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.

Yikes.

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. 

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