WOW! I think I finally found some shoes I can wear again.
You see, I have this problem with my nerves.
Especially the tibial nerve in my ankles. The right ankle is the worst. It kind of feels like wearing a ball and chain around my foot in the sense that it inhibits me from getting around and sloooooows me down to a painful limp after a few blocks.
So, I don’t know why, so far ANY shoes HURT. The nerve is sensitive. Anything that restricts the motion in my ankle irritates the hell out of it.
A year and a half ago, at the beginning of all this, the block-headed doctors said I should never walk barefoot and tried to force me to wear these extremely rigid orthotics all the time.
Eventually, I realized how much worse this was making me. They kept insisting I would feel MORE pain at first. Yeah, not that kind of more pain! It left me in tears and crawling to the bathroom.
So I decided to try walking barefoot. I slowly improved more and more. I still can’t walk far, but now I can get around my house really well and stand up long enough to take a shower. I began walking barefoot or in my socks EVERYWHERE, outside, inside, whatever.
My motto became: if it feels good, do it. If it hurts, stop. Most nights I can sleep again now!
Side note: I am reading all of these historical fiction books about England and one of the characters what commenting recently on how doctors (this is circa 1845) are idiots because they refuse to accept change or anything out of the textbook of what they have already learned as being a possibility. Yeah, hate to tell ya, but most of them are still like this.
This was last Spring. Anyway, it became apparent that restaurants and the like didn’t exactly want you walking around in your shoes. Some sort of health code violation. You know, that “NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE” thing. It didn’t help that it was way worse to sit with shoes on than off. That was almost worse than walking in them. I have no idea why, yet another mystery (another mystery is why I can’t do sit-ups — it sends shooting pains down my ankles and feet).
Then the weather got cold this fall. That compounded things. Walking outside in your socks in the winter gets a little cold.
So I got this idea to try Vibram FiveFingers.
After months of thinking about it (I have a tendency to be a little slow to make decisions), my dad and I went to the running store today.
It was kind of humorous at first…
- ME: “Do you sell any FiveFingers here?”
- SALESGUY: “Yes. Which kind do you want.”
- ME: “I don’t know.”
- SALESGUY: “Well, how many miles a week do you run? What kind of running do you do?”
- ME: “Well, I don’t really run….actually, I don’t really walk anymore. I can make it three blocks…I sorta just need something to wear for the three blocks when its cold and to wear inside a store or something.”
- SALESGUY: “Oh.”
He actually ended up being REALLY nice to me and was so helpful. I just thought that was funny at first. Hey, I used to be a runner. I was all-state in high school…woot woot. Okay, glory days over.
Well, long story short…the FiveFingers sucked. Not only did they look ridiculous, they weren’t comfortable jamming my toes in there and just kinda hurt, although not as bad as regular shoes. They didn’t really feel totally like I was barefoot. I wanted to feel really barefoot.
Then I remembered my boyfriend mentioning Nike Free.
These look exactly like the ones I got. Yes, I know they look like real shoes, but they feel like you are practically barefoot. They feel pretty great. I could even sit in them. I am not going to get too excited yet, because sometimes I try things on and they feel good at first and then later I realize they aren’t as good as barefoot.
But I think this is as close as I am going to get and am optimistic about this type of shoe. I went back and forth between the Nike Free and these Saucony minimalist shoes, which also look like real shoes but feel so much different. I think the Nike’s squeeze my ankle a little bit, but the Saucony’s felt a little weird on the arch (and weren’t as pretty which stupidly earned the Nike’s a point). I think I should try one size smaller on them. I went home with the Nike’s but I am going to walk around more in my house with them and think about if I should go back tomorrow and exchange.
Either way, I am excited to find an option.
For some reason, it also made me feel hopeful today. The neurologist said my tibial nerves seem to be healing, it just takes years or a very long time. I don’t know about the rest of the nerves, but that is the worst area so that is good. I know I won’t ever be like I once was probably, but I am so thankful for any improvement.
I think I am doing so much better the last few days at not looking back and taking the best care of myself that I can (especially since my post about it), without obsessing over every little thing that I am doing to analyze if it’s right or wrong. I want to keep working on that more than anything. Thank you for everyone’s support.
I am already a barefoot-around-the-block-walker, I just needed a little gear. Let me know if you want in on this trend-setting movement. You have to be a cripple though, and you don’t want that. Or you can just join to lend support for my cause. We could organize a charity block-walk or something.
My next step is to stop procrastinating and just go for the acupuncture! I have been thinking about that too long too!