Sunday, May 25, 2008

On the Other Foot

In the event that you either just started reading this blog or you really don't pick up on nuance, allow me to disclose that I am rather vain. In particular, I am vain about my legs. But legs, as you know, end up at feet, and I (former yoga teacher and long-time practitioner) have worked very consciously with these feet, lo these many years, to forge a relationship based on balance and proportion. Not to mention that lovely feet are a thing that runs in my family.

Indeed, I'm not simply telling you this to highlight the fact that I am high on myself. What, I ask, would be the fun in that? And y'all are smart enough to sense that, ahem, the other shoe's about to drop.

Why Fashion Goddess, is vanity rewarded with zits and bad hair days and, yikes, a potentially emerging bunion? You heard it here first, peeps. I appear to have developed an (albeit very small), bony protruberance that shoots numbness and pain sparks at the slightest, lightest touch. It's on the top of my large toe metatarsal joint. Now, admittedly, I'm one of those "internet medical site surfers" that doctors seem to treat with such derision. But, it's not the first time I've ever seen something like this and the sites do tell it like it is, non? (Note to reader: I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for next week to look into this further.)

Can you believe I'm discussing this in polite company? I so hope that no gorgeous guys are reading this right now.

Let's be honest: Whatever it is, it's been a long time coming. Between my recently sporadic practice of standing poses (the ones that are so good for your feet), advancing age - egads!!! - and a walking habit that borders on compulsive (look, it keeps me sane), I am apparently a candidate.

So, having taught many a gorgeous yogini with less-than-perfect feet, I'm going to start applying the tricks of the trade to my own little tootsies. And, not that my footwear was ever ridiculous for walking, but I'm wearing Nikes to get to work for the next week or so. (They're the walking shoes with the velcro - not hideous, I swear). And I'm going to start getting biweekly acupuncture on the area - I am a staunch believer in acupuncture, which I get regularly anyway. Oh, and I'm going to buy those little toe separators to realign the bone. And yesterday I went out and got - have I no shame? - bunion bandaids, just to shield the area from friction.

Why am I telling you this, aside from the fact that I'm an intrepid reporter who doesn't sugar coat the bad stuff? In light of the fact that I imagine your average twentysomething reader with still-perfect feet couldn't ever even vaguely find this interesting? (She's moved on, I realize.) Well it's cuz I need your input.

Has anybody got bony, podiac protruberances of their own? And, if yes, what have you done about them? How do you continue to walk 5 miles a day (because that's not going to stop) and wear cute shoes (not crazy heels with narrow toe boxes, just fashionable reasonably flat shoes) while catering to "the issue"?

Any and all feedback would be so appreciated. Or pity would work too.

Ed. Update: Went to a chiropodist for a consult today and was told that it is not a bunion, but perhaps a preliminary manifestation of osteoarthritis. The bone protrusion is not in my mind. Neither is my intuition that this is something to take seriously. Xrays and, potentially, orthotics to follow. I'll keep you posted...


  1. I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing pain and discomfort. I haven't any experience in this area, so I'll leave room for others to give input.

    I hope you get it under control. And I also hope it doesn't cut into your shoe habit!

  2. I feel your pain, K.Line (said entirely sans irony). I taught high impact aerobics all through my ugrad university years and was a long distance runner until all the pounding caught up with me in grad school.

    Specifically, I had plantar fascitis (which surgery slowly corrected), but a small bunion-like protrusion also developed on my right foot. I hated orthotics beyond belief, because they stretched my shoes and you couldn't wear anything without a heel. If you can avoid them, you should.

    Now, if I buy a shoe that's a tad narrow, or one that puts pressure on that prone-to-be-tender joint, I cut out part of the shoe liner--leaving it intact from the heel to about mid arch. It literally gives me wiggle room and I'm able to wear anything I want!

  3. My feet are a mess right now. I have a bump on the top (1st tarsal) of my right foot from fake Dansko's I was wearing for work. I have high arches, and now I realize that the top of the shoe was pressing down there. I've since chucked the shoes. But my left heel is a giant scab from breaking in new sandals. I've limited myself to soft ballet flats and clogs. I also bought a pair of expensive yellow patent snakeskin flats that are nothing but pain. Unfortunately too late to return them.

  4. Enc: How this could happen just as I developed a love for sexy footwear is a cruel irony. I intend to get it under control. Thanks for rooting for me!

    Miss C: I've known people with plantar fascitis. Wow, surgery is hardcore. When did you have that? Your suggestion about cutting out the liner is very innovative. I'm going to keep that in mind.

    Anna: The world of shoes is torture sometimes. How is it that even the flat shoes cause misery??