Most everyone has had some type of infection. Whether it was an infected wound, strep throat, the flu, the possibilities are endless when it comes to infections, especially this time of year. Infections are often uncomfortable, thankfully, most are manageable at home. Jack has been dealing with an infection nearly all summer & now into the winter. This has been an intermittent problem for a few years now, however, it has recently gotten worse for him. The infection is two ingrown big toenails. This is Lee’s fault, Jack has toes just like Lee. Their toenails grow down into the skin instead of out-TMI?
Anywho, back this summer, I took Jack to the pediatrician because of the ingrown nuisances. She gave a round of antibiotics & then wanted him to come back to have both toenails removed. Lee & I both knew this was not a viable option (and by viable I literally mean that lol you know, Jack’s violent history & all). Although he does not feel pain like most, I really felt like that would be too much for him to cope with. Once starting the antibiotic, Lee went to work on Jack’s toes since Lee has dealt with this issue more than once on himself, it was only natural for Lee to do home surgery on Jack. All went well, Jack was able to keep both toenails, infection cleared up…until they came back again.
Jack is a picker. If you know anything about people with autistic characteristics, then you know they have sensory issues. Jack is on the autistic spectrum due to Dravet, they go hand in hand. He can’t stand tags, strings, tight clothes, a snag of the nail. He may of gotten this honest, I’ve been known to go Incredible Hulk style to the point of busting out of my clothes due to a scratchy tag or too tight pants! Jack also thinks he is grown & as normal as the next person. He finds the nail clippers & goes to town often causing the toenail to be ingrown because of the way he cut it. This time, his toe looked awful. I called our local podiatrist & Jack was seen Monday. Jack has had such an awesome month, it really has been a dream come true, well, as good as our dreams can get. He has been calm, pleasant, manageable, enjoyable to be around for the most part, even getting out of the house on his own accord. There has not been any clawing, poking, or gouging. I think it’s mainly because of the stuffed demon spawn Elf on the Shelf & Santa’s soon arrival, but we’ll take it!
The podiatrist numbed both of Jack’s big toes & decided that cutting out the corners & then the root so the toenails would not get ingrown again & oral & topical antibiotics prescribed were the best plan. I concurred, this was such a more humane way of going about this. The moment the doc started to work on Jack’s toes, he changed! As the doctor was working, he was going on about how important it is to keep the toes cleaned, medicated, & bandaged & threw in a lecture to Jack about picking his toes. With no reasoning skills at all, Jack immediately acted like he was going to start messing with his toes at that very moment. I stood beside him at this time to try to be a distraction, the moment I did, he tried to claw me, I could see the change in his eyes. Once the minor procedure was over, we headed home. Jack was argumentative & sassy the rest of the evening & was up way later than his new usual bedtime at midnight. He even called Mama at 12:45 last night. This is what an infection of the smallest kind can do to him. In most people, an ingrown toenail is just that, in Jack, it affects his whole mental & physical well-being. It amazed me how quickly the changes occurred. Jack never flinched when he got the shots in his toes, watched the doctor & played a game. If you don’t remember, one of the characteristics of Dravet is the lack of pain receptors which can be a wonderful & bad thing. Like for this is was great, it was bad when Jack was standing in an ant hill & didn’t know it until I saw his legs covered in ants.
Now the challenge for the next few weeks is keeping Jack’s hands off his toes & hoping that he will allow us to medicate & dress his toes twice a day. We might can make it through Christmas Eve, but after the big guy comes that night, the toe dressing might be over! I’m like Elvis, Oh Why Can’t Everyday Be Like Christmas? This would be wonderful…at least for the next two weeks while we’re trying to get Jack’s digits to heal. I never thought I would be writing about toenails, my life is so different from what I thought I’d be doing. I always thought I’d be writing lessons plans at 12:45 at night, but it’s toenails instead! Merry Christmas, y’all!