I’m Dying: Nail Jaundice Edition

Today’s post was inspired by a post from Mom Life With Chiari, who wrote about nail polish on her blog. She mentioned using a base coat to avoid yellowing of the nails in her post, which made me remember yet another time in my life when I thought I was dying. (In case you’d like a refresher on a different time I thought I was dying, head here to check out the seat warmers from hell.)

This happened two or three years ago…

I’ve mentioned that I’m not the most feminine woman around. Not by a long shot. I’ve talked about how I’m not a fan of dresses, how I can’t get around in heels, and how my makeup skills resemble those of a drunk clown. My boobs and the monthly reminder that I’m not pregnant (or spontaneously pregnant, which was the fear before I met my husband, since anxiety makes you think you could be the next Virgin Mary) is pretty much the most feminine thing about me. Those are definitely legit reminders, but still, y’all get the point I’m trying to make. I hope.

So, two or three years ago, we were planning to go to the beach for vacation, when I decided I should really do something about my raggedy fingernails and fugly toenails. I could have gotten a manicure/pedicure from someone who knows what they’re doing, but I hate that sort of thing, so I decided to purchase some nail polish and give it a go myself. And by “give it a go myself,” I mean, “I enlisted my husband’s help.”

I did a decent job on my left hand, being a righty, but painting my right hand and my toenails was tough. My husband noticed this and offered to help, saying that he had painted his mom’s nails before. Before you go, “Aww, what a catch!” know that his painting looked much like you’d expect if you handed a toddler a bottle of nail polish and told her to go at it.

My husband is supposed to be sitting, not dancing a jig.


I was floored at how bad he did and accused him of lying about painting his mom’s nails. I know his mom quite well, and there’s no way in hell she’d let her nails go around looking like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre had occurred. He very quickly fessed up to lying about painting his mom’s nails. I should have been outraged, because husband and lies and the foundation of marriage being honesty and all that crap, but I wasn’t. He explained that he felt sorry for me and really wanted to help, and being outraged over his pity at my patheticness would be too much.

I very painstakingly painted my nails, using lots of polish remover and cotton balls in the process, and was actually pleased with the results. As long as you didn’t let your gaze linger, it looked half decent.

The vacation went well. I proudly flaunted my nails around, not that anyone noticed, because why would they? Some time passed and I realized that I needed to remove the polish and either a) paint the nails again or b) go back to wearing sneakers. I’m sure y’all can guess which option I selected, being a lazy mofo.

This is where the whole “I’m dying!” thing comes to play. After I removed the nail polish, I noticed that something wasn’t quite right.

Naturally, I assumed the worst.

Having a WebMD degree, I knew that jaundice is not a good thing. Clearly death was imminent, but why was the jaundice showing up on my nails and not the skin around my eyes? Was I a medical mystery? Would my body have to be donated to science? I needed answers, so I turned to the trusty WebMD.

WebMD informed me that my fingernail jaundice (which it called “nail discoloration”) could be a result of a fungus or bacteria. How about that? WebMD didn’t tell me that I had a terminal illness for a change. So maybe death wasn’t imminent and my liver was fine, but I definitely needed to figure out what was causing the jaundice (yeah, I’m still gonna use that term) and how to fix it, because yellow nails…blech.

Rather than set up an appointment with the doctor, I took a few pictures and sent them to some friends in the medical field and asked what was up with my nails. One of them asked if I had recently painted my nails, and I told her that I had. She asked if I used a base coat, and I told her that I had not, because…well, why would I? I was just trying to paint my fingernails, not be a fancy bitch with all the polishes.

She then informed me that when you don’t use a base coat or use the cheap polish that has a base coat in it, that it causes the fingernails to yellow. Now, I did paint my nails in middle school and sometimes in high school, and I know that I never used a base coat and only used cheap stuff since I had no money, but I don’t remember this ever happening. Lucky me, I guess.

My medical mystery was solved. No health issues. No death. Just being a sucky female who purchased cheap nail polish.

Crisis averted, and I didn’t have to embarrass myself at the doctor’s office with my brand new illness.

Tell me about a time when you thought something was wrong only for it not to be a biggie. 

