Friday, May 4, 2012

Wait, what? I thought this was a fibrofuckingmyalgia blog

It is, it is. Don't get your panties in a twist... unless you're into that kind of thing. Who am I to judge? But since this is my fibrofuckingmyalgia blog, today we're going to talk about some other pain issues.

Twenty years ago, give or take a few months, I gave birth to my second child. He was born at 11 pounds even, 22 1/2 inches tall. The doctor jokingly said, while I was pregnant, if he were bigger than my first (9 pounds 4 ounces), he'd wheel me to my room after the birth. Well, he had no idea.

Now aside from bragging about the fact that I pushed an 11 pound bowling ball with a head full of dark hair out of my body without the benefit of drugs, I'm telling you this because it was the beginning of my foot problems. The entire time I was pregnant with my monster baby (as we called him because of his size), my feet were hot. And I mean really hot. I would walk outside in the snow (I was staying with my parents because the Army in its infinite wisdom sent the husband off to school for the last three months of my pregnancy. I'd like to have been in on that meeting: "Hey, guys, we got back from the War in May... let's send every husband away from November through February. I hear [stupid Army nickname they gave him]'s wife is due at the first part of February. Let's give him the duty station he wanted and make his report date also his wife's due date. THEY WILL LAUGH ABOUT THIS!!" Fuck you, whoever you were). Wait, I went off a little bit there... Where was I? Oh, the snow... yes, I could walk outside, barefoot, in the snow and it didn't hurt me. I melted the snow wherever my feet were- and several inches around my foot. It looked like Bigfoot was living there and wearing slippers to walk around in the snow.

Now, all this time that I was barefoot and pregnant (see what I did there!?) my arches started falling. The pain got so bad that I went to the doctor a couple months after the birth. What? I was busy! I had a newborn baby and we were in the process of moving to a new place. Anyway, I was diagnosed with plantar faciitis and "falling arches". My arches have been falling for the last twenty years. That's right, my son is twenty years old. I know, you're thinking, "You don't look old enough to have a twenty year old child!" You may have even blurted it out loud. I'm about to shock you, Edna. I have a child who will be twenty-three in August. "What!?" you exclaim, out loud and a little embarrassed because you chose to read this blog during a conference call at work. "You're lying! Or you were kind of a whore when you were fifteen because, goddammit, you can't possibly have children that old!"... and I tell you that its because I dye my hair. And you say, "No way! That isn't it! Hair dye doesn't do THAT!" and you point to my profile photo. I have to tell you to calm down, everyone is looking at you because now that conference call is a staff meeting. Seriously, I do. I had my kids when I was young and had the energy to keep up with them...

Where was I? Oh, the plantar faciitis... just Google it. You'll see what it is... over the twenty years, I was diagnosed with the plantar faciitis and Achilles tendinitis. For most people, tendinitis comes and goes. Not for me. My feet have been in near-constant pain for the last twenty years. Let's throw some bone spurs into the mix for fun. Every step I take, every move I make... fuck you, I'm not watching you (she jokes, dating herself with the music reference)... but every step hurts. Standing hurts. The pain in my feet, which may or may not be the tendinitis and bone spurs, is constant. It varies in degree of intensity, but it is always there.

On a good day, they just ache and are sore. I wear Dr Martens boots because they last over a year and are very comfortable. And also, sometimes I like to pretend I'm tall. The black hiking boots I usually wear give me an inch and a half in height. ("Wow! You're an Amazon and I don't mean the website that sells all the shit in the world, I mean the really tall lady warriors." Well, thank you. Obviously you don't realize that I'm five feet and four and a half inches tall. With my Docs, I'm an even five feet, six inches).

On a bad day, I have a jolting shock of pain that shoots through my heel bone into my ankle every time my foot hits the floor. On a bad day, I feel like someone is shoving a red hot railroad spike through my foot, between the bones. And for fun, that bastard taps at it with a hammer every so often. On a bad day, with the jolting heel pain and the red hot railroad spike, it feels like the sadistic bastard with that spike is twisting it.

And that pain can come and go. I can be fine, just toodling along at a good pace through the grocery store, lookin' fly and hip (because isn't that what we all want- to be hip and with-it in the eyes of strangers) and as I step, something inside my foot decides to flip the switch. BAM! Railroad spike grinding in between the bones in my foot. Or a bone spur awakens with a cranky shriek. I have bone spurs in my heels and in the ball of my foot. More often than not, my foot pain is at an eight on the stupid pain scale. A good day- that's a five on that scale. And yes, before you ask, my feet have been at a ten before and yes, it did hurt bad enough to induce tears.

I replace the insoles in my shoes monthly. I also have plastic-ish inserts the doctor gave me shortly before my knee replacement surgery (so, over three years ago). He laughed about the store-bought Doctor Scholl's that I was buying. I've been gellin' and of all those products, I prefer the memory foam type over the gel ones. The gel ones start out feeling good, but twenty minutes into their day, the railroad spikes have been released and are assaulting my feet. The memory foam insoles cushion my feet and help keep that jolting shock of pain out of my heel.

Right now, since I'm typing this an hour after I woke up, my feet aren't screaming in agony. They're just tired-feeling and achy. You're thinking: "Wow, how do you stand and walk for hours and hours at the renaissance faire?" And if you weren't thinking that, you're rolling your eyes now. I wear Doc Martens to the faire, with my doctor-prescribed insoles. And it fucking hurts. But if you saw my photos from the last two weekends at the faire, you'd realize that the pain is worth it. And if you don't get that, then you're not artistic. Artists- of which I am- will do anything for their art. And for mine, I stand for hours. And I hurt for days after, but I don't care. It gives me photos like this...

So, even on "good" fibro days when I'm not having a painful, itchy flareup, I'm still in some kind of pain. And what sucks most of all- I don't like having my feet touched because of the pain. A foot massage would probably kill me. And because I love my boots, here are some photos of my Docs.

The red 1460s I rarely wear. They have no padding in them, just straight leather against my sore feet.

My red Docs

The black hiking boots that I usually wear. These never need breaking-in. They are straight up comfortable from the start. I actually don't even have these anymore. I need a new pair, but at the moment, I can't afford them. (I spent my few extra bucks on ren faire stuff for myself for Mother's Day).

My boots aren't made for walkin' today...

303 of 365/2- Docs in macro

My shiny red Docs. I love these even though I can't get them shiny anymore. I wore them to Bristol a few times and the dust just destroyed them. I still wear them even though the hook-bracket thingies on the ankle part are falling out.

210- final photo

219- original

I snagged this pair of distressed brown Docs, on sale for $35 down from $80.

17 of 365

And my ren faire Docs- Shoreditch Ninjas. When I got these, they only had them in black leather. The "cherry red" looks awesome- sorta rough, distressed dark red. I wish I had those. And now they have many color choices, all in canvas. Leather is better, so I'm glad I have the leather ones, but I wish I had them in cherry red. The only time I wear these is at the faire.

New Docs! A birthday gift to myself!


  1. I have a similar issue but with my ankles- I was playing football with some visually impaired children and I twisted my ankles on a manhole cover and tore all my ligaments badly... Despite intense physio, they never recovered...

    Which basically means I continually hobble and every few weeks, while walking, my ankles just give way... and I cannot walk at all... I wonder would dr martens support my ankles more?

  2. Those black hikers with the thick sole, I got those at Famous Footwear for around $80. On the Dr Martens USA website, they're $120.

    I've always wanted shiny red Docs, but they didn't have the shiny ones when I got the first pair up there. The shiny ones I ended up with were just as comfortable as those black hikers.

    But if you're going for support, I suggest the black hikers.