When summer comes around, the first thing I want to do is run around without shoes on. I hate wearing shoes, and the PN has made most shoes pretty uncomfortable for me. A few years ago, before I went in for my stem cell transplant for the treatment of my multiple myeloma, I was walking by the pool and I stubbed my toe on something. Toe stubbing is a more frequent occurrence for me now that I have neuropathy. It’s hard to keep track of just exactly where my feet are. Anyway, aside from hurting like the dickens, the toe injury included some broken nails. I thought nothing of it.
A few weeks later, I had high dose chemo, which wiped out my immune system. In no time, I noticed that my toes were discolored and the nails on two of my toes were getting flaky. It was the weirdest thing I ever saw. Even the transplant doctors were puzzled about the shade of purple my toes had become. I’m including a picture so you can see what it looked like, although it’s not at all appealing. It just might be something you encounter, so it could prove useful at some point. I apologize for the yuckiness of the picture, but there’s no way you could imagine how purple my toes were without seeing them. I eventually pulled off the nails, which grew back rather quickly. Everything was better by the time I went home from the transplant clinic.
The lesson? If you have neuropathy and a weakened immune system, wear shoes.