My right big toe was red, swollen and painful since last Friday. I did not see a doctor and when to work as usual today. I showed Mao Mao and Si Hamil my toe and they advised me to see a doctor. We thought it might be gout and I was feeling depressed at the thought that I might have to limit the type of food I eat. At the end of the day, my toe nail have turned a whitish grey. At Si Hamil’s repeated urging, I promised to go and see a doctor after work.
I went and saw a doctor at a nearby clinic immediately after I reached home. I did not even stop to have dinner first. It was a long wait at the clinic but finally I saw the doctor who told me that it was not gout but infection. It was a relief. The doctor advised me to go to A&E immediately to have the toe nail removed as I will be going on holiday in a little under two weeks’ time. The theory was that by having the toe nail removed earlier, I would recover faster.
So I went home, had a quick dinner and went down to the A&E at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. It took a while for me to see the doctor as I moved to different stations to get x-ray and stuff. The doctor was a nice, friendly man who took a look at my toe nail and said that it had to be removed because it was infected. So it was off to the operating theater to get my toe nail removed.
I laid down on the narrow bed and waited for the doctor to arrive. Across the room, but blocked from my view by a wall and cupboards, was another operation going on. I could hear parts of a conversation between the patient and the nurse. Then the doctor came and gave me three injections in my toe to numb the pain. The injections were a little painful as it felt as if the needle reached the bone. Then I felt, rather than saw as I was lying down, the doctor put something over the rest of the foot and only exposing the big toe. I could not feel anything when he removed the toe nail, presumably in pieces, as I heard him throwing things into the dustbin a few times. Sometimes I felt a sharp pain but strangely it was after I heard the doctor threw the nail into the dustbin. The doctor explained that it was because there was a lot of pus under the nail. No wonder both doctors kept asking me if there was any pus. There was none so I guessed it all pooled under the nail.
Then it was over. The doctor asked me to sit up and take a look at my nail-less toe. I did not want to but it looked far less gross than I thought. The doctor said that if that part turned redder, then I should see a doctor again. He gave me three days MC and a lot of antibiotics. I had two kinds of antibiotics – one for before food and one after. One to take three times and day and one to take four times a day. Each time I need to take two pills.
By the time I got home, it was almost 11pm.