I’m Just Saying: The agony of da feet

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 11, 2018

I’ve always thought one of the most enticing physical attributes a woman has is her dainty, elegant feet, pedicured with nails painted a subtle, pleasing shade.

They’re so youthful, so sexy, slipped into kitten heels or simply barefoot in the grass.

Which is why I have always despaired over my own honkin’ trotters.

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I have big feet. Appallingly big, ugly feet. Feet whose shoes could double as kayaks.

But to be clear, my canned Spams are free of bunions and hammer toes or any of those crippling defects resulting from trying to wedge ones feet into pointy-toed pumps a size too small. What makes a toddler (as well as its mother) stare in horror at my flippers should I dare to wear anything open-toed while waiting in the check-out line, is the fact that I’m missing part of the big toe on my left foot (from a particularly violent dodge ball game in junior high. You think I’m kidding? I’m lucky to be alive.), along with the toenail.

Lee’s “press on nails” never worked. Neither did their other, cheaper line that I tried, Lee’s “press on bust,” but that’s another story for after the kiddies are in bed.

Add to this partial mutilation that I’ve had horses since I was 8, and, like every other horse owner on the planet, been stepped on several times resulting in each toe being broken at least once, along with an ankle.

Then there was the time I had X-rays taken for another injury and after scanning the films, the doctor drily commented, “It’s amazing you can walk at all considering how badly your last fracture was set.”

“Which fracture?’’

‘‘This one,” he said, pointing to a thick, fuzzy line on the film.

“Huh, I didn’t know about that one,” I replied, frowning.

“How could you not know?’’ He was incredulous. “It was displaced.’’

“Yeah, well,” I answered, scratching my head. “I remember getting stomped on and it taking about a year before I could lace up a shoe on that foot. That was probably it.”

Just when I thought they couldn’t look any worse, a week ago, I stepped barefoot out onto our front deck and promptly felt a wooden splinter the size of a celery stalk impale the ball of my right foot, near the pinky toe.

This is an excellent time to point out that the best part of living on a large piece of acreage is that you can cuss at the top of your lungs for as long as you need to without offending anyone. I plopped down on the stoop and immediately pulled the thing out, which resulted in more therapeutic shrieks of colorful language.

As usual, I raided my substantial first aid kit. In the barn. Tossing aside the paste wormers and banamine (for colic), I saturated a sterile gauze pad with Betadine, cleaned the wound, applied Bag Balm, as one does, then wrapped my foot and tried to walk it off. For a week.

By day six, the throbbing was unceasing and I was hobbling about doing chores on my heel. It was clear an infection had taken hold.

My doctor, with the patience of a saint, squeezed me in and I laid back, gnawing my knuckle as she opened, drained and packed it. Cellulitis, she pointed out, was already showing in my toes and that can spread quickly.

With a prescription for antibiotics, I limped out, trailing Paul, who had kept his eyes screwed shut in horror during the entire ordeal.

It’s easy to forgive the assistant who showed me into the procedure room and helped me onto the table. Slipping off my flip flops, she glanced down at my lumpy, sized-10 double wide, and gasped, “Goodness, your poor foot!”

“It’s the other one, actually, that’s hurt.”

Because them are some big, ugly feet…