About an hour ago, I was working out barefoot (yeah, I know... really, really bad idea), accidentally kicked the bench's base, and ended up with a big toenail that was still attached, but separated from the toe at roughly a 45 degree angle.
After getting over the shock, horror, and somehow managing to neither pass out nor vomit (both of which felt like appealing options at the time), I made it to the bathroom. Eventually, I squirted some Neosporin onto the nail bed, gently pushed it down so that it's "only" separated at about a 5-10 degree angle (any more, and it started to hurt), and put a loose band-aid over it to kind of hold it down. 10 minutes later, I ended up wrapping the whole foot loosely in gauze, mainly to protect the carpet from blood that was seeping out around the edges when I walked.
So, now, here I am at the computer, about an hour later (I did other searching first), asking, "WTF do I do now"? So far, it hasn't really started to hurt, but I'm also just sitting here and putting no stress on it whatsoever. Earlier, when I was limping up and down the stairs, it was aching a bit. Obviously, I can't spend the next N months sitting motionless at my computer desk, and sooner or later I'm going to have to deal with getting that foot into a shoe (I doubt whether anyone will complain if I limp into Walgreens or CVS with a gauze-wrapped shoeless foot, but at the very least I'm going to have to have some kind of footwear when I go to work on Monday).
I've identified the following specific immediate issues that need to be dealt with:
How hard should I try to keep the toenail flat against the nail bed, as opposed to allowing it to creep up and away from it? The problem I see is that the more firmly I hold it down, the more stress it's going to put on the area it grows from as I walk and the skin to which the nail is taped squishes, stretches, and generally moves around. On the other hand, it seems like once I'm finally back to wearing a normal shoe on that foot again, taping it firmly in place is probably a lesser evil than allowing it to constantly get pushed around by the shoe itself.
I'm definitely open to suggestions for specific products to purchase this afternoon and things to do that will make the next few days and weeks more tolerable. Right now, I'm still kind of in shock & afraid to do much besides sit motionless... at least, until I have some concrete plan for what to do next.
By the way, unless it's a matter of life, limb, or death, going to the hospital isn't an option. I have health insurance, but I really don't want to get hit with $1,000+ in copays and deductibles just so they can tape it down and tell me there's nothing else they can do.