Toe jamb

Habitually hobbled.

Well, I’ve gone and put my foot in it again.

I was in the Reading Room the other day, thumbing through AARP the Magazine, when I stumbled across an article headlined “Good Habits That Might Age You Prematurely.”

One of them, according to author Leslie Goldman and podiatrist Emily Splichal, is wearing supportive soles and insoles. It seems swaddling your dogs in Hush Puppies all the time can take them right out of the hunt.

“Our toes need to push into the ground to maintain balance, and our foot muscles contract to maintain balance and posture,” says Splichal.

Nerves in the feet sensitive to texture, pressure, vibration and other stimuli work with the brain to help you maintain proper posture, stay balanced and avoid falling.

The more you go shod, the less your brain practices those essential skills. The solution: We should all go barefoot at home for at least a half hour daily.

Ho ho ho, I chuckled smugly to myself. I already do this, if only because I am a bog-trotting hillbilly too lazy to bend down and tie my own shoelaces. In fact, I was shoeless while reading the article.

I was not chuckling yesterday afternoon, however. Not after meandering down the hallway sans shoes and spectacles and absentmindedly stuffing my left little piggie into the bedroom doorjamb. The neighbors probably thought they were hearing a Sam Kinison-Bill Hicks doubleheader at maximum volume.

An X-ray tech and a PA agree that nothing’s broken, except my spirit. But my left foot is presently propped up on a pillow with the two portside toes buddy-taped together. So don’t expect me to kick any ass for the next couple days, barefoot or otherwise.

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26 Responses to “Toe jamb”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Ain’t getting old fun? About a decade ago I tore a tendon sheath in my right foot when I slammed into something. The bed post? Don’t recall. Every once in a while it flares up. Right now is one of those times.

    Then again, a good friend back in Paradise is undergoing multiple rounds of chemo for a bad case of metastatic bladder cancer. I guess I can live with a gimp foot.

  2. Dave Watts Says:

    Damn toes! They’re always sticking out — just waiting for objects to suddenly run out and ram into them. Or perhaps I should pick up all those piles of stuff on the floor and put them away where they belong; most likely in the trash.

    Barefoot is always a good idea. Except at work they force me to wear shoes. At my age, and with 50 years of retail already behind me, standing upright for nearly 12 hours per day, not just any shoe will do. The expensive Altras, of which I have a half dozen pairs, plus orthodics, are unfortunately, a must have. They have literally kept me working beyond an age which all my classmates have long since retired. I hope to have the last laugh someday, and run circles around their wheelchairs. Maybe then, in bare feet.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Dave, ever try SAS shoes? They have two stores in Tucson, and they measure your feet the old fashioned way and always have a large variety of sizes and widths. Still wear their sneakers to this day when I am not in my Chaco sandals.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I can second the recommendation for SAS shoes. I bought a pair by accident — the New Balance store is right next door and I thought it was one shop selling both brands — and I’ve gotten good service from them. Originally made in San Antone, one of my old hometowns; they now have a factory in Del Rio.

      Can’t say as I’ve stood on ’em for a dozen hours a day doing the business, though. I never did find a shoe that spared my puppies the agony of de feet while marching around the concrete corridors of Interbike in Sin City. And I tried everything from sneaks with Superfeet to hiking boots with Vibram soles.

      • Dave Watts Says:

        I just found out that SAS has a store only 9 miles from me. I had never heard of them before. I might check that out. My arches are about the tallest anyone has ever seen, so shoes are difficult for me to find that work, hence the orthodics. Thanks!

  3. Opus the Poet Says:

    I have done likewise and worse on a throw rug. You have my sympathies.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The interior doors at El Rancho Pendejo are too narrow for a man with my swaggering style of locomotion, which can be heavy on the “loco.” The bedroom doorway that did for my little piggie is only 30 inches wide, and some are even skinnier. Herself the Elder can’t get her walker through any of the bathroom doorways (24-inchers). And I’m forever banging an elbow on one jamb or another.

      • Opus the Poet Says:

        Mrs. the Poet has similar problems negotiating the doors to the loos since her back surgery and being forced to use a walker since March of 2020.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The skinny doors will be a problem as I continue to crumble into a pile of musty skin tags, ear hair, and bone splinters. But I guess we’ll all have electro-nucular flying orthpedic shoes here directly and can just float on through without the need for walkers.

  4. Shawn Says:

    Ain’t cussing fun! Especially when you find that your spatial orientation is off for only a moment. I hope that the toe(s) feel better soon.

    I had a similar although not so lengthy painful barefoot moment the other night. I also run around shod-less in the teepee and was up late opening doors and windows when the zero-dark-thirty air temp dropped into the 70’s. Of course I don’t want to affect my “go-back-to-sleep-fast” vision and normally don’t turn on any lights. As I was up our resident Japanese Chin super cool dog rolled out and I waddled over to the door to let him out. As I did so I remembered that he has been having some stomach issues which I was reminded of when I stepped down into something wet and squishy. The squishy type that is squishy enough to squeeze between the toes. &*$%^@##! I said as I placed my other foot into something also wet and squishing. Double crap! Not wanting to place smelly footsteps in the dark all over the carpet I decided to drop to my knees and hobble over to the nearest light switch to see the odorous damage. Yuk! After cleaning the feet and letting the dog out, I spent the next 20 minutes scrubbing the carpet. Fortunately after a visit to the vet and relieving myself of 500 plus green backs, the super dog is feeling fine and my midnight walks have been shitless.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ooo, been there and dung that. My sympathies. But is this your first mention of sharing quarters with a Japanese Chin? Herself still mourns the passing of the mighty Mister Boo, who was God’s gift to the veterinary profession, and we donate regularly to Colorado Japanese Chin Rescue.

