01 December 2011

Pota-toes... kind of gross image warning

I suffer from chilblains

They really hurt and burn. My toes get all swelled up and inflamed, and they look like this...

(not my actual foot...but it looked a lot like this, 
but my thumb toe and second toe are not that weird-looking)

The chilblains often precede a migraine...which is even less fun. One thing that does help sometimes is to cool them off by running them under cold water. If you read the literature, this is NOT what they recommend, but it is what works for ME. 

Last night, however, they were particularly bad. I tried the cold water thing. Didn't help. I needed to go for a little taper run...and getting the taper-crazies means getting to do that little run is really, really, really important to maintaining a shred of sanity. There was, however, no way I could stand putting on socks let alone shoes. My toes were on fire.

I wracked my brain. Inflammation...in-fluh-mation...in-flam-ayshun... what to do? what to do? I needed something different. I needed an old wives' tale-ish home remedy. And for some reason, my bout with mastitis popped into my head. 


One of the most effective methods of reducing inflammation when I had mastitis was to put a grated, raw potato compress in my bra...directly on the point of breast inflammation. It was pretty messy and kind of icky...especially how it basically cooked the freakin' potato...no lie.

So I grabbed a couple of potatoes from the fridge, grated those puppies up, and put the shred into baggies. And then I put the baggies of potato sludge on my toes. And how awesome is it to find out after the fact that the chilblain home remedy website recommends potato usage as treatment? I am smarter than I thought! or something... 

It felt SO. GOOD.

And it totally worked!

My toes were normal enough to comfortably put on socks and shoes and go for a little 3-mile easy run. 

It was very messy though, and I was wishing I had done it in the bathroom. I ended up needing to walk across the carpet and up the stairs with potato goo and shreds dripping from my feet...and I ended up needing to clean up that mess :(

Of course there were jokes about having hash browns for dinner.

I am now wondering if I should bring some taters, baggies and a grater to Las Vegas in case the situation flares up before my race.  I'd probably need to check the grater since it's metal and has cutting surfaces... which would ruin my idea of just taking a carry-on. what to do? what to do?

Had you ever heard of chilblains before?

Should I bring the grater?


  1. you are a genius! I got chilblains last year and they flare up when I get cold. No one I know had ever heard of them before. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Yikes. Glad the potatoes worked for you. I've never heard that one... tried chilled cabbage once in my bra... although not too messy definitely smelly and wilty... yuck.

    I think you should try to sneak the grater on just for a good blogging story. ;P

  3. That's freaking brilliant. You're a genius. I've vaguely heard of chilblains, but not to the point of knowing what they are. "Lucky" you that you had the mastitis experience to give you the idea. :P

  4. Yeah, the hash browns jokes...yup, there would have been NO end to where my mind would have taken that whole situation...shoe string fries...etc.

  5. you are so smart!!!
    never heard of that before
    yes I would bring it or get one as soon as I get there
    we can find anything on the strip right?

  6. Ouch, looks painful! Never herd of chilblains - glad you provided a link - it says you can also try things like onions, honey, egg whites, oatmeal porridge - almost anything you like:)

  7. I have never heard of those before! I hope the migraine didn't follow.

    I am fairly certain that I have seen plastic :graters" before. Wonder if that's a carry-on-able?

  8. I say you grate them first and put them in a little cooler bag. But I always love a good TSA story! :)

  9. Hmm, what about cabbage leaves? - those always worked for me with boob issues when breastfeeding.

    Glad you found a solution though!

  10. i have never heard of chillblains but yes...please bring the potatoes to vegas. and please secretly document your explanation to TSA of why you need the grater :)

  11. Is it weird that I really want some french fries now?

  12. Wow, ok. Hadn't heard or those! I'm sure somehow, somewhere I'll stash that away in my memory banks for future reference. Although I'm hoping I'll never need to use that info!

    What about a Ped-egg thingy? Would that work and would they let you through security with that??

  13. actually, I was wondering if you could shred the potatoes with it... NOT your feet! :)

  14. I had never heard of chilblains before (and hope I never do again :-)). I would bring some potatoes and ziplock bags and leave the grater at home. If it flairs up, you can slice the potatoes with a hotel knife then mush the potatoes with the bible in the hotel room.

  15. You are such a problem solver. Way to go.

  16. Put me in the "I've put cabbage leaves in my bra" category. It worked great when I was weaning my daughter. Never heard of chilblains, but glad your hashbrown toes worked. I hope you can get through the race with similar ingenuity. Best wishes this weekend!

  17. My Mom has chillblains. I think you need to keep your toes really warm to prevent it happening - I'd recommend ski socks all the time, honestly.

    I don't think they'll allow the grater, sorry. If you're staying in a hotel I'd offer up a pototo and ask them to grate it for you. Seriously. I'm pretty sure it's not even nearly the weirdest request they've ever had.

  18. I'm glad you warned me about the gross image.

  19. Skip the grater by a bag of frozen hashbrowns.

  20. I would bring potatoes and the grater with you. I think it would be pretty hard to find raw potatoes and a grater on the the strip, but you never know, it is Vegas!


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