Author: Erika

I’m a SAHM to two kids. When I’m not doing all the typical mom things (diapers, soccer, etc.), I like writing, reading, and playing games. Clearly I live the life of a rock star.

40 thoughts on “I’m Dying: Nail Jaundice Edition”

    1. I’ve so brilliantly recently created ‘Nail File Fridays’ on my blog – so I starve my husband in order to meet my deadlines for Friday’s posts. 😏 Cause you know, the cost of nail polish is on the rise! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hahaha. How about the opposite. I had a spasm sitting in my wheelchair and my leg hit the wall. I vaguely recall hearing a crack. I of course assumed that I had simply bruised my leg. Three days later I was convinced to go to the hospital only to discover that I had indeed fractured the leg. Everybody found it quite amusing that I had endured the pain for so long. I will admit to a certain aversion to hospitals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! Sorry I can relate to the anxiety bit.
    I have a color called ginger somethin and it makes my nails hellayella after removal DESPITE base coat. I wear nude for two days after so it isn’t so icky.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 🤣 I am dying at the Texas Chainsaw nail comment. So… I use cheap nail polish about 87% of the time because I can’t justify $8 on a tiny bottle… unless it is gray or black then I will throw money at you for it. And I’ve never experienced this yellowing finger nail. I’ve experienced a faded color that makes me look like I was finger painting.

    Let’s see when haven’t I thought I was dying after checking WebMD? 🤔 oh when I got shingles. Yeah it started as like this pain in my ribs that felt like someone was stabbing me… my second “brush with death” was last summer I got sick [my body attacked my Lupus medicine] and I was doubled over in pain and I was vomiting every few minutes and this too had come on suddenly. I was for sure thinking I was a goner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Side note. My tiny human person painted her nails and I mean it actually turned out decent. As in no excessive cotton balls and nail polish remover. But she only wanted to do one hand so she walked around with half a mani

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s interesting that they didn’t yellow back in the day but did now that I’m in my 30s. And don’t for others. Maybe they aren’t as strong as they used to be or something.

      Yikes! That sounds awful!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So, I guess I’m the fancy bitch! 🙋🏽‍♀️ LOL So glad the mystery to the yellowing has been solved! Hey! Visit your local mom and pop beauty supply shops, they sell the ‘good’ nail polish at half the price. I got mouths to feed and don’t always have my money tree growing nail polish money. Moral of the story, use base coat people! 💛 Another great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I wonder if it is an age thing, since they didn’t yellow before but did at 30-ish? Even though I”m not typically inclined to do the feminine stuff, I do wish I could do my nails like you. It’d be nice to have them looking cute once in a while 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m like you, there’s always something “wrong” with me. Every chest twinge a heart attack, every headache a stroke and all that. Usually by the time I’ve experienced the whole triple bypass in my head the pain has gone away and I’ve forgotten all about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I guess that’s why she didn’t kill you when you made her spill water all over yourself, you had some good behavior built up 😀


  6. Pretty funny. I am not so susceptible to the “I’m dying” stuff because I’m a medical assistant (not a WebMD) and spent the first half of my working career in a doctor’s office. We saw people come in with “Nail jaundice” and a multitude of other “fatal – not -fatal” illnesses all the time. Some were laughable, but of course we waited until they left the office. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. They have the assistants in the doctor’s office around here (that’s what they call them, anyway, they take blood pressure and get your info), but I noticed nurses are no longer a thing in family practices. I thought that was so strange.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know that this has happened to me, which kind of surprises me. I don’t wear expensive polish, so who knows. Maybe the pink shades that I favor aren’t so diabolical. Still, you got a great story out of it. 💅🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OMGosh…where should I begin. Almost every illness I’ve ever had I begin with the Interwebs and hope it’s not cancer (cause for some reason when something’s wrong with your lady parts, cancer is always on the list). So, the most recent has to do with having TWO periods in one month! I thought for sure something had to be wrong. I actually went to the gynecologist and he gave me a tour of my uterus, assured me that nothing was wrong, and even I’m no where near menopause (thanks doc), so just relax basically. Sometimes this happens when your body wants to adjust!

    Liked by 1 person

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