Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Footwear For Gimps 101

Here's a 'before' shot of my foot:

The vertical cyan line is where they cut off the bunion. The diagonal magenta cut was so that they could shift that whole part of my foot over to the right so everything lines up the way it should and the sesmoids will sit where they're supposed to rather than grinding away at some poor innocent part of my foot. Then they grind all the mismatched bones so they're nice and smooth. The horizontal yellow cut is where they cut off my big toe so they could move it over so it lined up properly. I'm not sure why they needed to do that but whatever. They reattached everything with 3 pins, one of which may be working it's way loose at the moment but let's hope that's a false alarm. I'm not going to post an 'after' photo just yet. The incisions are still a bit gruesome and I'm squeamish and don't want to look at them unless absolutely necessary.

I went to my first physical therapy session yesterday and it was fairly painful. The therapist moved the joint under my big toe back and forth, back and forth and it wasn't pleasant but it felt so much better when she was done and I have a much better range of motion. She showed me how to do it myself and instructed me to do it 3 times a day for 3 minutes or so. The only problem is that I can't quite bring myself to inflict that level of pain on myself and I'm worried about doing it wrong and putting too much pressure somewhere I'm not supposed to and working the screws loose so I'm not sure how much good I'm doing. I've been trying to make up for it by wiggling my toes as much as possible. Swimming is supposed to help a lot but the incision isn't closed up enough yet for me to go to the pool. I was hoping to go today but no dice. Maybe by tomorrow it will be o.k. but I have to be sure it's absolutely closed because I don't want pool water leaking in or the incision busting open in the pool-infection city. I go back for more therapy torture on Thursday. The good news is that I can handle the 8 minute drive to Boulder Center for Sports Medicine for my therapy and the pool is a few minutes closer so Jonny doesn't need to skip work to chauffeur me around.

One thing the therapist noticed is that the surgical shoe I have to wear has a way higher heel than the shoe I was wearing on my other foot so my walking was really unbalanced. I'm only walking a wee bit right now, just going a few steps between rooms when I need to carry something, but over the next few weeks I'll be walking more so it's important my gait isn't too screwy or I'll mess up my knees, back and who knows what else. So she suggested some higher heeled clog type shoes. She was wearing a pair about my size and she let me try them and wow what a difference it made. It's hard enough to walk in the surgical shoe, being so off balance doesn't help. Here's a picture of the goofy surgical shoe:

I started my search for big ugly clogs at the Boulder Running Company because it's a short drive from my house and I have a 10% (or is it 15?) discount with my master's swimming membership and the therapist warned me that these shoes are not cheap. They had big ugly clogs but not the same brand as the therapist had (Dansko) but supposedly made by the same maker. The good news was they had some cool ass ugly shoes-zebra striped clogs or leopard spots to match my pimped out crutches. The bad news is that I need shoes I can also wear to work and I'm already pushing the boundary of acceptable office wear, even for Boulder, so I have to pass up the leopard spots for the sensible black. But these clogs all seem narrower than the one's the therapist had and while they fit my good foot I'm afraid they won't fit my bad foot once it's healed. Did I mention how much I hate shoe shopping on a good day? So it was off to the Pedestrian Shop, land of comfy uglyshoes, just around the corner where they had the Dansko's. No cool colors but they did have black and they did feel a bit wider. Of course I can't decide between 2 pairs-one is a proper clog with nothing at the back that is wide but a bit awkward to walk in, the other has a back to it, looks more like a regular shoe and feels more secure walking but also feels narrower. After much debate I decided on the clog without the heel reasoning that wider was better if I wanted the best chance of them fitting my other foot. They are dork city but hey now I can walk a whole lot better:

Then I discovered the fancy little strap at the front is not just a fashion thingy, it is also useful to gimpy people:

This is probably a major clog fashion faux paux and I will look like even more of a geek in my big cloggy dork shoes but right now I'm more worried about breaking my neck and let's be honest here my shoes are the least of my fashion worries.


  1. Wow, they moved your whole TOE?! "Amazing" seems an understatement.

    You could have just asked for a matching surgical boot for the other foot. You'd have made a lovely hobbling sight. But the clogs are way more fashionable. Too bad about the leopard print.


  2. Clogs are making a comeback. They are the new black.

  3. Oh well, that's me, right on the cutting edge of fashion.

  4. Roxanne8:32 AM

    I think they're kinda cute. Hmmm... what does that say about me?

    That's crazy they actually cut off you big toe and moved it. Amazing.

  5. When do we get to see new foot??

  6. Maybe in the next couple of days I'll take a picture. The incision is getting better but still at the gross enough to scare small children stage. Plus there's lots of bruising and some swelling.

  7. Holy moly, I hadn't realized the full extent of your foot surgery until you posted that diagram and accompanying notes. If I ever thought you were a wimp (I didn't, but if I did), I certainly wouldn't now.

    Hey with those shoes you're all set to go tip-toeing through the tulips. Or hobbling through them, as the case may be.