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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I stepped on glass. :( Will it work its way out? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: I stepped on glass. :( Will it work its way out?
pH
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My clock fell off the wall the other day, and the face shattered everywhere. I thought I'd gotten all the glass, but I guess I was wrong. There's a piece stuck on the bottom of my foot, kind of toward the front of my heel. [Frown] I have to wear flip-flops to work because shoes put too much pressure and make it hurt. I tried tweezers. Then I tried soaking it for twenty minutes and using tweezers again. I need to go to work soon, but will this work its way out on its own? Is there something else I can soak it in? It's really hard to use tweezers on your own foot; I guess I could ask if a nurse in the health center could help, but I'd rather not if there's another good option. I hate people touching my feet. I'm ticklish, and I usually end up reflexively kicking them.

-pH

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Tante Shvester
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You need to get it taken out. If you can't do it yourself, go to the clinic. Leaving it in there will just get it infected, and it is unlikely to work its way out; you keep walking on it, shoving it in a little more with each step.
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aspectre
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You need to get it taken out. There is a chance that the glass will work it's way in to do some MAJOR damage as movement of your foot's muscle groups forces that glass to shift positions.

In a chemistry class segment devoted to glass-shaping to allow one to make ones own test setups, we heard some truly nasty examples about what can happen if you accidentally break&shove glass into yourself and fail to remove all of the glass splinters. One involved death.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
You need to get it taken out. If you can't do it yourself, go to the clinic. Leaving it in there will just get it infected, and it is unlikely to work its way out; you keep walking on it, shoving it in a little more with each step.

I had to go to student health once for exactly the same thing. Not that big a deal.

Trying to walk with the glass sliver embedded, however, IS a big deal. (And hurts. A LOT.)

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pH
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Well, I went by the clinic...the doctor was there, so he took needles and jabbed at my foot until he thought he got the glass out.

Then he made me get a tetanus shot. [Cry]

I do not remember shots hurting this badly!

-pH

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Christine
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Sounds like you got it under control!

I've gotten glass in my foot twice. The first time I had to go to the doctor to get it out. The second time I tried to go to the doctor to get it out but he had no luck, either. It was too far in -- they ha to use an x-ray to find it! They finally said it would "probably" work it's way out eventually and not to worry.

Still, it's better to get the thing taken out and not take chances.

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vonk
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Ooh, tetanus shots hurt worse than most others. Luckily you only have to get them once every five years.

You're lucky you weren't around my mom when you stepped on it. She likes to cackle gleefuly as she jabs with needles and tweezers whenever one of her kids gets a splinter or glass or whatever stuck in their wherever. I've since learned to remove debris on my own in a locked room, being very very quiet.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by vonk:
Ooh, tetanus shots hurt worse than most others. Luckily you only have to get them once every five years.

They do indeed. Great big needle.

I thought it was every ten years?



pH, glad you got that taken care of. Sorry it was so traumatic. [Frown]

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pH
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The doctor said if you get an injury, it's five years...it'd been nine years since my last one.

Ugh! [Frown]

-pH

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steven
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I once dropped a gallon glass jar on the driveway. I ended up with a shard in my 2nd toe. It hurt for weeks. Then, one day, it didn't hurt anymore.
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Zalmoxis
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steven:

Wait till it works it's way to your brain. [Big Grin]

-------

Stepping on glass is one of the things I'm squeamish about. I'd rather step on a wasp (and I have) than on glass.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I'd far rather step on a wasp. Not only does it not hurt as bad, but you don't have to dig it out.
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BlackBlade
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I too have stepped on a wasp and definately prefer it to glass. But for some reason my feet have amazing reflexes. I can be walking very heavily but the moment I feel something poke or pierce, my foot just ceases moving. I've never had a problem pulling anything out of my foot.

Except for leeches, DON'T pull those buggers out, use salt or a lighter.

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steven
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quote--"Except for leeches, DON'T pull those buggers out, use salt or a lighter."

Is anyone else reminded of the Stephen King movie/novella "Stand By Me"/"The Body"?

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Zalmoxis:
Stepping on glass is one of the things I'm squeamish about. I'd rather step on a wasp (and I have) than on glass.

Thank you for playing another exciting round of "Would you rather"!

For our next round: Would you rather see Bea Arthur naked or Wilford Brimley doing a striptease?

