Losing a fingernail … patience and regrowth


Last October, my left middle finger got smashed under a pile of players at football practice. At first, I wasn’t really sure what happened, but I could feel my fingernail starting to throb. I shrugged it off, and I set up to run the next play from my offensive tackle position.

As I subbed out the next play, I took a second to look at my fingernail. It was a dark, purplish blue color.

My finger continued to throb, and I didn’t really know what to do about it. I continued to put it past my mind and continue the practice.

When I went home, I told my parents the story about my fingernail, and my mom was too grossed out to look at it. If you’ve ever seen disgusting pictures of fingernails or toenails, I felt like one of those people.

My dad told me my nail was for sure going to come off in the coming month, and the nail would have a slow process of growing. That’s how the body works with the regrowth of nails.

As the weeks progressed, my fingernail was still the same dark black color. After the first several days, the pain went away and I went on with my daily life. As the weeks went on, my fingernail stayed the same dark black color. It did not change during the basketball season

When the Christmas break rolled around, my family went down to Florida to visit our grandparents. My dad told me that the warmer Florida weather would increase the growth of my fingernail, which would be better since my fingernail had not grown a lot of sun from the Macon weather.

This is a photo of the nail after it was almost fully healed.

A few weeks after the trip to Florida, we had basketball practice and I felt a weird sensation in my finger. I noticed that the nail was cracked in the middle and was sticking up in an odd way.

From then on, I decided it would be in my best interest to tie my finger up with tap until it fell off. The tape was good support for the nail and I didn’t really notice it at all.

After a few weeks of wiggling my nail around, it was finally ready to be taken off. I began to clip off the dark purplish fingernail down to the lunula. My finger looked strange without a nail and looked like half of a tiny nail.

My dad told me to put my finger in peroxide to clean the finger from germs and other bacteria. This would also help the formation of how my nail grows back.

After three months — from early January to mid-April — my fingernail finally looked like my other. These photos here show a timeline of the regrowth of my fingernail.

The process of my fingernail was very long and tedious process, but it taught me many things like patience and regrowth processes.