USAF Basic Training: Ingrown Nail during Boot Camp

For most of my life, I have combated ingrown toenails. It’s some genetic shit that came my way courtesy of my old man. At times now, my own son has coped with the damn things! Ingrown nails suck ass. They hurt like a motherfucker and are really debilitating.

Imagine the shock when I was marching with my Air Force flight during basic training and I felt that all too familiar pain on one of my toes. Think how it must have felt when I went to take off my socks and they were stuck to the toe and bloody!

I told my military training instructor about it and he gave me hell. On one hand they wanted us to inform them of all and any injuries, but when I did of course he accused me of trying to get out of training! He proceeded to bust my balls for quite awhile. At one point he ordered me to show him, so I did and then he sent me to see the foot doctor the following morning.

I marched over in my boots. The surgeon took a look, took out the all too familiar clippers and cut the damn ingrown nail out. I don’t remember if he numbed my toe or not. In any case, after cutting out the troublesome nail, he wrapped my toe up and told me to get back to training.

I marched back to the barracks and rejoined my flight. I remember having this surgery many times before, and it sucked. But during the basic training days, I went right back to marching and running and recovered while still drilling and performing all my duties.

As I slowly recover from having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out, I can’t help but think about how amazing it is what the body can do when it has no choice and is under such extreme circumstances.

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