Clipping Toenails is Beyond the Pale for the British

Toenails: A world apart

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The other extremea diabetic ulcer which may have started with poor nail careclipping nails correctlyanother gangrenous toe due to diabetesaardvark clawsextension clippersI have these
The other extreme
The other extreme
a diabetic ulcer which may have started with poor nail care
a diabetic ulcer which may have started with poor nail care
clipping nails correctly
clipping nails correctly
another gangrenous toe due to diabetes
another gangrenous toe due to diabetes
aardvark claws
aardvark claws
extension clippers
extension clippers
I have these
I have these

One of the most difficult acts of personal grooming for people of any age, but especially the aged, is clipping the toenails.

In Mexico, where I lived for many years, just about any beauty salon will undertake the job, after fingering their rosaries, cheerfully and cheaply. I can't say whether the horned-toed are catered for in the USA, but it can't be worse than in service-shy Britain.

The British, and especially the NHS, are skilled and voluble in telling one why they CAN'T do this or that and the other. It's easy to get fingernails manicured, clipped, scraped and painted, but mention the nether regions down below and you get a disgusted look and, “Oh, no, sorry!”

There are services that you can book and who will come out, in time, to do your toenails, even the NHS has one, but mention the word “diabetes” and you would think that clipping your poor toenails might cause the disease or aggravate it until you sink into a coma.

Yes, yes, yes...I know!!! Cutting the skin around the nails and causing an infection can be life and limb threatening for diabetics. But how little training needs to be done to avoid that scenario? Not a lot I don't think.

And surely, if this were the only reason for not providing a call-out service, those with toenails like a Chinese war-lord, or an aardvark, could attend an outpatient clinic or hospital and have them done? Nooooo, take your grubby poor old arthritic dogs, with their ingrowing toenails, out of here right now or we'll call security!

Might you not think the danger of infection and crippling caused by ingrowing toenails a greater health risk than clipping them in a clinical environment?

The truth is, the British, after millennia of Empire, are not good at service. They expect the little brown people to eagerly anticipate the advent of bwana's smelly feet and attend to their toenails and any other service they might require.

That's why getting attention in shops is such a chore...toenails?? Get on the bus, Jack!

I have tried all sorts of ways to cut my own toenails since coming back to Blighty. This includes buying long-handled scissors and wrapping a cord around each toe in turn and pulling on it while attempting to clip with the other hand! I usually manage the two big toes – the ones stopping me putting my shoes on – and skip the rest to carry on curling and ingrowing and perhaps looking for my pancreas to exacerbate my blood sugar woes!

I can suggest a good, solid business for a couple of enterprising chicks. Blokes? Forget that, a man would sooner shoot himself than touch another bloke's feet here! especially one of the Ughhhh! OLD folks. This is the land where you are expected to become invisible after the advent of grey hair and a limp, and actually touching an old creature is akin to smooching with a leper.

But two swinging girls with a van and some enterprising spirit would be booked solid for ever and a day by the desperate among the long toenail fraternity. And the services that do exist and who you have to wait for weeks for – and won't do diabetics – charge a minimum of about £20 ($30 bucks) a visit.

Forget it though. The NHS and the Health Authorities, realizing something needed and affordable has invaded their territory will ban the service on grounds of “Health 'n Safety.” Then another bunch of a-holes will try to blame the illicit clippers if they do get a foot problem.

Thanks goodness I'm obtuse, (who said obese!), my toenails might be yellow, horn-ed, ingrowing and on the verge of killing me but at least I can't see them over my tummy!

PS I just realized this is my four hundredth hub article...don't clap, send money!

More by this Author


Comments 17 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 20 months ago from Rural Arizona

Bob - Once again I learned something new. I thought it was just me who's legs have grown longer with age. This is a task I used to do with ease and now it is a real chore to clip my own toenails. My wife has hers done on a regular basis at a salon and wants me to go with her. The problem is I can't stand anyone but myself touching my feet so I am doomed for life.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Mike: Do you stand waiting for my hubs like a trap door spider! I hardly publish then then here you are (bless ya)

Bob


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 20 months ago from Rural Arizona

Bob - I do just sit and stare at the screen waiting for one of your hubs. Reading your hubs beats the heck out of pulling weeds.

Actually my "smart phone" lets me know when a hub notification is received. I thought there was some kind of prize or award for being the first reader to respond?


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Not that I know of OP, but it makes another old creaky heart feel warm!

Bob


Double D 20 months ago

Find a stairway. Sit on the top step. It is easier to reach your toes that way. The Chinese are the nail folks over here in the good ole USA.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Is that you DD from St. G?

Bob


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh geeze - DO NOT sit on the top step of a stairway! One false move and a tumbling you will go!

I hate doing this necessary chore also and I'm diabetic too. Those toe ulcers look nasty. And who the heck can walk around with foot long toenails???

Well, I missed out on yet another billion dollar idea. I'm way too old to get in a bikini and drive around cutting old people toenails now. Pffft...


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Lela: Yes, why evolution still saddles us with the things I dunno. Along with gonads!

I think Double D is trying to kill me!

I was thinking topless clippers and for an extra stipend the old chaps can tickle their titties with their newly sheared toes!

I have the best ideas that no one takes seriously!

Good to see ya

Bob


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York

Why Bob, why would you think we don't take you seriously? The problem is we don't know anyone who could wear a bikini without getting arrested for indecent exposure.

As for the toenails, thankfully we have "foot" doctors here who will cut toenails for the elderly and those with diabetes. It ain't cheap, but they do it!

Voted up, useful, funny, and interesting.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

There's not much left of me you don't know about, Mary...the other bits are revolting anyway!

Thanks again...whew!!

Bob x


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

You had me rolling on the floor, Bob, but there is truth in this. I am quite limber, so all is copacetic at this stage.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 20 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

You sound so! Rolling on the floor indeed. I can clip my own, but boy, what a battle!

Happy clipping

Bob


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 19 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Laughing mao! Move over Mike - I'm going to take your #1 spot after reading this! I hate paying $40 plus a tip to have a pedicure but I really have no choice. Almost lost a diabetic toe trying to cut my nails.

BTW - I think you should have your own late talk show. I'd rather listen to you than anyone out there!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas

That isn't a photo of the woman's feet you met through the dating service is it? They look vicious. Are you sure she isn't a werewolf?

Well, sir, if you want to hop a plane I'll be happy to do your toenails for you. Have done other people's and I'm judgement proof, so I could do them for a small fee. Dinner, for example.

Here we have nail salons and so far as I know they'll do fingers or toes, but I would never trust any of them to do mine, so I wouldn't know for sure if they do both. But I would expect so.

Surly it would be a status symbol if you had your toenail clipper in the states . . . your friends and neighbors would swoon with jealousy . . .

It is hard to get in those awful positions one must in order to reach their toes after the age of 15 or so, I quite agree.

Glad to see you're staying in good humor and hopefully taking care of yourself. xx


diogenes profile image

diogenes 19 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Misty: You could do my toesies any time...meanwhile, I'd massage your shoulders, then we'd......

I'd pay a tenner!?

I'm ok for having one foot in the grave, hope you're ok too.

Bob xoox


diogenes profile image

diogenes 19 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Vocal' nearly missed your comment, shame on me after such a nice compliment.

Actually, the toenails seem to reach a plateau when friction equals growth and they don't grow much more. Why didn't Einstein tell us of these things? Who cares about black holes??

Bob x


diogenes profile image

diogenes 19 months ago from UK and Mexico Author

Sorry, VC, it's Audrey...I forgot!

x

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working