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My Feet Are Stealing My Spoons

April 14, 2017

On the top shelf of my shoe rack, there is a row of high heels.  A pearlescent beige, a velvet red, a deep maroon with grey straps, and several more.  They have sat there, untouched, since we moved to this house a year ago.  Truth be told, they sat untouched in our old home, too.  They are the last remnant of someone I once was.  Someone younger.  Someone stronger.  Someone much less broken.

The pain in my joints was strongest in my hands.  Or perhaps merely most noticeable.  I had twisted and wrenched my ankles multiple times over the years and I was used to them hurting.  The pain in my hips and knees was avoidable.  So long as I didn’t climb stairs or otherwise stress the joints, I did just fine.  I could even wear high heels on occasion.  I couldn’t walk very far in them, but I didn’t wear them much any ways, so it didn’t really matter.  But my hands…  The pain would come on like a burning heat deep inside the joints, curling them up and making them shake.  I would plunge them into ice baths, press them onto massaging tools, and wore gloves to allow me to keep working through the pain.  Eventually, the pain became a constant.  Something that simply was.  Background noise to everything else that was going wrong with my body.

I turned my ankle again one day and realized that was going to have to be the end of it.  I wasn’t even wearing high heels, but a coworker pointed out how much worse it could have been if I had.  So I put all of my heels aside and switched to ballet flats alone.  Heels would only be for special occasions.  Over time, those special occasions grew fewer and fewer, and the collection in my closet grew smaller and smaller.  Until the day I looked up at them and realized that I hadn’t worn them in a very long time.  And now, probably never would again.

It was inevitable, I suppose, that my feet would get in on the act.  I joked that every joint from the hips down was damaged, but in reality, my feet were mostly fine.  An occasional twinge in the metatarsal a doctor once described as “not quite broken.”  The joy and thrill of my smallest two toes popping out of joint if I flexed them wrong.  Pain if I stood or walked for too long.  But “too long” meant “a couple of hours,” so it wasn’t like my mobility was all that limited.  I adjusted, adapted, and kept moving.

The pain started in the middle of the ball of my foot.  Not on top, not on the bottom, but somewhere deep inside.  It was razor sharp and only hurt when I walked.  I rested and tried to wait the pain out.  Sharp pains in various joints is not an uncommon occurrence, so I wasn’t too worried.  But the pain didn’t go away.  So off to the doctor I went.

For now, the diagnosis is “probably two metatarsals rubbing together.”  I’m to stay off my feet for two weeks as much as possible, increase my daily dose of pain medication, and change my foot gear habits for the duration.  No more ballet shoes.  No more flip flops.  And no more walking barefoot on hard surfaces.

That last one is pretty inconvenient.  I like being barefoot, most of our house is hard surfaces, and while I like my house slippers for when my feet are cold, it’s only been a couple of days and I’m already tired of wearing them.  All of which is minor compared to the inconvenience of staying off of my feet.

When I was on bedrest with P’khan, the enforced rest was difficult, but easier to bear because the exhaustion from getting up was immediate.  Now I find myself most frustrated by the fact that I could be on my feet if I really wanted to.  I could get up and clean the kitchen.  I could put away the toys.  I could make dinner. I could be doing those things. I just can’t do all of them.

Right now, my feet have their own personal set of spoons.  Every trip to the bathroom, every diaper change, every chase after a mischevious toddler… every single one costs a spoon.  I can rest and restore a spoon or two, but those spoons are stolen from the rest of my body.  By the end of the day, I am exhausted, despite spending most of the day sitting on the couch.  And everything I wanted to do is still left undone.

I have a follow up appointment this afternoon.  I stubbornly refused prescription pain medication the first time and the over the counter stuff is just not doing the job.  Not only is the sharp pain still there, all of my usual pains have decided to pile on.  Sitting too long has started to hurt my hips, and my hands have apparently been feeling left out of the party.  Moose and I have also decided I need to have someone come in for a few hours each day to lend a hand.  Hopefully with a little extra medicine and a little more rest, I’ll be back on my feet.  If not…  well, I suppose I can always get a snazzy flag for my scooter.

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