I have this finger-nail (right hand, middle finger, since you ask) and it has the ongoing habit of splitting from centre tip to centre quick (and, again, since you ask, yes it is both bloody painful and bloody annoying). It has been maintained during the last two or three years with the regular application of superglue and micropore but, in this way, I am merely able to cover, not mend, the crack. Very occasionally, the split grows out and when I trim the nail it comes off in one piece instead of two. For a short while it then looks like any other nail on any other hand – except that it still has a thin white line that spreads from top to bottom, along which it almost inevitably, re-splits.
It is my very own Catch 22: it splits because I catch it and I catch it because it splits. I suppose this tendency must have always been there, but lately it seems that repairs to the existing fabric have become increasingly futile.
So, it occurred to me that the answer might be to have the nail removed, with, I must admit, no real idea of how I might go about getting it done, and with an unpalatably high level of uncertainty as to what might be the eventual consequence of such an action. Jumping into anything with no real idea of how it might be achieved, nor what will be the eventual outcome, is never bright, is it? So, I should, of course, attempt to canvas opinion. But what if the general consensus is that complete removal would be the preferred option, even though nobody can explain to me how I might go about getting such a procedure performed, nor where this action may eventually take me finger-nail wise? Would my currently normally keratined hand become:
• Eternally four-nailed
• Eventually five-nailed – with four ‘normal’ and one malformed
• Eventually five-nailed – with four ‘normal’ and one that is, in some ill-defined sort of way, ‘different’
• Eventually five-nailed – with five ‘normal’ but with one of them still continually prone to splitting?
I must admit that, having spoken to others, I have been surprised by the passions stirred by the fate of my splitting nail and even more by how quickly concerns move on from my simple finger-nail dilemma to all manner of associated keratinous anxieties. Arguments have raged in various increments of rancour, from finger-nail splits, through general finger-nail woes, to common toe-nail maladies, on to all manner of podiatric ailments and eventually, through some unknown conduit, onto ringworm. Every possible variantial hypothesis has been pondered whilst the original nub has become side-lined and ignored. The question of the split in my finger-nail and the possibility of its imminent removal from its integral digit, it seems, can only be resolved consequent upon detailed discussion of the advisability of treating Dhobi’s Itch with Tea Tree Oil.
Meanwhile, the split continues to develop. I fear that, even when the ongoing finger-nail situation is resolved (by summary removal; by considered expurgation after firm assurances of satisfactory re-growth or by the miraculous discovery and application of some alternative remedy that negates the need for removal and reverses the division with no adverse reactions vis-à-vis the rest of the hand) I will never feel the same again about my middle finger. It will be somehow different to the rest of my digits, but no longer in a way that might be celebrated. Having flagged it’s disaffection to the other fingers, it will be forever treated with indifference by Peter Pointer, Pinkie and Index Finger: everlastingly reminded it of its own tendency to general flakiness – well, that’s the way it works in my mind anyway.
So, if I possibly can, I’d really like to keep my nail. I’d like to keep my hand pretty much as it is today. I’d like all of my fingers to work together without the fear that one of them might start to react differently when faced with the prospect of being e.g. trapped in a kitchen drawer. That getting cold or getting hot will not provoke it to down tools and consequently drop the whisky tumbler. I can’t continue glueing over the crack, but I also would not consider extraction without at least some assurance that it is all going to work out well in the long run. In any case, I need to do something soon. It’s been dragging on for so long now. The days of twiddling my thumbs must soon come to an end.
If ANYONE has a solution at their fingertips, I would be thrilled to hear it.