Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Tale of the Telltale Toe.

Please note: My right big toe, the toenail, and experience at the now-closed municipal pool at the Lake Worth Beach is anecdotal and cannot provide any proof my toe was a victim.
However, ever since I began using the pool at Lake Lytal on a regular basis, the affliction on my right big toe has been cured.

For those who don’t like to think about things below the ankle — toenail fungus for example — perhaps this blog post is not for you. The article linked to confirms it is very difficult to treat. Luckily, I don’t have any of the ailments identified that make me a more likely candidate for such a malady. However, for about the past ten years, I have had a discolored toenail on my right foot’s big toe. No other toes have been affected and it has not spread. Just my right big toe.

It has been a painless affliction and really is more of a cosmetic nuisance if anything.

Living in the “Quirky, Charming” City of Lake Worth, it is all very important that you know, as with anything, things you think would not be related or believe not part of a cause-and-effect dynamic might actually be. This is possibly one of those things. Let me explain.

About four years ago I began using the Lake Worth Municipal Pool at our Beach. It became a regular thing for me as part of my exercise routine. Having a pool in the City was ideal being able to ride my bike most times. Let me make clear: having a community pool in our City is of great importance but one at the Beach is not the ideal location, in my opinion, for most residents including families that can ill-afford the parking rates to teach children how to swim. Most community pools don’t charge residents to park.

By participating in Sally Welsh’s exercise class at the Beach I got to know a lot of nice people from the City and outside the Lake Worth community as well. Those relationships continue today, although it is more challenging now the pool closed last December. We all use different pools now.

But I digress. Back to the big toe on my right foot.

Six or eight months after integrating the pool as part of my routine I visited my general medical practitioner. In the course of my regular physical I told her about my exercise routine which she fully supported. Then, one time before she left the room, I stopped her to ask about one of those things that you need to address, but usually forget because it’s not an issue right then.

I pointed out, for some reason, the toe fungus on my right foot’s big toe was nearly gone. I wondered if there could be a plausible reason why. She quickly answered, “You’ve been in the pool a lot. It’s the chlorine. We would be treating it with the same chemicals. That makes total sense.” Cause and effect identified and I was happy to know there was another benefit to being submersed and splashing around in a chlorinated water.

Now let’s jump ahead to early 2016. I notice the stubborn stain, a black streak, and fungus on the big toe of my right foot had come back!

I didn’t think too much about it at first. Just thought that it was proving “hard to treat” as described in everything I read about it. My pool outings were the same if not even more frequent. But I didn’t put the two and toe together (pardon the pun).

Warning. The image below may be disturbing for some readers.

Will now reveal what my right foot’s big toenail looked like.

Avert your eyes if you must!

You’ve been warned.

My big toe on the right foot, the toenail growing out. The black streak and almost all of the fungus is gone!
Now, you ask, “What does the big toe on your right foot have to do with anything, Wes?

I’ll explain. Since the closure of the Lake Worth pool at the Beach I’ve been going to the Lake Lytal pool almost five days a week when my schedule permits. The Lake Lytal pool does not have the leakage problem the Lake Worth pool had which was identified at last Tuesday's City Commission work session. To read about that use this link.

We learned the Lake Worth pool, prior to its closure, was losing close to 15,000 gallons of water per day, that’s right, 15,000 GALLONS EVERY DAY. And note that water is West Palm Beach municipal water via the Town of Palm Beach water pipes.

Over the surface of the pool, that resulted in a 2″ drop of water. Every day. That water had to be replaced with municipal water. Thus, the pool was never really in balance with the proper chemicals, so those chemicals weren’t doing the proper job at disinfection. Can we conclude, therefore, the chemical balances are what they should be at the Lake Lytal pool? Is my big toe the proof?

In conclusion:

Consider this anecdotal telltale tale of the toe as sort of a “canary in the coal mine”. In my opinion the Lake Worth municipal Pool was closed for all the right reasons. The safety of the public and those who worked at the pool could not be overlooked any longer.

And now, quite possibly, my big toe on my right foot provides another good reason the pool was closed. Now. To the question: Where should our City of Lake Worth construct a new pool?