The fungus of the big toe hasn’t responded to liberal applications of Lamisil, Lotrimin or numerous acidic lotions that promise to restore my extremity digit to healthful looking status. I’ll spare you any photographic grossness of the ugly toe, so just take my word for it. It’s bad.
The only drawback is the wallet draining cost. One thousand bucks ($100/per toe) is no small bet. That’s approximately a one month paycheck of substitute teaching gamble on this working.
Anyway, the other morning there was this ad on the radio about laser treatment of toenail fungus for only $500 for ALL TEN TOES ($50/toe) from an outfit called “ShinyToes” here in town. I called for an appointment.
The GPS unit guided me to the address of the medical clinic, as it announced “Arriving on right”!
I’m looking for a medical clinic like looking building but all I see is a block of old Victorian homes in this neighborhood. I circled the block, while “Mindy” (our GPS) made recalculating announcements until I parked at her indicated address destination.
The address was a Bed & Breakfast Inn according to the sign on the building.
I climbed the steps and rang the bell. I told the guy who answered the door that I might have the wrong address but I was looking for ShinyToes? The doc verified that I was at the right address, this was the wellness clinic and that they just hadn’t gotten around to changing the sign on the door yet.
My BS intuition meter ratchets up to “1” but…
The guy explains that he, Mr. “S”, is the director of this particular “wellness clinic” as attested to by the framed degree in on his desk issued by the Harvard Medical School of Boston Mass. It indicates a successful completion of 1.0 unit in some field (I forget the actual wording as I was focused on the “1.0 units”) of “Wellness Training”
BS meter ratchets up to “2” but…
After explaining what the treatment is, the cost and answers my questions about how many patients he’s successfully treated, I hand over my HSA card for a $500 charge. We move to the treatment room, which I later found out was the dining room of the mansion, where the initial exam is to take place.
It’s there that I meet the laser technician, Ms “P” that is to do the actual “lasering”.
“This will have to be a gloveless session as we don’t have any more gloves”, Mr. “S” explains to Ms “P”. “I need to go out for more gloves”, Mr. "P" states as he exits the room.
BS meter skips “3” and goes right to “4” but…
Ms. P activates the laser unit and starts working on toes left to right. Working carefully using only the laser pen tip to touch the toenails, she instructs me in the common sense precautions about common showers at the gym and tub showers at home.
Nuke the floor with Clorox before use when possible and wear flip-flops when not.
As she progresses from toe to toe, I don’t feel anything. No heat, no burning sensation, no smoke or sizzling. If fact I can’t even see the laser light on the toenail!
BS meter at “5” but…
I mention that fact to Ms. P and she demonstrates that there actually is red light coming from the end of the pen by shining it on my pant leg. It’s appears to be of less intensity than the laser pointer we have at home to drive the cats nuts chasing around the house.
BS meter at “6”….
They said I should see improvement in about four months when the nail has had time to grow out (or fall off) enough to tell any difference, but I’m doubtful.
But, I pretty much had the same BS opinion of those urban witch doctors (also known as chiropractors) until I had one work on and fix my screwed up back a few years ago so we’ll see.
…I’ll report my final “BS meter” setting about 4-5 months from now.
UPDATE: March 16, 2011…
It didn't work. Toe looks the same but at least not worse. Applying the post operative "Tree Tea" oils daily whitened the nail but did nothing to get rid of the fungus. At $12/oz for something that smells suspiciously like paint thinner, I'm pulling the plug on this waste of time and $$...
UPDATE: July 14, 2011
"...A San Jose spa owner who owns several Shiny Toes shops in the Bay Area is facing felony charges after investigators seized evidence from his office and charged him with injuring a 4-year-old child during laser treatment.Cary Silberman, 52, was arrested Monday by investigators from the Medical Board of California and was charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office with two felonies, including practicing medicine without a license and grand theft by fraud, and one misdemeanor count of child endangerment."
UPDATE: June 23, 2012
Fake San Jose foot doctor convicted of 19 felonies
By Eric Kurhi
"...Silberman was convicted on the remaining 19 counts. He was acquitted on the misdemeanor child endangerment charge, which stemmed from using laser therapy on a 4-year-old."