Monday, October 11, 2004

Looks like it's time to call in the professionals.

Fair warning: girlyness ahead.

One thing nobody ever tells you when you enter nursing school is this: your hands and feet, after four years of schooling and practice, will be practically unrecognizable.

It's not just washing your hands every ten minutes or less or using alcohol foams on them. It's not just wearing heavy protective leather clogs all day long or running from place to place like a chicken. It's a combination of those things and lifting heavy patients and equipment, as well as not having the time or energy most days to fuss with cuticle remover or foot files.

My feet have grown a half-size since I started school. What was once a nice average 8 1/2 medium pair of feet is now a 9 wide. David said, as gently as possible the other night, "When did you decide to try to grow hooves?" I have calluses between my toes; that's how bad it is.

So I'm thinking that it may be time to enlist the services of a professional pedicurist and manicurist twice a month or so. Pal Joey took me for my first pedicure last summer. My shoes fit differently after the poor woman had finished sanding down my calluses. Not that I'm obsessed with my calluses, or that I'm afraid I'll injure my bed partner (although one callus, on my left small toe, left a scratch on his shin), I'm just sayin'.

Taking care of one's hands--which I do actually do--is a matter of self-interest in the nursing profession. A torn cuticle or a hangnail opens up an avenue for infection, no matter how careful you are with gloves. Long nails (ie, anything past the end of your finger) tear gloves and are a perfect habitat for bugs. I am therefore aggressive about keeping my nails short-short, using a good cuticle remover every other night, and slathering on lotion when I get home from work. As a result, my paws look workmanlike but not abused. It's my feet that resemble something from the Russian Ballet.

I guess I'll call my hairdresser, a patient woman who cuts my hair twice a month, tomorrow. I'll see if her partner has any openings on Wednesday. Her partner has horses and a fascination with straw-bale construction, as I do, so will be open to not putting pink nailpolish on my toes.

We'll see.

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