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Something was very wrong with my left foot. And I think it had to do with wearing cheap crappy tennis shoes with no arch support. I spent the whole summer with severe, unrelenting foot pain. I gotta say, when the feet ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. First we thought it was plantar fasciitis, a painful shortening of the tendon along the arch. Podiatrists can thank the flip-flop fad for their booming plantar fasciitis biz amongst teens. I went to the first podiatrist, who gave me some stretching exercises and suggested icing it as well. And gave me some vicodin Rx, which barely touched the pain. The ice helped a little, temporarily. But the minute i stepped on my foot, even for a second, i was in pain for the next couple hours, until about a half hour after i got off it and elevated it. It really didn't seem worth it to step on it for any reason at all- even to go to the bathroom. My kingdom for a toilet sofa! Turns out, according to the 2nd podiatrist, it is Morton's neuroma. which also means inflammation and constant pain in the bottom of my left foot- the ball of my foot and my toes, including under the nails. Morton's neuroma usually happens to women who wear high heels. I don't wear high heels- or flip flops- or high-heeled flip flops (not making that up, they exist), but I did recently get a pair of sneakers that look extremely cool but didn't quite fit my left foot correctly, and don't have any support for my high arches. (But they looked cool...) I finally got a little relief at the acupuncturist and then on the way home buying some aspirin. I didn't want shots of cortisone in my foot because cortisone thins bones, and foot bones are already thin. I spent June of 2005 walking around with my foot in a Darth Vaderesque walking boot and once was enough. (anybody want to buy a well-loved walking boot for a left foot?) I couldn't take Advil because of a history of kidney problems. I wouldn't get cortisone shots. Narcotics weren't even touching the pain. But they were working, if your goal is to be groggy and constipated. Finally it occurred to me that aspirin was not forbidden for me. So my doctor wrote my a prescription for heavy duty aspirin (Saulsalate- sounds yummy. It's not). I took so much of it I started to lose my hearing! OMG! I remembered Rush Limbaugh- he lost his hearing taking a narcotic that is cut with aspirin and had to get a cochlear implant. My podiatrist kept trying to get my insurance to pay for an MRI which held things up. FInally we went forward without one, just using ultrasound (why didn't we do this first?) and he gave me shots of dehydrated alcohol. How do you dehydrate alcohol? I don't know and I don't care, because it worked well enough that Joe and I could finally go take those ballroom dace lessons we had signed up for at the beginning of the summer. I got 2 shots and that took care of about 90% of it. The shots are supposed to break up the neuroma, as opposed to just reducing inflammation temporarily (which cortisone does when it's not busy eating your bones). And at least for now (until I'm foolish enough to forget), I resolve that cheap shoes (and shoes that make me look cheap- e.g., high heels) are not worth the price. My inserts, which cost more than my "cool" sneakers, are now in my old "uncool" sneakers. And my cool sneakers still look really cool- in the trash can. That was the most expensive pair of cheap shoes I'll ever buy. My new motto: If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.

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