Start Where You Are

So I have written both in my mind and on screen several articles designed to be the perfect “first” blog post of my new website.  

They were brilliant and sometimes funny, with deep wisdom and appropriately relative actidotes interwoven throughout.

They were designed to be the perfect platform to launch my grand vision of this website, which I’m still trying to imagine.

But a simple phrase keeps coming to mind.

Start where you are. 

And where I am right now is an infected hangnail, while feeling silly and slightly self-amused.

I know, not very glorious, but nonetheless, true.

It started out simple enough.  A hang nail that once found was being chomped by my canines.  Then I felt it, that little pain, that said that I pulled a bit too much.

Oh well, it was gone.

I’m a massage therapist, so I use my hands a lot.  I also wash them about 9 times a day.

But I still noticed some tenderness in my first finger, my pointer finger.  

By the way, when you point at someone else, remember that there are 3 fingers (middle, ring and pinky) pointing back at you. 🙂

I dismissed it and after a day or two I had to press pretty hard to even feel any tenderness.  Then it somehow got reinfected. This time without abandon.  

By the end of the day it was swollen, turning purple and sensitive to the touch.  I applied neosporin cream rubbing it in to no avail. The next day it was worse.  

The skin over the top of my finger started going numb.  It was just about time to go find a doctor and get some antibiotics, when I had a brilliant idea.

I remembered how garlic was supposed to be anti everything.  Antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. I grabbed a jar of minced garlic out of the fridge, don’t ask me how long it has been in there, poured some of the juice into a shot glass and commenced soaking my finger in it.

I figured it would soak in and kill the infection.  Now if you are medically inclined, you may be cringing right now.  My girlfriend was when I told her about my little experiment.  

She recommended dermaplast instead.  We also had a great conversation about the placebo effect and how our beliefs often determine our healing process.

Well I’ll save you the suspense.  The good news is that it didn’t make it worse.  The bad news was that it didn’t feel any better either, and now I had a pruned finger smelling distinctly of garlic.

So off to the store to grab some dermaplast and finger cots, which are basically condoms for your fingers.  I also picked up some gauze and waterproof bandaging tape.

I dermaplasted profusely, with some added neosporin cream for good measure, multiple times and then wrapped it in gauze and the waterproof tape to keep it marinating in the antibiotics.

I went to bed with the anticipation of waking up in the morning with it feeling much better.

Instead, I woke up in the middle of the night, still hurting.  Ok. time to go to the source of all knowledge, Google.

At this point I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was indeed going to have to find a doctor tomorrow.   But various sites, said that yes, the doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics and recommend soaking it in warm water.

Warm water.

Wow.  garlic juice didn’t work, but warm water?  

At this point it was 4 AM, so I figured, sure, why not.

I went downstairs, got a glass of warm water and began soaking.  

Wow again!  It actually started feeling better.

So my rational mind said….. HOTTER!

I soaked it in water that was pretty much as hot as I could stand, reheating it as it cooled for about 20 minutes. Reapplied the antibiotics and a finger cot for good measure and went back to bed.

In the morning, more soaking this time while still in the finger cot.  

After a few minutes of this, something happened.  Its kind of hard to explain, but It felt like the infection stopped or died.

It was still a little tender to touch, though much better than before and definitely still swollen.  It was as big as my middle finger. Maybe it was just my mind, but it felt healed.  

Now my body just needed to flush out the swelling.  So I did some hydrotherapy, soaking alternatively between ice cold water and hot water for as long as it took me to watch an episode of Wu Assassins. By the way, not thrilled with how they ended the first season.

As if to mock me, or perhaps test my recent education, later that day, I noticed another hangnail on my other hand.  OH NO! Don’t bite that one lol.

I write this a few days later, the pain is all gone and most of the swelling.  So there is a happy ending.

Of course all this also happened on the two days I had off of work, making this whole process much more convenient I suppose.

Either way, note to self and to you.  

Don’t bite your hangnails. If you get an infected one, soak it in warm water.



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