Let me go back in time for a minute.
In my year-end recap, I mentioned a certain “souvenir” that I picked up on our Sayulita vacation.
Despite there being world-class surfing where I live, I’m not good a good surfer. I’m a fair-weather friend to surfing: I do it on warm weather vacations only. Greg and I decided to use the boards that were available to us through our lodging accommodations and just get out there at the end of our second day there. I wasn’t having the “luck” to just pop up on my board (as I had in Costa Rica a few years ago), so I was a little discouraged. Also, I wanted to get out of the way of the good surfers. So, I paddled my board up a bit, just to stay out of the way.
I tried to catch a wave and gleefully fell into the warm water. I put my feet down and immediately knew I’d hit a sharp rock (or something). Got back on my board. Paddled back out. Same thing happened the next wave. And the next. At one point, I did look at my feet to see they were bleeding. I gotta admit, there was a certain satisfaction in this. That I was somehow “taking one for the sake of fun and adventure.” I also gotta admit, there’s probably something wrong with me…
We got in that evening and my feet HURT. It felt like I had a bunch of splinters in my feet — all along the outer edge of my right foot, and on the ball of my left foot. And basically, that’s exactly what I had.
I speculated that it was sea urchin spines, which Greg promptly scoffed at. All I knew was that it hurt. I said that if it didn’t get better by morning, I was going to the doctor.
Obviously, our first stop after breakfast was the doc. The non-English-speaking assistant at the desk took one look at my foot, said “urchin!” and pointed me into the doc’s office. He looked at my feet and said, “There are so many. This is going to take awhile. And it’s going to hurt.”
Awesome. Greg left to explore the town while my torture ensued.
The doc proceeded to dig them out for about a half an hour, one in my pinky toe requiring a needle of numbing action. Voila! For the equivalent of $58 USD and 30 minutes of my time, I was good as new!!
It hurt. It swelled up a bit. But it was all in the name of Fun, so it was worth it.
Everything was fine after that. It was a bit tender, but nothing I couldn’t deal with. Even after a couple of weeks, though, there was a nagging jab of pain, so I wondered if one of those sea urchin spines had really lodged itself in there…
Fast-forward to December 17. I had flown to Kansas City for Christmas and got my foot out to show my battle wounds to Sarah, only to see that there was a “stowaway!” He was making his way out — just like a huge zit coming to a head.
WARNING: If you don’t like shit like this, stop reading. If you live for this shit (like I do), keep going.
I saw this black dot trying to poke it’s head out of my foot, with a big blob of white underneath it and I knew it would be good. I had to let my sister get it.
SHUT UP. WE’RE A VERY CLOSE FAMILY.
The next day, I gave my sister her best Christmas gift — I let her squeeze at my foot. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves at this point (compliments of our mother):
Yeah. It was one helluva spine that had been lodged in there for more than two weeks. Also of note: the look of pure satisfaction on my sister’s face and my dad’s piqued interest through the extraction. The ties that bind…
I still have some swelling and discoloration along the side of my foot, but I don’t think there are any more spines taking up residence. At least I hope not. There isn’t pain (as there was when the spines were still in there), so I think I’m in the clear.