Wednesday, March 29, 2023

so much less blood

With the introduction of antibiotic pills and an antibiotic ointment, my toe-cleaning procedure has been drastically simplified. Before, the procedure involved washing the toe with a cleaning wipe, swabbing the wound area with an alcohol wipe, using a Q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide to clean out the wound, drying the wound off with a Kleenex, then applying two bandages to the toe: a little bandage to protect a part of the skin that had a habit of tearing, and a bigger bandage that covered the toe wound. Now, I clean the wound with a wipe (unless I'm just stepping out of the shower in the morning), pat the wound dry if needed, apply my ointment directly to the wound, bandage it with a single gauze bandage, and I'm done. Oh, and I take my pills, once in the morning and once at night.

One thing I've noticed with the change in procedure is how much less bleeding there's been. Blood was leaking routinely out of my bandages before, but now, I get only modest, dime-sized blood spots on my sock. It's not simply the change in bandages that's reducing the bleeding: when I peel the gauze bandage off, there's simply less blood on my toe. So maybe something is working now. I'd like to think there's actual healing going on, but it's been barely a week (with another week to go). The ointment I have isn't the one I'd hoped to get: my ointment is merely another disinfectant; it doesn't contain hormones to promote healing. Treatment in Korea feels a bit behind treatment for diabetic foot wounds in the States, but you work with what you've got. For the moment, I do seem to be seeing some sort of result; we'll see what the doctor says when I go back on April 6.

On footwear: the hospital didn't recommend or give me any special footwear, so on my own initiative, I ordered a pair of rubberized flip-flips from Coupang and mutilated one by cutting off the big-toe part of the sole. Wearing the flip-flops is tedious; I generally prefer just to curl my toe back to keep it from touching the floor. I have yet to mutilate my nicer pair of sandals for outdoor wear, but that day is coming. I'm trying to think of those sandals as just things—fungible.* But mutilating them is going to hurt my heart all the same. I'm still wearing regular shoes to work, which means the callus around my wound is likely to thicken again. When I revisit D&F Hospital on April 6, the doc will likely have to shave off the new callus.

So far, there's been no hint of infection since the start of this new regimen. I'm cautiously optimistic that this state of affairs will continue. My nightmare would be to get infected sometime between now and April 6. I stay off the wound as much as I can, but some amount of walking on it is inevitable, at least until I perform surgery on my nicer sandal.

And that's the progress report for now. More later.


*Fungible, as applied to physical things, means "exchangeable" or "replaceable by the same thing." Children and pets aren't fungible: you can't lose a child or a dog and just "replace" it with a similar one as if nothing had happened. Cash is technically fungible to a point: if you use up the 20-dollar bills in your wallet, you can go to an ATM and get more as long as you have funds. Most inanimate objects are arguably fungible: total your car, purchase another one. Use a toilet brush until it's too gross to keep using, buy another one from Target. Walk across Korea in a pair of New Balances, get new New Balances after the walk.


  1. That sounds like good news to me, even if it wasn't everything you were hoping for.

  2. Yes, it seems you are making progress slowly but surely. Keep it up!



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