Friday, March 13, 2009

No more bare feet

Yesterday I received a prescription for orthotic shoes and inserts. Afterwards, I went for a fitting. The choice was better than I expected. My idea of orthotic shoes are the ones my grandmother used to wear - as heavy as a bowling ball, black, and ugly. Most of the orthotic shoes are indeed quite ugly, but some of them are accceptably plain and don't look like something one needs a prescription for.

I saw that there were slippers near the wall of shoes and asked if they were special. "Oh, you can't wear those", said the orthotics expert.* "Well, what should I wear in the house?" I asked, quite innocently. He answered, "the shoes." "Shoes? In the house?" I was appalled, not because I park my shoes at the door, but he seemed so deadly serious.

Then he went on to explain to me just how serious my foot conditions are, and that going barefoot, even on the beach, was now a thing of the past. I should wear lace-up shoes at all times, and if I want to put my feet up on my sofa, I'll just have to unlace my shoes. What will I do in homes (or a Buddhist meditation hall) where no shoes are allowed? I have no idea. Perhaps there are orthotic slippers out there somewhere for me, but he was adamant that they were not for me. I looked at the fleece lined slip-ons with longing.

Being told that I should never go barefoot again feels like a turning point in my life. It's not that I'll never feel the sensation of grass and sand beneath my feet, because I can certainly take off my shoes when I sit down. But somehow, that's different. The truth is, I haven't been able to walk barefoot since last Spring, when my right foot started bothering me. Since then, both my feet have gotten progressively worse, and now, even walking in the best shoes I've got makes my feet hurt so much that they wake me up at night.

So, what's the "turning point" feeling all about? It's the end of youth. Sure, I know my youth ended quite a while ago now, but this feels different. The restrictions, ever mounting, on what I eat, wear on my feet, how much I walk, what kind of exercise I can do, the amount of energy I expend in a day. . .well, this is the antithesis of youth. Youth, almost by definition, is carefree.

As I bid the past adieu, I am trying to accept what is. Today I missed the poetry workshop at Treetop Zen Center, for I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible bout of GERD and, in the wee hours of the morning, a lot of inflammation and pain. I slept through my alarm clock and when I finally was awake enough to get up, the workshop was just starting, 45 minutes away. Even if it was down the street, I felt too awful to go. The urge to cry washed over me, but it passed as I thought about all the things I could do here at home. I can acknowledge my feelings of loss, but I don't have to let them ruin my day. Yeah, I feel like crap, but I can read, knit, write this entry, listen to some new audiobooks I just put into iTunes, and even have a nap later if need be. Perhaps I needed a day off, even as I wanted to attend the workshop. I'm beginning to listen to my body very carefully. I used to fight what my body told me it needed, as if it was something separate from myself.

So, here I am with two aching feet. Today I am looking forward to my orthotic shoes! I'm wondering what I'll do with all the lovely high heels that are sitting in my closet. Anyone have a size 8 foot? There are shoes that need good homes!

Photo note: I guess I won't be wearing these 19th century boots. I do have a pair of boots that are similar (in black). I can't bear the thought of parting with them, though I haven't worn them in at least ten years. That's a bad case of attachment!

*What he's actually called is beyond me, and I should know, considering I'm studying medical transcription. But, since I am studying medical transcription, and am taking a break at the moment, I refuse to look up the term.


TMC said...

hurrah for less painful feet!

jmcleod76 said...

I wear a size 8, but I don't want your high heels, I'm afraid. That's just not a form of masochism that turns me on. ;o)

Hope you're feeling better. xo