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Zalmoxis
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Does Brimley talk during his striptease or not?
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Would you rather see Bea Arthur naked or Wilford Brimley doing a striptease?
No.
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pooka
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Someone mentioned a pie eating contest this week and I thought of Stand by Me.
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steven
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"Someone mentioned a pie eating contest this week and I thought of Stand by Me."

Indeed. All real-world pie-eating contests must inevitably be compared to that fictional one, once one has read/seen the book/movie.

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pH
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I thought you DID have to dig out the wasp stinger. Or is that bees?

WHEN DOES THE ACHING STOP?

-pH

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rivka
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IME, 3 days to a week till it's really gone, but it gradually improves.
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Sterling
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Sympathies, pH. Maybe something like a moleskin pad (the kind they use for blisters) would help?
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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
For our next round: Would you rather see Bea Arthur naked or Wilford Brimley doing a striptease?

Oh God, you had to put those images back in to our fragile psyches, didn't you?
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Tante Shvester
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Just be glad there are no more famous chicken breasts.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Yeah, broken glass sucks.


****PAINFIL SQUICK WARNING****
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A few years ago, I dropped a bottle of Tabasco Sauce. I was down on my knees sweeping it out when I felt something in my toe. I had missed a piece. It hurt. And burned like fire. The cut was pretty deep, and it was bleeding like crazy. I went to ER, and they somehow fit seven stitches down the length of my toe. A few days later, one of the stches broke during one of my karate classes, and I bled all over the dojo.

*sigh*, good memories.
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****END SQUICK WARNING****


Sorry about your foot, pH.

EDIT: Missed a space.

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pH
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What is it that's making it sore? Is it the fact that I was stabbed by a needle, or the actual vaccine itself? [Frown] I don't remember a shot making me this sore before.

Also, ewwwww, the idea of Tabasco sauce in a wound makes me cringe.

-pH

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Is it the fact that I was stabbed by a needle, or the actual vaccine itself?

IANAD, but I think it's some of each, but more the vaccine.

Soreness at the vaccination site is listed as a common side effect on all the websites I looked at (such as Medline), and Tylenol and applying heat are recommended. So is trying to move the affected arm/leg as much as possible.

*hug*

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RunningBear
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Tabasco + Wound = I am crying.

Tabasco + Mouth = I am smiling and crying.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Is it the fact that I was stabbed by a needle, or the actual vaccine itself?

IANAD, but I think it's some of each, but more the vaccine.

Soreness at the vaccination site is listed as a common side effect on all the websites I looked at (such as Medline), and Tylenol and applying heat are recommended. So is trying to move the affected arm/leg as much as possible.

*hug*

Crankiness, too? That explains a lot.... [Wink]

-pH

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rivka
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*giggle* I suspect that symptom gets reported more for infants than adults, but you never know.
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Nick
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I had a box-cutter fall from a counter onto my thumb once, that was a seven stitch wound. I wish I could still feel the top of my thumb... [Frown]

I got a tetanus shot after that incident and it was a relatively small needle into my upper arm... [Dont Know]
The soreness stops after a few days. [Frown]

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pH
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Yeah, they stuck me in the very very top of my arm/shoulder. I don't know how big the needle was, though. I didn't look. I did, unfortunately, look at the needle they used to get the glass out of my foot. *shudder*

When I was little, I was hit in the head with a golf club and had to get (I think) twelve stitches. I don't remember any needles. Although I think they covered my eyes with a washcloth when they were giving me shots to numb it so that I wouldn't freak out.

-pH

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The Rabbit
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Tetanus shots are the worst. I'm pretty confident that it has little to do with the needle and a whole lot to do with the vaccine which essentially gives you a very mild case of Tetanus. Based on my experience with the shots, getting the real full potency sort of Tetanus is definitely something to be avoided.
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ClaudiaTherese
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The tetanus vaccine does not give you a mild case of tetanus. That is important.

It is known to be more likely to provoke significant short-term pain at the injection site than most other vaccinations, but there are no live bacteria in the vaccine itself, only protein particles. They cannot infect you. There have been no known cases of tetanus infection because of a vaccination. None. Ever.

That doesn't mean the body doesn't react to the materials injected (this is the point of a vaccine, after all -- to stimulate a response in the immune system), but that is very much not the same thing as as an infection. An "infection" means there are miroorganisms which are living and multiplying at the site, and this vaccination has no microorganisms which can live and multiply.

