Epsom salts are magic indeed. Amazing all the things they can do. Today will be a good test. I am working today and we will see if my toe is happier. I sure hope so.

whitetigress 2011-03-03 21:46:04 -0600 Report

To MAYS thinking about wearing compression socks. You can buy them as socks rather than wearing stockings :). They look like regular men's socks.

GabbyPA 2011-03-04 05:15:59 -0600 Report

I have some diabetic socks, but no compression ones. I will have to see if my diabetic sock guy has some.

KarynCandy29 2012-05-31 06:37:40 -0500 Report

Gabby how do you find it wearing diabetic socks..I have them but find them hard to wear as they seem to twist around on my foot..does that happen to you?

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2012-06-02 19:50:03 -0500 Report

Oh i know this is over a year ago, but I just found it. I have a foot doctor I see twice a year and he is diabetic! He recommends wearing moccasins and walking on stone frequently. the stones will poke into the bottom of the slipper, but not poke through. this actually helps to massage the foot and discourage cutting off blood flow and causing other issues. Also, he suggests drying your feet then using a hair dryer to "super dry them" Putting a foot that is slightly wet into a sock is asking for trouble.

GabbyPA 2012-05-31 18:56:11 -0500 Report

I don't have that problem with mine. They are short ones, like footies with just a little tube to them. I have some a little longer, but I usually fold them over and keep them low. I wear them in my Crocks. In my tennis shoes, I have not worn them. I don't know if they will twist in there.

If they are twisting, it sounds like your shoes are too large??

Sidehack 2011-03-03 05:01:42 -0600 Report

Ask your doctor about "gabapentin". It helps me with stabbing, throbbing pains in my feet and hands.

GabbyPA 2011-03-03 18:36:07 -0600 Report

It that a topical or an oral med?

jayabee52 2011-03-03 18:46:08 -0600 Report

gabepentin (aka Neurontin) is usually an oral med. Usually used to combat neuropathy

GabbyPA 2011-03-03 18:47:58 -0600 Report

Thanks, I will at least talk to him about it. I am thinking I have hyper sensitive feet instead of neuropathy. I will let him tell me.

cograndma 2011-03-15 13:18:14 -0500 Report

you could also ask about having an EMG to test for neuropathy. They stimulate the nerves at intervals from the foot to the knee. They get a print out sort of like and EKG and this will tell if you have neuropathy. Not fun, but very well worth knowing

jayabee52 2011-03-15 13:22:06 -0500 Report

yes, I've had that done in 2006 and it was not terrible, but not fun either, more uncomfortable than anything.

Nonna2Three 2011-03-02 13:26:25 -0600 Report

Ohhh :( I hope it gets better soon! Soaking in Epsom salt is all I know. But if a someone said use Listerine, and that works, then I would try to soak them every night, whether they are hurting that night or not! Good luck!

GabbyPA 2011-03-03 18:35:49 -0600 Report

I will be soaking them in a combination I think. The stabbing pain is gone, and that is good, but I work tomorrow and I will see how it is at the end of the day.

PetiePal 2011-03-02 12:55:00 -0600 Report

Soak them at night but in the colder winter months make sure they don't dry out. Warm water not hot! Lotion them up but don't let them be too moist all the time.

Soaking is the best answer with Epsom salt in the meantime.

I'd work on getting some Scholls or diabetic orthotics made as well which will take some of the pain off of your feet.

It's no wonder we shrink a few inches by the evening! We're tough on our tootsies

GabbyPA 2011-03-02 12:59:56 -0600 Report

I have tried insoles, but find they crowd my feet too much. My shoes don't have that much wiggle room to add another layer. Is there a trick to making them work?
I cannot afford to have any made at this time, but it is something I hope I can do down the road.

cograndma 2011-03-15 13:20:38 -0500 Report

I agree with you, I had a hard time with not enough room with my orthotics as well. I too would appreciate any advice for using them and not crowding the tootsies.

andi114 2011-03-02 21:23:49 -0600 Report

Take out the insole that came with your shoe and put the orthotics in. See if that helps

GabbyPA 2011-03-03 18:34:27 -0600 Report

I have some hiking boots I might try that with. They have removable insoles, but my other shoes are all in one I guess.

Gemm 2011-03-03 12:03:31 -0600 Report

I do that with any new pair of shoes I buy as I've had to wear custom orthotic insoles for several years. I also make sure I buy a good quality shoe at the lowest price I can find. We don't have much money to splurge with so I have to make every dollar count. I've gone 1/2 - 1 size larger — depending on how they are made - so I make sure I can wear the orthotic insoles with the shoes. Also, make sure you aren't wearing high heels as they can be murder on our toes. If you must wear dress shoes at work use shoes with only a max of 1" heel. I was told that many many years ago and it worked for me when I had to wear dress shoes for work or any other reason. Today I don't even bother with dress shoes at all as they all tend to hurt my feet too much and the pain just isn't worth it. I'll take people's digs at me for wearing my running shoes before I'll wear dress shoes again.

LOL I figure if they don't like it they don't have to look at my feet. :)

GabbyPA 2011-03-03 18:33:46 -0600 Report

You are right. The shoes I have are all pretty casual and those heels....NO WAY! I have the nice leather square toe shoes if I am meeting with clients, other wise it is tennies or crocks.

