What’s Your Ingrown Toenail?

by | Jun 10, 2013 | Memoirs, Safe Practices | 2 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Yellow Light

Yellow Light

In many ways in my life, there are patterns and puzzles that need figuring out. I have a fairly complicated and fast paced life that is multi- disciplinary. Time and time again, I manage to figure things out. During these moments,  quiet streams of information flow together and make a river of sense.

Solving these puzzles and sharing what I learn from the accomplishment gives me a sense of meaning and purpose. It also gives me some closure and allows me to file away my thoughts in a retrievable way.

I have had ingrown toenails throughout my life. My big toes are predisposed to them. Over the years, I have had them removed by doctors and have learned to ignore the discomfort and eventually treat them myself in a fairly barbaric way. I recently heard about one of my subcontractors’ employees who got a toe infection from one which put him in the hospital, and he nearly had to have his toe amputated.

This got my full and undivided attention.

Ouch

Ouch

My most recent ingrown toenail was an annoyance. I ignored it through the day and rarely bumped it. At night, however, I was having a difficult time sleeping. The covers were bearing down on my toe just right and waking me up consistently.

Then I had a wakeup call when a young man, 2 years older than me, ignored some serious  heartburn  through the night and, despite developing all of the symptoms of a heart attack, took a shower because  he started sweating profusely. He collapsed and died.

I decided to stop ignoring my painful toe. I sat down and took 15 minutes to fix the darn thing. Did it hurt? Yes. Did the pain go away? Yes, slowly. Did the infection that had started to brew clear right up with some antibiotic ointment? Yes. Relieved, I got to thinking about my other painful little issues that I was ignoring, like interpersonal relationships.

The similarities come from a natural phenomenon in human nature to put off fixing things or getting help until it is too late. That is when I realized that when I am scattered, I can put up with a lot of pain.

IMG_0161

Up, Up, & Away

There is no way to avoid all risk. We joke that the safest flight program, is one that never leaves the ground, but seriously, if you have a very good system of routine preventative maintenance and you are focused while you work. If your senses are tuned to paying attention, you can generally avoid the “Oh Shit” moment when you realize that catastrophe is imminent.

As I get older, I realize that I want an early warning system to let me know of impending problems before they cause catastrophe, so I can address them in a timely way that causes less destruction, and distraction.

With my new awareness, I can deal with whatever it is, in a calm, rational way rather than running code 3 (Lights & Sirens) to every emergency in life.

Remodeling is no different. I am constantly working on my company and resolving issues that arise during the act of improving others’ homes. Sometimes being able to sleep on it is just what is needed to slow down the process enough to see what’s wrong and how to make it better.

Food For Thought

  • Learn from the mistakes of others, so you don’t have to repeat them.
  • Stop ignoring that engine warning light.
  • Pain usually means something is wrong.
  • Having work done by professionals, Building codes need to be followed.
  • Put a water alarm in wet areas that are prone to flood.
  • Smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide sensors are worth the investment.
  • Do a walk around before you take off.
  • Do a risk assessment before you embark upon a risky task.
  • That leaking water heater will eventually flood your home.
  • That rickety stairway will eventually collapse.
  • That scabbed on deck will calf off when too  many folks are having a good time on it.
  • That new commercial style stove you installed will ignite your cabinets that were installed when you replaced the original wimpy stove.

 Here is a toast to getting older and wiser.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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Leave A Comment

2 Comments

  1. Hig

    Hi, Joe, Really enjoyed reading this one — so much growth and reflection over the years. Good to see and enjoy, even if from afar. Be well.

    Reply
    • Joe Levitch

      Nice to know you’re out there watching over me. It gives me strength and purpose.

      Reply

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