What’s in Your Toe?

“So I asked the doctor if there was something living in it.”


We’d been having one of those conversations where my sailor blethers on about all kinds of things (he was probably still talking about those Olympic golds we won in hockey) while my mind wanders to more important issues like if it’s worth flat ironing my hair given current precipitation levels and whether the new issue of Oprah Magazine is on the shelves yet.

I looked up from my iPhone to notice my sailor was folded over, picking at his bare foot.

“What???” I asked again.

“I said that overtime goal was brilliant!”

“Not the hockey, sweetie. The doctor thing.”

“Oh–I noticed this small cut, a scratch really, on my toe just before I left Afghanistan. It seemed to be getting better, but then it crusted over and a thick creamy gel started seeping out.”

I backed away from him on the bed.

“I picked the scab off because that didn’t look right. There was hole underneath. When I went for my physical last week, I asked the doctor if he thought maybe something was living in it.”

Oh. My. God.

“What did the doctor say?”

My sailor reached for his socks. “He said to put Polysporin on it and come back in a couple of weeks if it hasn’t healed.”

“But what if there is something living in it? What if it jumps over to me? I think you need to start wearing socks to bed–thick ones.”

He shrugged. “You worry too much.”

Being me, I immediately went online to research bugs that burrow under human skin.

I found terrible photos of monstrous exploding blisters with baby spiders inside, and a British woman who discovered twelve flesh-eating maggots festering under tiny red bumps all over her body after a trip to Africa.

Forget socks–my sailor needs to start sleeping in gum boots until we get the all clear that there’s nothing living in the hole in his toe.