Splinter

I got a splinter in my foot in December. I couldn’t get it out. The interwebs assured me that Ichthammol ointment would draw it out.

I suspect that people who declare on the internet that Ichthammol pulled out their splinter by the next morning just parroted what they heard on the internet and never used Ichthammol at all. Ichthammol does not draw out splinters like some kind of magical, sticky tar ointment. I can attest to that. It does, however, soften the skin, and stain it black.

I lived with the splinter for a month. Sometimes I forgot about it. Sometimes I’d limp so severely that people wondered if I pulled a muscle. Still, that splinter was not coming out.

Then, one day I walked across the floor and tripped on something. I tripped on the splinter! coming! out! of! my! foot! I hobbled quickly to a chair and ripped off my sock before it went back in. There, hanging out of the sole of my foot, was a decent-sized shard of wood, 1/4 or 1/2″. With one tug, it fell out, and that was that. 

I knew all along that the body would push it out, but it took so long that I started to doubt my body’s processes. Don’t doubt the body’s processes, I’ve learned. I learned that in childbirth. I learned it in grief. I needed to relearn it with this danged splinter. The body will out the baby, the pain, or the intruder, and it will restore itself. The body knows how to heal.

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