31 March, 2016


file this under "boring shit about aging and bodies" but i'm hoping it'll help some poor schmuck out in the blogosphere. you're welcome, schmuck.

my feet have been hurting. it's been getting progressively worse to the point that my first few steps of the day are comical hobbling things that make mr. monkey laugh at me like i'm kidding. i'm not kidding. each time i get up after sitting for a while, the pain is incredible. because i'm an avid walker (and by avid i mean that walking tends to be my default setting above driving, cycling, rollerblading, shimmy-shammying, riding a donkey, or skijoring at any given time) so the feeling that my primary mode of transportation is under serious thread is pretty terrifying.

over the last 6 months this has gotten so bad that, in my typical cool, calm, and collected fashion, i decided that this was surely Something Serious. foot cancer. or raging arthritis of the type that would render me immobilised within five years...if i was lucky! when i finally went to my doctor (remember? the super expensive doctor? that i had to actually pay money to see? where currency had to change hands in order for me to receive medical attention in what is generally seen as a civilised first world country*? yes, THAT doctor!) she didn't even look at my feet, but gave me a referral to physio. that's fine. i'll go to physio. but WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!? shrug. sometimes feet hurt.

a day or two into my trip home i finally decided to ask the googles about this and in my journeys, i stumbled onto a blog by a podiatrist who proceeded to yell at me. she yelled at me for going barefoot as much as i did (a lot) and she yelled at me for buying into the whole barefoot running movement. in my defense, the only reason i ever "bought" into it is because i've always felt best in nearly nonexistent non-supportive shoes...until about a year ago when it all went to shit. wearing my flip flops and walking to get the mail at the front office of our beige apartment complex has become excruciating, so obviously something had to change. after reading all this (very nice) yelling, i decided to see if a change in footwear would produce different results. i found a pair of mr. monkey's faux birkenstocks which fit me perfectly and started wearing them around the house all the time, including the occasional midnight trip to the bathroom. out and about, i wore only my blundstones and relegated the cute ballerina-style flats to the no-no pile.

well, whaddya know? within a day, a single solitary day, my feet started acting...normal. they still get a little sore after a long day of walking, hauling (mr. monkey's) shit, doing stuff, and so on, but it's the kind of soreness that feels non life(style)-threatening. my first few steps of the day (in my sandals) are maybe a wee bit stiff, but lord almighty! i can walk again!

so the moral of this story, kids, is that just because something worked for you for 43 years, doesn't  mean it'll carry over seamlessly into your 44th. bodies change. we get older, more fragile, more prone to idiotic pains, stupid aches, systemic failures, and annoying discomforts. don't be daft like me, respond accordingly and in a timely fashion.

*my apologies, americans, but seriously, this is not normal by world standards. know this. educate yourself on this. and then do whatever you need to do to change it, including sharpening your pitchforks, cause this ain't right, my friends, this just ain't right.


Tom said...

Ah, poor Agnieszka! If only you had asked me. Then you wouldn't have had to pay up to the doctor. A long time ago I discovered that after sitting at the table, or my computer, or walking around house - barefoot or in socks only - I also had your problem. Now I don't care as the ache wears off pretty quickly. If I wish to avoid the problem, I wear my birkenstocks. Only trouble is, they're a tad uncomfortable in bed at night. So I put up with the morning hobble. (Never need to get up during the night, so no problem there :) )

Lucy said...

Yep, nothing so dramatic or tragic as foot cancer or arthritis, you've got flat feet. Join the club. I was warned by my PE teacher at age 12 that I had dropped arches and given exercises, but I heeded her not, and lo, by the age of 30 any kind of unsupported shoe - flip-flops, ballet pumps (and I loved my red ballet pumps with my dark blue 1950s silk grosgrain dress when I still had a waist, ah me!), desert boots, plimsolls - became an agony within minutes. Birkies are great but are best if properly fitted by someone who knows how - Tom was advised by a very cool elegant, and kindly, Parisian black guy in the Paris shop, we enjoyed the whole experience so much he bought a pair of expensive lace-ups too, and hasn't regretted it. But I've always just used faux Birkies and they've been fine, except for sometimes I get a calloused line on the outer edge of the arches of my feet.

Current renewed energetic dog ownership, however, necessitating much more walking in stiff walking shoes or wellies has brought on a pain across where my toes join my foot. I'm hoping better weather will mean lighter shoes sometimes.

Feet are a very interesting area of the body, I think!

Zhoen said...

RE: medical "system" - couldn't agree with you more.

I've always had to wear good shoes since I was born with bad feet. But I tried soft cheap shoes for a while, and paid dearly for it. When in Boston, in good shoes, suffered with plantar fasciitis but had to keep walking (on knives.)

Recently found Vasque brand shoes, and my feet have never been happier. On the other hand, I've had orthotic arch supports for many many years that also made a big difference.

Ok, must stop talking feet. Good luck with yours.

Cthulku said...

Also: we're still not good at walking upright, and feet really aren't great at solely (ha!) supporting the weight of a relatively recently tall, long lived contemporary human. Speaking as another lousy-footed hominid, I'm very glad that you've found relief, and look forward to kvetching with you about our terrible tootsies.

the auntologist said...

Wha...I'm the opposite. Perfectly comfortable at all times in bare feet, even standing and walking around the house all day long, but shoes make my feet unhappy, except Doc Martens. It's not heels or anything, either. Or flats. I just wear boots and sneakers, since I don't have to leave the house to work. Doc Marten Mary Janes for dressing up slightly, I guess.

I'm always glad to get shoes off, except those Doc Martens. I must have six or seven pairs of Mary Janes (from eBay--am cheap) and maybe five pairs of boots, from Goodwill and such.

I have very good Goodwill luck sometimes, I tell you what. One day I got two pairs of Doc Marten boots there for $10 each. Anyway I'd still rather be barefoot (with socks) than wear any shoe there is. I need to find some running shoes for the dang treadmill, though, but nothing, and I mean nothing, is comfortable.

polish chick said...

tom - i guess one assumes one's trouble are unique and special! alas, not really. next time, i promise i will ask!

lucy - my feet were always fine (if a little finicky with shoes). this hell is new. as for the pup - what a great reason to get out of doors!

zhoen - i'll check out your brand. i just bought a pair of white and sparkly (!!!) mephistos which are even lovelier than the birkies. why white and sparkly? because huge discount!

cthulku - we'll drink to them in a while, won't we?

auntologist - but that WAS me up until a year ago. always happiest sans shoes! i feel betrayed that suddenly my body does a 180! why can't it do so with things i'm actively trying to get rid of, like depressive tendencies or weight gain, but noooo, it chooses something that was working just fine for me - barefootness!

the auntologist said...

Bodies are contrary, I swear. You'd think they would be on our sides, but nooooo! Mine is all, "Give me all the ravioli, and then let's not exercise! It'll be great!" What kind of attitude is that, body? Get with the program!