You may be thinking of one of the old versions of polio vaccination, which was an "inactivated" (but still intact) virus. There were rare cases of reactivation. But this is not used any more at all in the US, and it is an entirely different situation for tetanus.

[ July 13, 2007, 08:43 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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The Rabbit
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CT, I guess that depends on how you define a mild case of tetanus. The symptoms associated with tetanus are caused by a potent neurotoxin produce by the bacteria (tetanospasmin). While the tetanus vaccine does not contain any live bacteria and so cannot give you a case of tetanus, as I understand it, it does contain trace levels of tetanospasmin. Because there are no live bacteria in the vaccine, there can't be any replication of the toxin and so you will never be infected. You can not get the disease from the vaccine. None the less,the adverse symptoms associated with the tetanus vaccine are the result of the same neurotoxin that causes the full fledge disease.
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The Rabbit
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CT, I guess that depends on how you define a mild case of tetanus. The symptoms associated with tetanus are caused by a potent neurotoxin produce by the bacteria (tetanospasmin). While the tetanus vaccine does not contain any live bacteria and so cannot give you a case of tetanus, as I understand it, it does contain trace levels of tetanospasmin. Because there are no live bacteria in the vaccine, there can't be any replication of the toxin and so you will never be infected. You can not get the disease from the vaccine. None the less,the adverse symptoms associated with the tetanus vaccine are the result of the same neurotoxin that causes the full fledge disease.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
None the less,the adverse symptoms associated with the tetanus vaccine are the result of the same neurotoxin that causes the full fledge disease.
No, they are not. The physical symptoms of tetanus from a puncture wound have nothing at all to do with the regular soft tissue surrounding the puncture site (i.e., not local redness, tenderness, swelling, or achiness/fatigue of surrounding muscles). The effect of the toxin is on the nerves, and this is what causes the intractable muscle spasm.

You don't get local inflammation from just a nerve toxin. It's a very different response. A nerve toxin affects the conductivity of the nerves and causes them to either be overexcitable or underexcitable -- and so nerve impulses pass differently along the nerves. The result is flaccidity/paralysis or spasm/rigidity, not local redness, tenderness, swelling, or achiness/fatigue of surrounding muscles. That's a response governed by the body's own inflammatory mediators.

I can't see how the toxoid being from the tetanus bacteria has anything to do with the local reaction. The local reaction isn't tetanus, and it isn't anything like tetanus or tetany. What it is like is an exaggerated local inflammatory response, but that isn't anything to do with the disease itself. It can be triggered by any immunoreactive protein.

I can't find any information online that supports the claim except for very clearly anti-vaccine sites (each with other notable errors of fact). What is injected is a toxoid form, not a toxin, and it is not infectious.

Those anti-vaccine sites often reference a Peds Archive journal article, but it doesn't actually support the claim. (Archives in Pediatrics, 1999 Jul;6(7):752-4) That article notes a single published incident of trismus (jaw-clenching) after a tetanus vaccination -- note, however, that the jaw is remote from the site of the injection (so does not support the idea that a local inflammatory response is tetanic), and that the authors acknowledge that the vaccine has been given more than 66 million times over a twelve-year period with only 13 reports of trismus (themselves unregulated, of course -- the VAERS system encourages reports of any and all symptoms after vaccination, so the majority of them will be coincidental, not associated with the vaccine itself).

So not only is the local response under discussion (pain, swelling, erythema, and/or surrounding muscle aches or weakness) an inflammatory-mediated response -- not tetanus, which is is an infection, or tetany, which is muscle spasm that can be a result of tetanus -- but the very vanishingly few reports of muscle spasm associated temporally with vaccination are at a distal site, not at the vaccination site.

---

eMedicine has a good article on tetanus.

"Tetanus" is properly defined as a specific infection of the central nervous system. Other uses are nonstandard, colloquial, and/or idiosyncratic. An intractible spasm of the muscles can be referred to as "tetany," but that is not the same thing as "tetanus" (the infection). I think vague or uncareful usage of terms has probably promoted a lot of misunderstanding.

Edited to add: I am being especially careful to be clear and correct about this topic because the (incorrect) idea that it's "a mild case of tetanus" gets a lot of play at anti-vaccination websites. People don't need yet another untrue reason to fear vaccinations.

[ July 14, 2007, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Boon
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Not to steal the thread or anything, but last night I managed to hurt myself. I ripped off (mostly) the right half of my left foot's big toenail, down about halfway. It's attached by the far right 1/16 of an inch, and I just cleaned it good, applied triple antibiotic ointment, and wrapped it good.

