Martha, don't read this


Well, the saga of the wart on the bottom of my foot continues. I can't say I'm particularly happy about the turn of events with this thing, as it's starting to separate from my foot, but isn't doing it as quickly as I'd like.

I decided not to let it slow me down, in terms of ultimate or Velocity, but good lord, having a gaping wound on the bottom of one's foot isn't exactly conducive to athletic endeavors.

Here's how bad it is (Martha, don't click through):

Not going easily is still going


Well, that didn't work out as I had intended. Of course, many things don't, so I don't know why I was surprised.

My doctor appointment this morning was supposed to be a go in, have my foot cut open, clean out my foot, sew back up my foot, and I leave sort of ordeal, culminating in my hobbling for a day or two.

Instead, the doctor commented that, despite my attempt to cut out the wart, surgery really is the last option for warts, not the first.

What else did I learn?

Warts don't last 20 years, as the one on the bottom of my foot has. They tend to last months, maybe a year, but the body will reject the wart, which is caused by a virus. Since the wart exists in the skin, the continuous sloughing of skin will usually force the wart out of the body, through natural growth.

A wart that lasted 20 years? Yeah, it's probably not a wart, the doctor told me, but rather a collection of blood vessels that well, essentially just become confused and ball up into a painful lump embedded in the skin. Or, maybe it's a ball of scar tissue from some dig attempts of mine, other than the one last week. Unfortunately, last week was my first attempt at hacking this particular wart, so no, it most likely wasn't scar tissue. Well, he asked, had I during my many years of shaving off the top of the wart, ever noticed any black dots in the wart? Nope, hadn't noticed that either. I really think this is just a wart.

But you know, in the back of my head, I couldn't help but wonder if the wart was something more, something more sinister, because I thought the growth next to my eye was a wart: it looks a lot like the knot of flesh at the bottom of my foot.

The doctor, however, spent a few minutes with a knife, cutting off the top layer of skin, and looking at the lump. It didn't hurt a bit, which sorta told me the lump wasn't a collection of blood vessels balled up into a painful mass. After those few minutes, he declared, nope, looks like a wart, though twenty years? Wow, that's pretty much unheard of. Twenty years?

Yes, twenty years. Look at my chart. It's not that unreasonable to know that you've had a wart since your parent's divorce when you lived in another state, and hey that was twenty years ago, so just move on and accept that yes, this is a freaking twenty year old wart already.


Assuming it's a wart.

So, the doctor offered these steps:

1. Take a lot of vitamin A and zinc to help my immune system. The A will help the skin turn over, and the zinc will just boost the immune system, as if I had a cold.

2. Hold still while this magical blistering potion is dabbed on the wart. The skin will roil, boil, toil and trouble, hopefully ejecting the wart at maximum velocity off of my foot.

3. Keep the band-aid on over the blistering magic potion, until at least tomorrow, minimum four hours if I can't stand it any longer.

I can walk or run or do whatever I want, within my own pain tolerances. Want to go for a run? Have at it.

This guy doesn't exactly understand my pain tolerances very well, was my initial thought.

My current thought, though?


It's a throbbing, knife like pain on the bottom of my foot. Or rather, it's like a magical blister pulsing on the bottom of my foot, just throbbing, throbbing, throbbing, telling me, here I am! Here I am! Yo! Remember me! I'm not going easily.


Not going easily is still going.

Stupid twenty year old wart.

Just dig it out


When I was 14 or so and living at my dad's place, I somehow managed to grow a wart on the side of my index finger. Now, this wasn't just any wart, mind you. This was a GIANT wart (well, it seemed so at the time), close to 4mm across. Located on the side of my finger, on the side of the lower knuckle, it was annoying.

Given its location, even if it hadn't started out being annoying, just being where it was (easy access!) meant I was guaranteed to pick at it. Which, of course, I did. Which, of course, made the thing grow bigger and bigger and bigger. So, the tiny bump ballooned to a giant wart.

Did I mention annoying? How about the picking?


Turns out, warts are fairly discrete packages. They're considered a tiny tumor, typically caused by a viral infection. They have a core that will grow and grow and grow if you pick at them. Having a core, however, means that, hey, maybe that core will detach.

Which is what happened with the one I had on my finger. I was so annoyed by it that I picked at it enough to discover the separation layer between the core and the rest of my finger. Once I found this out, I took an x-actor knife and a bottle of alcohol into the bathroom, closed the door, and proceeded to excise the lump from my finger. I'm not sure my dad ever noticed. Either I cleaned up well, or he decided not to ask, as there was a lot of blood on that first attempt.

That first attempt not being so great. The lump grew back, causing me to try again. The second time, I cut much deeper, following the core down to where it tapered to a tip, and was rewarded with a deep hole in the side of my finger. It healed after a while, with no infection, and I have a small scar at the location, barely noticable in its spot.

Some time a few years later, I managed a half dozne more spots that looked very similar to the wart on my hand, this time on the bottom of my feet. I tried the various self-administrated wart removal techniques of the time, finally succeeding only with a 12 hour soak in the Salt River on a day of hookie with Jenn Chase and her boyfriend. I was able to scrape off (read: gouge out) all of the warts on the bottom of my feet but one that day.

That spot has stayed on my feet over the subsequent years, never growing big, always slightly annoying smack dab in the middle of my foot. It would grow so that it stuck up a little bit on my foot, so I'd take a nail clipper and trim it down, keeping it flush with my foot and mostly in check.

Until tonight. Gah.

Without thinking about it, I scratched the bottom of my foot when it itched today. I don't know if it was the combination of increased wart size or longer finger nails or what, but on a scratch, I felt a sharp pain and looked down.

To discover the wart had separated from my foot.

The thing is about 3mm across and, apparently, about 4mm deep.

Yeah, it's been twenty years, but I didn't think anything about pulling out the alcohol swabs and x-acto knife to get this one out, too. I wasn't as lucky this time, though. I caused a lot of blood (which, apparently, is pretty bad in preventing the spread of future warts), but managed only to find the edge of the core near the surface, but not the full depth of it.

Update: Well, crap. I think I've done more harm that good. I mean, aside from the unfinished open wound on the bottom of my foot, I now have a fever and sore throat. I can't help but wonder the timing of this illness.

I can't help but think, "I'm dumb."