When I was 14 or so and living at my dad's place, I somehow managed to grow a wart on the side of my index finger. Now, this wasn't just any wart, mind you. This was a GIANT wart (well, it seemed so at the time), close to 4mm across. Located on the side of my finger, on the side of the lower knuckle, it was annoying.
Given its location, even if it hadn't started out being annoying, just being where it was (easy access!) meant I was guaranteed to pick at it. Which, of course, I did. Which, of course, made the thing grow bigger and bigger and bigger. So, the tiny bump ballooned to a giant wart.
Did I mention annoying? How about the picking?
Turns out, warts are fairly discrete packages. They're considered a tiny tumor, typically caused by a viral infection. They have a core that will grow and grow and grow if you pick at them. Having a core, however, means that, hey, maybe that core will detach.
Which is what happened with the one I had on my finger. I was so annoyed by it that I picked at it enough to discover the separation layer between the core and the rest of my finger. Once I found this out, I took an x-actor knife and a bottle of alcohol into the bathroom, closed the door, and proceeded to excise the lump from my finger. I'm not sure my dad ever noticed. Either I cleaned up well, or he decided not to ask, as there was a lot of blood on that first attempt.
That first attempt not being so great. The lump grew back, causing me to try again. The second time, I cut much deeper, following the core down to where it tapered to a tip, and was rewarded with a deep hole in the side of my finger. It healed after a while, with no infection, and I have a small scar at the location, barely noticable in its spot.
Some time a few years later, I managed a half dozne more spots that looked very similar to the wart on my hand, this time on the bottom of my feet. I tried the various self-administrated wart removal techniques of the time, finally succeeding only with a 12 hour soak in the Salt River on a day of hookie with Jenn Chase and her boyfriend. I was able to scrape off (read: gouge out) all of the warts on the bottom of my feet but one that day.
That spot has stayed on my feet over the subsequent years, never growing big, always slightly annoying smack dab in the middle of my foot. It would grow so that it stuck up a little bit on my foot, so I'd take a nail clipper and trim it down, keeping it flush with my foot and mostly in check.
Until tonight. Gah.
Without thinking about it, I scratched the bottom of my foot when it itched today. I don't know if it was the combination of increased wart size or longer finger nails or what, but on a scratch, I felt a sharp pain and looked down.
To discover the wart had separated from my foot.
The thing is about 3mm across and, apparently, about 4mm deep.
Yeah, it's been twenty years, but I didn't think anything about pulling out the alcohol swabs and x-acto knife to get this one out, too. I wasn't as lucky this time, though. I caused a lot of blood (which, apparently, is pretty bad in preventing the spread of future warts), but managed only to find the edge of the core near the surface, but not the full depth of it.
Update: Well, crap. I think I've done more harm that good. I mean, aside from the unfinished open wound on the bottom of my foot, I now have a fever and sore throat. I can't help but wonder the timing of this illness.
I can't help but think, "I'm dumb."