Bruised Toenail

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"So I pulled out my blow torch…"

Bruise Toenail Nail Swollen Injury Pressure Pain Blow Torch Child Parenting

Story Transcript

Hi, My name is Daniel. I live in Portland, Oregon. I am 49 years old, and this story is about one of my kids. It was a few years ago. My son was five or six years old, and we had just gotten a new dining room table set. And this was a big, heavy wooden set with a giant table and big heavy chairs, and they were in the garage before actually moving them into the house. And my son, who liked to play in the garage with a skateboard and different things like that, had been playing around with one of the chairs and tipping it back and messing with it, and it fell, and it hit him on the foot. It fell right on his toe. And of course, he screamed and yelled, and we thought maybe he had a broken toe, but turned out, he did not have a broken toe. It was just really sore, and it hit him right on the toenail. And, of course, much like when you hit your thumb with a hammer, over time his toenail started to turn black in that spot. It started with a bruise and then it sort of spread and it started to grow, turned black and got kind of swollen, and he began to feel a lot of pressure there. So it really hurt. And he was just complaining about how much it hurt. And he was scared because it was turning black. And I wondered if we really had to wait for the nail to fall off, because typically, that's what you do. You just just kind of live with it, until the nail falls off and then a new one grows underneath before that happens, and you're okay. But in his case, since he was so young, I tried to figure out if there was a way to take away some of the pressure, without having to go to the doctor, because I really also didn't want to go to the doctor for such a small thing. And now I don't remember exactly where I heard about this, it might have been somewhere online or maybe I read about it or something. Someone had told me that if you can poke a hole in the nail, that you can drain the extra blood that's forming under the nail causing the swelling. It will just come out, and then the swelling will go down. The way to do it is, to heat up a pin or a paper clip, till it's super hot and then put it through the nail and it happens. Now, my son... I told him what I was going to do, that I could poke a hole in the nail and he was kind of scared about it and just not really sure if he was gonna like that. So I sat him down in the garage, and I think I gave him something to look at, a book or something like that and said, "Just don't worry about it. Give me your foot and let me go for it." So the way I decided I was gonna do it was to heat up–I think I used a pin, like a safety pin–and I bent it out. I pulled out my blowtorch, thinking that this would be the easiest way to heat it up, right on the spot and then get it nice and hot and red and then just go for it, cause I didn't know how hard you have to push. And I was thinking, if this thing cooled down, you'd have to push harder and it might hurt. So, not thinking too much about it, I pulled out my blowtorch and my son, needless to say, became a little even more alarmed about that. And, I said, "Don't worry about it. It's gonna be fine." And I lit the blowtorch and started heating up the pin and told him to trust me. And for some reason he did, and he let me do it.

So here's how it worked. I just held the pin, I think in a pair of pliers, and took the blowtorch and heated up the end of the pin, until it turned bright red, and I touched it on the toenail and literally, instantly, that burned a small hole in the toenail and the blood came out. It instantly relieved all of the pressure on the toe. There was no pain whatsoever. He didn't even feel it, and I was done in less than a minute, and we just kind of took a rag and let the blood come out and it was done. It bled out and the swelling went down and his toenail never continued to turn black and fall off. So he actually was able to save the nail and not go through that whole process of of losing a nail. So, that's my cure for a bruised toenail. Probably would also work on a thumb.