      • Shawn Says:

        I’ve read well of your fine chap Mr. Boo and I believe I mentioned before about our Chen. He’s about 15 now and although he is mostly deaf and going blind, he still is as spry as a dog half his age. I need to watch out for when he wants to spring off of high places such as a bed or the seat of a car – He doesn’t always just jump down, he likes to jump up and outward and at his age that isn’t a good decision. I had my back to him last week when he leapt out of the minivan from a rear bucket seat out onto the concrete of our driveway. Yikes. He landed ok grazing his belly and chin and didn’t seem to be bothered by the jump but I can imagine the old bones were stressed.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        That’s exactly how The Boo used to launch off the back deck in B-burg when he was a sprightly middle-aged feller. He may have briefly gained altitude before hitting the grass for a couple high-speed laps around the yard. Thought he was Krypto the Superdog he did.

  5. JD Says:

    PO’G: At our ages, I’m pretty sure toe injuries are a gateway drug to hip, knee, et al injuries. Once you hit that slippery slope, or door jamb in this case, you’ll really wanna be “on your toes”. 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      As the flag notes, “It’s All Downhill from Here,” JD.

      I notice that every time I damage the undercarriage I develop other hitches in my gitalong, from a limp to a tender knee to the ever-popular back problems, as other parts of the organism pitch in to give the injured bit(s) a break.

      This is one reason I went back to trail running. I want to keep the carcass guessing. Also, I’ve started working on my balance after watching Herself stand casually first on one foot and then the other, like a heron, while brushing her teeth. It’s harder than it looks.

  6. Pat O’Brien Says:

    So, 3 days later, has the toe started to behave itself? Or, does its protest continue?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Paddy me lad, I took Friday and Saturday off, then did back-to-back 20-milers on the bike. Taped the piggy to its neighbor and tried to stick to low gears on flat to rolling terrain, and it didn’t feel turble bad.

      Put shoes on today for the first time since Thursday (been wearing Teva sandals indoors) and went for a half-hour trail walk, which felt a little less good. No actual pain, just some slight discomfort that could be attributed to the taped toes, the uneven surface, or the righteous vengeance of a mildly annoyed god.

      There’s some slight discoloration in the forefoot, but no heavy bruising, so who knows? Sprain, dislocation/relocation, owie-boo-boo, one a them things there. But I don’t expect to be running again for a while, dammit.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Glad to hear it! My back is much improved, butI have a tooth that is giving me trouble. Dentist examined then x rayed it and said nothing there that he can see. He said to give it a week to see if it improves. My buddy, who thinks like you sometimes (a compliment by the way) called it the pain de jour.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The back is the worstest. When mine flares up I’m absolutely miserable. But yup, at our age it’s not if something’s gonna hurt but how many things and how much.

        I’m starting to wonder whether I should consider getting back into swimming. But I dislike gyms, and swimming is so repetitive. The scenery never changes. It’s the same 25 meters, over and over and over again.

        • Shawn Says:

          Yeah, the two dimensional aspect of swimming is the boredom that I face. I much prefer open swimming and descending down into the deep end repetitively and trying to hold my breath for the length of the pool. But that kind of behavior is typically frowned on during lap swimming. Although swimming laps in an outdoor pool isn’t too bad. I think it has to do with the sunlight shining down into the water.

          I’m glad to hear about your toe(s). I’ll crack open a beer this evening and toes-t your improving health.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Mos def you need to add the up and down to the back and forth if you’re to avoid going mad in the pool. I was on various swim teams for years in Texas and Colorado and getting off course somehow was a must. See how far you could swim underwater. Sink to the bottom and sit there. Corral a few friends and do some long-distance relay swim at night, with everybody doing 200m legs to forestall poolside boredom. Jump off the 10-meter platform if they have one (the Air Force Academy does; that is one awesome pool).

        • khal spencer Says:

          I enjoyed swimming in the ocean. We lived near Hanauma Bay and one could swim and snorkel with the fishes (rather than sleep with them). Plus, the salt water was easier for me to swim in as in those days I didn’t have much body fat and would sink in fresh water.

          I took a permanent dislike to pools in the 10th Grade. There was so much chlorine in our high school pool that I got sick every swim day. Making matters worse was I swam like a cement block and took in a lot of chlorinated water.

          Of course PE swim class was right before 10th Grade Geometry class. I would alternatively get mildly nauseous or just not be able to stay awake. Miss Diggins took it personally. Worst grade in my high school career. And I’m actually pretty good with geometry and trig, when I am not trying to avoid upchucking chlorinated water.

          Hope the toe is better. I’m about ready for a nap. Just did Le Beeg Hill up here.

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