GabbyPA 2011-03-02 12:09:19 -0600 Report

Thank you everyone for your input. I think I will be soaking the old tootsies tonight and giving myself a nice pedicure to boot. I have not done that since I started working the weekends, and it is over due. If anyone has other suggestions, I am all ears.

andi114 2011-03-02 21:29:26 -0600 Report

Keep them elevated as much as possible. It increases circulation to your feet and that has all kinds of benefits also wearing support hose or compression stockings makes a big
Difference when you are on your feet a lot. I used to be a nurse and support hose were a must. Good luck

GabbyPA 2011-03-03 18:35:05 -0600 Report

Do they make support hose that are not full leg heights? I hate hose.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-03 21:10:52 -0600 Report

You can get knee high, thigh high and pantyhose style compresson stockings. They come in compression ranges: 10 - 15, 15 - 20, 20 - 30, and 30 - 40. You can order them in several different shades from a bunch of manufacturers. They also have different material weights, from very sheer to heavy like the nylons my great aunt had from the 1940's. Some compression strengths require a Dr's prescription. The hardest part for me is getting them over the ankle, put with practice it seems easier.

MAYS 2011-03-03 21:30:19 -0600 Report

What a coincidence (discussion wise) I was just reading about compression stockings and socks for people who have DVT (blood clots), I hope that I don't have to wear them, but if I have to I will.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-03 21:38:10 -0600 Report

You sound like me a year ago, Mays. They are much more comfortable than I thought they would be. Plus they do make it possible to be up and around without my legs feeling icky. Without them I might have developed another leg ulcer by now, so another definite plus. I told me wound care Dr. I was glad he was not the Dr. who prescriped them since they are only thigh high. He would have ordered them to go up to at least my neck. (He laughed but did agree that thought had crossed his mind.)

MAYS 2011-03-03 21:46:52 -0600 Report

I will do my research and check them out.
When I see my Coumadin \ Blood Clot Doctor on Friday I will discuss this possibility with her.
I might as well wear something that will help me, rather than hurt me.
Thanks for the information, as well as the laugh.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-03 22:00:26 -0600 Report

Juzo, mediven, and Jobst have good websites about their brands. And their are several discount compression stocking websites. At least 6 different Drs. and 3 wound care nurses discussed the subject with me. Since I need thm for bad leg veins I don't remember much from the technical studies that explained how effective they are for DVT. My Vascular Surgeon preferred compression stockings in my case over the surgical stockings after the surgeries. Enjoy your research.

GabbyPA 2011-03-04 05:18:31 -0600 Report

I have big calves though...will I feel squished in them? I am so uncomfortable with tight anything.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-05 02:00:58 -0600 Report

They come in different sizes. If your proportions are wrong for the ready made ones they can special order custom made sizes.

pixsidust 2011-03-01 21:16:43 -0600 Report

I agree in in soaking in hot/warm salt water. Try Epsom salts though.
Do make it as hot as you can stand. Salt draws infection out and the heat helps as well. When at a loss use table salt. Keep in mind I am new to Diabetes, so I am writing this as a layman who has injured their feet over the years. I used to run barefoot as a kid and come in the neighborhood with all kinds, stepped on nail, injuries and infections.
My Grandma was always soaking my feet for any hour at a time. My feet healed quickly and pain was relieved after a good soak

GabbyPA 2011-03-02 11:55:37 -0600 Report

Epsoms salts are not recommended, but my podiatrist told me to use Listerine in a foot bath instead. I have not soaked them for a while, they sure could use it.

cograndma 2011-03-15 13:26:54 -0500 Report

very interesting, never heard of that one..I have another good one..If you have restless leg syndrome, you can get relief by putting a bar of plain old ivory soap at the bottom of your bed, under the covers, where your feet would touch. Sounds sort of kookie, but my dad and several of my friends say it works for them.

cograndma 2011-03-15 21:45:13 -0500 Report

I suppose that they make something like Ivory that would work. I have a friend that uses Ivory that is lavender scented…It works for her? you can't you dial, irish spring, dove and the like, I guess because they are not pure and have additives.

pixsidust 2011-03-02 13:05:44 -0600 Report

So glad to learn! What worked in the past obviously is not good in my new role as a Diabetic.

Lysterine also relieves my scalp itching when my scalp psoriasis kicks up. I buy generic and soak my scalp leaving it on for an hour before shampooing. The itch goes away!

GabbyPA 2011-03-02 13:09:21 -0600 Report

Oh, I will have to give that a try then as well. What do you "soak" it in? Or do you spray it on like a leave in treatment before the shampoo?

It is not that you cannot use Epsom salts, but you need to use care because it can dry your feet out and cause cracks and that in turn can invite infection and ...well....you know the drill. I still use it from time to time, but I use the Listerine more.

pixsidust 2011-03-02 20:25:37 -0600 Report

Salt softens your skin. I have been to many a spa treatment and the salt glow is Fab! I think its a misnomer about the drying. You apply lotion afterwards but its to soft feet! Now on the Listerine I pour it cap full by cap full on my head. After a while I wash my hair.