04/28/17

written by Natalie Pattillo

Junk Drawer

One Heel Of A Saga

As you all might've noticed, we've been very foot-centric this month. Been wondering why? Well, our feet-forward focus came about during an Icon team meeting when we were spitballing blog theme ideas for April. Then, Kejal said, "How about we do foot as a theme for April?" I pondered for a moment. "That's super weird...I love it!" I exclaimed. Since then, we've chatted with a skeletal foot toting cancer survivor; shared feetness exercises that benefit pelvic floors; and even got daringly political and potentially divisive about Crocs. Our feet deserve some TLC (tender loving conversation) too!

That being said, I didn't really foresee how *on brand* my personal dilemma would be for The Iconic's quirky theme this month. My team suggested I write a blog post about foot reflexology or treating yourself to pedicures. Sadly, though, I couldn't commit to their well-intentioned ideas. No, it's not because I'm averse to people touching my feet. Nope not that at all. It's actually because (*deep breath*), I have a damn plantar's wart on the heel of my right foot (*exhales audibly*). Yes, we preach that there's no such thing as TMI. But...I'm not gonna lie...sharing this kinda feels like I'm crossing the line. Sorry that this isn't going to be about a glorious foot spa experience. Turns out, the story revolving around my plantar's wart is really about friendship and procrastination, which I think *might* resonate with many of you, lovely ladies. Stay with me and I promise to do my best to spare you any extreme gory details. If you're really interested in visuals, Google images is a great resource. Don't recommend it, tho.

So, this all started last December after noticing that a callus on my heel was horrendously painful. When I walk or stand, it feels like a pebble is trying to pierce through my flesh. Too much? Perhaps. But yes, it hurts pretty badly. I also noticed a tiny black dot at the center of the callus. Hmm...that's weird, I thought. I told my friend Natalie (yes, we have the same first name) about my pesky lil pain point while she was visiting NYC for the holidays. 

"OMG! I have one of those too," she said with almost too much excitement. "Actually, I have a couple of them on my feet....WHAT ARE THEY?! CAN I SEE YOURS?!"

I pulled the sock off my right foot and pointed to my heel. Natalie D took off her sock and showed me her pesky pain point. Like the most boring game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours." We sat there for a few seconds comparing our inflamed calluses. Then, I broke our silent stare by saying, "I think we have plantar's warts." Sooo...we did what any modern day woman would do, we Googled "plantar's wart symptoms." 

As I read aloud the symptoms listed on WebMD, we realized that our matching little foot demons checked all the boxes.

Plantar's warts are grainy growths appearing on heels/balls of your feet ✅yep.
Pressure may cause plantar warts to grow inward beneath callus ✅  mmhmm.
Pain or tenderness when walking or standing ✅  most definitely.

    "Damn it, we definitely have them! How did this happen? What do we do now?" Natalie D yelled. 

    "I don't know! I'm not a doctor!" I responded frantically. (This is probably why our close friends call us The Neurotic Natalies ). 

    I scrolled the internet to find answers (aka self-diagnose further!). "Ok, ok. It says a doctor could freeze the wart off with liquid nitrogen or we could buy over-the-counter wart treatments, but ah crap, it says that apparently only works 50% of the time. Ooo ooo! It also says we could use duct tape as a remedy!" I rattled off. 

    Natalie D grabbed my phone and read the page. "Yeah, but look, it says 'Don’t expect miracles with this type of treatment since it probably does not work any better than a placebo.'" Natalie D put the phone down. We stared at each other, silently acknowledging we were in this mess together. 

    After a couple of days of hanging out in the city and commiserating (whining) about our warts, Natalie D had to go home. We promised each other that we'd go to a doctor ASAP. Weeks quickly turned into a couple of months. Neither of us went to the doctor or bothered to even make an appointment. 😬  We were our own worst enemies, really. But, we truly did try to hold each other accountable via text messaging. Here's some of our exchange (I redacted some R-rated language):

    We never went to the doctor. We didn't share pictures to prove we did. And yes, you guessed it no "funny gifts" were sent. Aside from being neurotic, we were also procrastinating pros. We make time for work, family, friends, and Google researching (self-diagnosing), but we didn't make time for the doctor. I even tried an over-the-counter liquid nitrogen treatment. No dice. The wart lived on. We were in denial about how much pain our warts were causing us. Then one day as I was Googling, I found something I had to share with Natalie D:

    Natalie D made the first appointment.

    That encouraged me to make my appointment.

    Last week, when I went to the doctor, she sprayed medical-grade liquid nitrogen onto the tiny demon known as a plantar's wart. She told me that it could take 2 weeks for the wart to fall off (sorry, I know that's gross!!). Oh my footness, relief!

    Natalie D and I still haven't figured out exactly why we took so damn long to go the doctor. It's not like we slackers in other areas of our lives. Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with women putting off self-care (medical or otherwise) because we feel like we must carry on even in the midst of pain (physical, emotional, or mental) or discomfort. Personally, I told myself that going to the doctor takes too much time from my responsibilities as a working mom. Or maybe, as women, we're too embarrassed to tell our doctors about our ailments (like warts or incontinence) because we think it's "TMI". But hey, they went to medical school to treat this sorta stuff! And the truth is, if we don't take care of ourselves, no one will (well, that is, unless you happen to have a neurotic friend to hold you accountable and give you a few extra nudges).

    *~Tell us about a time you procrastinated a doctor's visit.*~