No Foot, No Fun

To every health profession for the past thirty years who has inquired as to how I am, the reply has been the same: Doing OK, thanks! I don’t have much physical energy, though.

My mood is usually pretty good (thank the merciful powers), and there are metabolic reasons for why I am such a spud (thyroid disease, Lyme disease, various creeping anemias), but the reality for me has not changed in decades. I am very careful about how I spend my energy, even to the point that if I don’t have to wear shoes, I don’t bother putting them on. That’s effort wasted.

Folding clothes, most cooking, changing out of my riding clothes before I hit the grocery store… all effort wasted. Sporting around the produce section in my breeches isn’t exactly stylish, but fashion-forward shopping doesn’t make the cut before I run out the proverbial spoons.

About six months ago, my feet started hurting. Because I am on my tread desk regularly, I figured I was reaching the intersection of age, weight, genetics, and repetitive stress we all fall heir to. I noticed, though, that within limits, my feet hurt just as badly on rest days as on big step days. I tried babying my feet with the usual old lady over-the-counter products, and no joy.

At the horse barn, we say, “No foot, no horse.” When a 1500-pound animal has a sore paw, that animal isn’t good for much. I don’t weigh 1500 pounds, but… The foot problem was cascading into hunched-dowager posture, which delivered a hit to the fading muscles of my belly. My hips didn’t like it when I favored my foot either, and the whole situation became a snowballing bother.

I was at my typing chair post one fine morning a couple months ago, and my usual footwear–a pair of Under Armor slides–became the toy of choice for my cats. I took the first good look at my preferred “shoes” and realized I had been wearing the same pair for two years. Since pre-P. They are beat to flinders–absolutely disgusting!–and it’s no wonder wearing them resulted in foot torment. Yes, they were a solution to the, “Who wants to wrestle with shoes every morning?” question, but still…

I started taking the time to put on my Nike men’s “heavy runner” shoes every morning, and within two weeks, my feet were much better. Clunking around in actual shoes was an adjustment, and putting them on and off is some bother, but I do not miss having sore hoofs, at all.

I simply hadn’t noticed when a solution–slipping in and out of my slides–had become a problem, but it surely had. How lovely, that a simple fix is yielding such wonderful results. Have you had to hit re-set with some tried and true solutions? Had to stop and rewind, then re-think what used to work fairly well? I’ll add three commenters to the ARC list for A Tryst by the Sea!

PS: Due to website maintenance this weekend, your comments might not post, or might post and then disappear on Monday. We will be back to smooth sailing by Monday afternoon!

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13 comments on “No Foot, No Fun

  1. I have used an extra-firm mattress for forever but a few years ago, I noticed that my hips and knees would be more sore in the morning than later in the day. I did some research and found that my aging body probably couldn’t deal with the hardness anymore, so I bought a 3-inch foam topper to try out (much, much cheaper than buying a new mattress in case it didn’t help). It did help and when it is time to replace my mattress, I will be going no harder than medium firm probably. My brain still feels like it’s 20 (well, most of the time) but my body is constantly telling me otherwise these days!
    I’m feeling brave enough to post this on Friday night but keeping a copy in case it disappears and doesn’t reappear. Thanks for the warning.

  2. Ain’t life grand? I used to have hair so thick it was almost impossible to ponytail in one of those elastics you buy at any drug store. I’d stretch and snap them with great regularity. A few years ago I noticed I could wrap those same bands around my ponytail three times. Today I can wrap the children’s version twice. I used to take my hair for granted. I’d wash with cheap shampoo, curled it, permed it, colored it, and I guess, generally mistreated it. Now I spend hours researching and reading and conversing with professionals trying to find the magical combination of products and care that will preserve the hair I have. I am post-menopausal and have thyroid disease and have found this is a common plight for a woman my age. It’s so much fun relearning about my own body. I knew I’d sag and wrinkle, but never thought I’d be losing my hair. Thank goodness they make really nice wigs now!

  3. I hurt my foot a few years ago and late last year it became bothersome again. So I started wearing my ankle brace and wrapping my foot overnight. My foot no longer hurts.

  4. I hurt my foot a few years ago and late last year it became bothersome again. So I started wearing my ankle brace and wrapping my foot overnight. My foot no longer hurts.

  5. I hurt my left thigh, the IT band, a couple of years ago. It went away but a few months ago at the gym I did something to it and it started up again, with added problems of additional aches and pains in both legs, trouble walking, etc. It seems to be a question of lifelong scoliosis, and therefore one leg is perceived to be shorter than the other, so when I walk it’s as though I am stepping in a hole. I am doing PT and we are still figuring out the solutions, but this is helping.

    On another topic, Miss Dignified arrived in the middle of the gigantic Virginia snowstorm and I had no power for 48 hours. I huddled under piles of blankets wearing a sweatshirt, sweatpants and three pairs of socks, and read Lydia and Dylan’s story by flashlight. Thank goodness this book arrived because it got me through the outage. Hurray for Grace! Just in the nick of time!

  6. I have had a similar shoe issue. The pair of athletic shoes I wore at work were no longer working. I wondered about just about every other variable first before I realized it was my shoes, I was convinced they were working because they had worked. What a difference happy feet/legs/back make!

  7. I haven’t noticed having to hit reset with any tried and true habits, nope. Perhaps because I’m not paying attention? I’ve got so many things going on that I am completely flustered. Ugh.

    Hope you feet are tip top soon, Grace!

  8. I’m trying to hit reset on communication patterns.
    While the old ones didn’t “work” per se, they were what I needed at the time. But now, I am trying harder to speak up when I need to… ask for what I need or communicate more clearly my thoughts and ideas.
    I can’t say it’s been super effective yet, but I think it’s better than keepin’ quiet all the time!

    I’m glad your feetsies are doing better, Grace! I LOVED “Miss Dignified”, btw.

    @Elizabeth Cecconi – I am with you! While I never had super thick hair, the stuff I have now is most definitely going down the drain. :/

  9. I have back issues and neck that comes and goes.I have found that wearing a bra for many hours makes it worse.(The song Please release me comes to mind).So I came up with the idea that I would not wear said item in doors only when out and about in public.Compromise of sorts.After a few weeks of trying this my back/neck eased.So now I am now transported back to the sixties and being liberated be wild be free (not quite the same when you are in your seventies).But who cares Im comfortable.Enjoyed miss Dignified last week how do you do it.Hope the shoes are still working and it’s great when a solution can be found and cost free.

  10. Your story reminds me a bit of my own. I was a ballet dancer as a teenager, until my early to mid 20s, and I taught ballet until my mid-30s. My feet ALWAYS hurt but I chalked it up to being a dancer.

    I wore wooden clogs, very much in fashion at the time, and you could hear me clunking down the hall. It wasn’t until I decided I didn’t LIKE folks hearing me coming and I changed my *look* that my feet stopped hurting. The wooden clog bed did not have any give and my toes gripped to keep them on. It had nothing to do with my dancing. Like you, I liked just slipping on my shoes and sailing on. I never thought my toes always gripping would cause pain.

    Sometimes simple solutions are best. 🙂 Have a good week, Grace!

  11. Shoes matter. In my husband’s family there were girls’ shoes & boys’ shoes and some semi-serious orthopedic issues as they age. And I’m guilty. I was married in a pair of my future mother-in-law’s shoes.

    Humidity matters, too. Some years are dry here; some are not. It’s a toss up whether a flaking face or an out-of-tune piano tells me first.