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A Horror Story (Warning: Graphic Photos!)

Right now you might be thinking, “A horror story? In a nail blog..?” Let me explain.

First and foremost, I am going to hide some graphic photos on the inside of this post. I’ll tell you about my story here so you can decide if you want to go any further.

To make a long story short I have a type of epilepsy that causes grand mal seizures. I was diagnosed at age 17 and although I only had seizures once in a while it began to get progressively worse because I was in denial and being irresponsible with my medication. It’s not something I’m proud of but have definitely learned from. By 2009 I was taking my medication regularly and was almost never having any seizures.

Unfortunately this changed in November of 2010. My [now] husband and I had an apartment together and he had a friend over in the living room. I knew what was about to happen so I went to lie down in bed (the safest place for me to be). I had forgotten to refill my medication on time and because I hadn’t had a seizure in over a year I figured I could go a day or two without my medicine.

My husband obviously knew what was about to happen so he followed me in there. I had the seizure and he said I pulled my hand up towards my face and caught my forefinger’s nail on my bottom teeth. I then jerked my hand hard enough to pull the entire nail off. It was literally dangling by a thread when I came to.

Here is what it looked like:

The first photo was taken after it finally stopped bleeding. By that point it was starting to swell. The second photo was taken a little while later when it was really swollen. The third and last photo was taken two days later when the entire nail came off.

I knew it would eventually come off but wanted so badly for some kind of miracle to happen. I was hoping that maybe–just maybe–it would somehow reattach itself and become whole again. Obviously I was wrong and the whole damn thing came off with one tiny pull. It honestly didn’t even hurt because like I said, it was only hanging on by a thread. (Gross, eh?)

I mention all of this because this is a nail blog and while this isn’t the kind of post you would normally see in such a blog I figured it might be helpful to someone in the future should they lose their own nail. Obviously it’s a pretty awful experience and I can only imagine how I would’ve felt had I been deep into my nail obsession when this happened. I might just have cried even!

Fortunately for me I couldn’t have cared less about how it looked at the time, I just wanted it to heal so I wouldn’t have to worry about banging it on anything. It also just… felt weird… for lack of better words. It’s hard to explain but it felt naked, like there was no support. It didn’t hurt when I would push down on my fingertip but it felt extremely awkward all the same. The only part of the whole thing that actually hurt was when I hit the nail bed on anything (even with a bandaid on) but it quickly grew a sort of thick covering within a week or so and that was no longer an issue. It wasn’t a nail but it was a start!

My wedding was just four months after this happened and I was really hoping my nail would grow back in time. Fortunately for me it did. It grew back entirely from start to finish in approximately four months. I’ve heard it takes most peoples’ nails about this much time (or up to six months) to grow back so I wasn’t surprised, just thankful.

If anything like this happens to you don’t panic. Try to remain calm and remind yourself that it WILL heal. It might not grow back totally the same but know that mine actually grew back even better! It is now my “favorite nail” if that makes sense, haha. It is by far the strongest, thickest, and longest nail on either of my hands. I don’t know if it’s this way to make up for what happened but I love it. I wish all my nails were like it. It is slightly crooked but I will fix that with some filing once it becomes long enough (I am trying to grow my nails out for this blog).

What I did during the healing process was, well, nothing. I let it heal au natural. I kept a bandaid over it the first week or so to keep germs and bacteria out as well as protect the nail bed but after it dried out and formed that protective covering I left bandaids off so it could breathe. I also kept it extremely clean with peroxide and  anti-bacterial creams. I don’t believe there are any products you can put on your nail bed/at your cuticle to promote an entirely new nail to grow back any quicker and I didn’t even try to find one. I let it come back naturally and it did its own thing.

This ended up becoming WAY longer than I meant for it to and if you made it this far, congratulations, haha. My intentions for this post are to remind people that if something like this happens, it’s not the end of the world. It WILL grow back and heck, you might even end up with an even better nail like I did!

Thanks for reading.

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About rookienails

As of July 2013: I'm currently 25 and married to a wonderful Marine officer named John. As of January 2013 we live in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Together we have a 22 month old son named Jameson. I went to school at the University of Mississippi and am originally from Rome, GA. I have also lived in SC, VT, and VA. Last but not least I love anything having to do with nails and jewelry! This blog is entirely about nails and while I'm a total beginner it's fun all the same.

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