I don't know how people wear shoes all the time. Or socks. I have known women who wore socks pretty much all the time, waking or sleeping. Even in cold weather, I can't stand wearing socks in the house or to bed. My feet have to breathe!
Unfortunately, there is a downside to my lifelong affection for barefooting. Those two little toes, one the outer limit for each foot, have a way of finding blunt objects which may be too close to my walking lane in the house. Without fail, about once a year I pulverize one of those little toes. Usually, it means something in my normal walkway is out of its place, such as a chair or a sofa. Maybe not much. Just a little bit. But enough to make that sofa's foot stick a tad too far into my normal walking path. That's when it happens. Pain. Agonizing pain. The kind of pain that makes stars go off in my head.
Sometimes I hit the toe so hard when I first look down I wonder whether the toe will be hanging there. The resilience of those little toes is amazing. I do not know how they take the punishment and remain largely functional. The injured toe first gets bent back far too far. It swells. It bruises and sometimes turns blue or black. Often, the surface is broken, so treatment includes iodine and ice. The first twenty four hours, I use ice several times. After that, ointment. Taking ibuprofen or a similar anti-inflammatory eases the throbbing.
I do apologize each time. "I'm sorry, little toe! I need to watch where I'm going better." But in time, I'm going to do it again. This little piggy cried "not again," all the way home.
About once every two years, I destroy the tip of one of my big toes. That comes from not perceiving a slight step-up, or not fully clearing it as I step up, while barefooted. My nephew in Austin has a garage which has a concrete floor with a slight step-up at the door to inside the house. It is very slight, an inch or so. My eye simply didn't pick it up one time, and I slammed a big toe directly into it. That left a hideous blood blister for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, I look good in purple and blue.
You've probably guessed by now I stubbed my little toe again a few days ago. My first thought was "not again!" My second thought was "have I ever written about this?" And, here we are.
At my age, things do not heal so quickly as they did in younger years. But my toes seem to recover from serious annihilation in days. Maybe nature knows how important our feet are to our existence as successful mammals on the planet. It's great to not be limping after three days, so hallelujah!
I wish I could say "no toes were injured in the making of this column," but they were. And for that, again, I thank them.
© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.