Did I do the right thing? It's throbbing, but I can live with it until Monday. Thanks.

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ClaudiaTherese
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When was your last tetanus booster? (*smile)

It isn't a puncture wound, but whomever is covering the ER would likely give you a booster if it's due, just in case.

I'd say you did well, although "cleaning it good" should involve rinsing it under a running tap for at least 10 minutes straight, and it would need to be debrided for any visible dirt or contamination.

Don't wrap it too tight -- you should still have pink tips to your toes that go white when you pinch them, but then pink up right away when you let off pressure. You should be able to feel light touches on the tip of your toe, and you should be able to move it easily. Take Advil for pain if you have no counterindications (such as allergy, kidney disease, or gastrointestinal ulcers).

You'll be seen in clinic on Monday, then? Any options for a walk-in clinic over the weekend? I'm just thinking that some numbing medicine might help you get through the first 24-48 hours much more easily.

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Boon
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3 years, I think.

Yes, I washed it with soap and water (OW) and ran it under the faucet, like, forever, to make sure I got all the soap and anything else out. I was wearing my socks at the time of the injury, so I don't think anything got in it anyway.

And by "wrapped it good", I meant that I applied gauze and wrapped tape around that, to keep the nail down and keep junk from getting in it. It's not tight at all, just tight enough to keep from falling off, and a sock over that. [Smile]

Advil is a no-no. Tylenol only, since I'm in pain for two*. [Big Grin]

I'll call the doc Monday if it still hurts this much. Otherwise, I'm seeing a PA Tuesday afternoon anyway, and I'll show her then. I can't do a walk-in, can't afford it and can't handle 3 kids and evening sickness* in one.

The good news is, I have a generally high tolerance for pain and it's really not that bad.

*yes, I'm pregnant. [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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Congrats!

(Well, on the one, not the other. *grin)

Good news, from what you said. If it swells more or gets a lot more painful, or especially if you get a fever or see red streaks coming from it, then you should get seen right away. Otherwise, I'll sleep fine so long as you keep checking in. [Smile]

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Boon
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Okay. I'm sure it'll be fine, but I'll try to keep bugging you for a couple of days. [Big Grin]

I just wanted to make sure I shouldn't have, like, tried to pull off the hanging nail or anything. That would have HURT, and it didn't make sense to me anyway. I don't want anything getting in there, and I don't want an ingrown toenail either. [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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It's so hard to tell without looking. A general rule of (toe) is to keep the nail for protection, so long as it can be cleaned thoroughly. Individual cases differ, but that's certainly an okay place to start.

Poor Boon! Betcha get a lot of grubby-faced kisses for your boo-boo, though. *smile

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
If it swells more or gets a lot more painful, or especially if you get a fever or see red streaks coming from it, then you should get seen right away.

I'd just like to add that if there are weird streaks of ANY color coming from it, you should get medical attention. I mean, streaks! My goodness! Even the blue ones are worrisome. Especially the blue ones!
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breyerchic04
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Though you should check to make sure they don't wash off. You might have walked on a marker.
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steven
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Boon, be prepared for that to grow back ugly and thick. I broke off most of my big toenail in 1990, and it still looks bad.
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Boon
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[Smile] No streaks, of any color. No swelling, no fever. I think I'll live through this stubbed toe. [Big Grin] And I don't really care how it looks, so long as it all works the way it's supposed to.

I like my scars, my stretch marks, and the lingering redness from my burns. They mean I've *done something* and lived through it. [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Boon:
I like my scars, my stretch marks, and the lingering redness from my burns. They mean I've *done something* and lived through it. [Smile]

Right. On. [Smile]
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Tatiana
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Have you seen that website where moms post pictures of their tummies and stuff? It's called The Shape of a Mother. I think it's awesome! I was like weirdly compelled to look at every one of them. I now feel really good about the way my belly looks. [Smile] (Warning: There's some nudity on that site.)

[ July 15, 2007, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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pH
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Glass: 2. Pearce: 0.

[Frown] I was walking up my building's stairs barefoot (because my shoes cut up my feet) and stepped on yet another piece of glass. I got it out this time, though. And stuck my foot under the faucet for a long time. And cleaned it with peroxide contact lens disinfectant...

I think glass is out to get me.

-pH

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