Thursday, July 19, 2012

Here Grumphy, This One's for You

When you've been walking the Camino for the past 30 days (or is it 31?), and getting your blisters pierced by needles which deposit threads in the middle of them, you might just need some serious foot care when you get home. So, here you go.



I love the last bullet point: Finally giving women the beauty of wearing open toe shoes without shame. Well now, I know that's something that I lie awake in bed worrying about, and I'm sure that all you women out there do too.

This reminds me of a story. Shortly after my son told me that he was going to get married, I noticed that I had this little black dot underneath the left side of my right toe nail.  I didn't worry too much about it, and figured I must have dropped something on it since my life is just one long, painful battle with gravity. But about a week later, I noticed I had an identical black dot underneath the right side of my left toe nail. I thought this might call for a visit to the dermatologist.

Well, the dermatologist looked at it, and he called his partner in, and she looked at it, and said that it might be melanoma, and I could go have a biopsy, or I could wait a month and see what happened. I chose the former. So, I sat on the edge of the examining table with my feet dangling and the doctor rolled up on a stool that was really close to the ground and looked pretty uncomfortable for a guy that was over 6' tall. He had a sort of basset houndish face, and after he examined my toes, he rolled back a bit, folded his hands between his knees, bowed his head and assumed a lugubrious expression. He observed a moment of silence.

Uh-oh, I thought, this doesn't look too good. I said, "You don't look very happy," and he said, "Well, it's not a happy thing." Oh dear. After a bit he continued, "These spots could be melanoma, but it's pretty rare and I've never seen that before, but the only way to be sure is to remove part of your toenails, and they won't ever look right again." Ha, I was thinking that I was going to have to attend my son's wedding posthumously. and he was worried that I might not be able to wear open-toed shoes! I told him that I really wasn't all that concerned with having perfect toenails, and he said, "Yes, but you don't want to look like a monster."

Sometimes I sit and try to imagine what someone would have to do to your toenails to make you look like a monster--something so dreadful that it couldn't be hidden by a pair of Keds. Well, whatever that might be, it didn't happen to me and as far as I can see, once the nails grew out they looked just about like they did before--not especially lovely, but a far cry from monstrous. And it wasn't melanoma either, which was a nice bonus.

I never really had any intention of attending Michael's wedding in open-toed shoes, by the way. I had some heels for the wedding, and some flats to change into for the reception. For driving to the reception, I brought some black, canvas Keds flats with a gros grain bow on the toes held on by big black buttons, and I forgot to take them off when I got there. I think I remembered while Michael and I were having our mother/son dance, and after that I figured why change and be uncomfortable. It's a good thing my dress was long.

AMDG

15 comments:

  1. yes, Lisa, the ´traditional treatment´for blisters on the camino, which one sees dozens of people doing night by night in the pilgrim hostels, is dipping a piece of thread in savlon and then sewing the thread through the blister then knotting it up.

    I had a nice pedicure before I left the US, but now my feet look as terrible as the rest of me. Thanks for the advert! If I lived anywhere nearby I might take advantage of it.

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  2. That was me, Grumphy, btw

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  3. Sign on the wall in the Pedrouzo albergue; ´Do Not Bandage Youn Wounds Over the Beds´(sic) Grumphy

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  4. Do you have something that will take a picture?

    AMDG

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  5. No. When I had tendonitis before and in Burgos I sent back my sandals and bought some trainers, and in the same parcel, I sent back my camera. That´s why my fb remarks are so boring - no pics! I sent back my camera because the physiotherapists couldn´t do anything for the foot, really, and I figured I must lighten the load by dispensing with all but essentials. I have never had a smart phone, which is what everyone these days seems to be taking photos on. I have an old fashioned Nokia. In planning this trip, I decided between an Iphone and a kindle and bought a Kindle. I can read and prepare for my classes on it, and it costs 79 dollars not 400 dollars, so if and when I lose it somewhere I have lost 79 dollars not 400 dollars. Grumphy

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  6. 18 Km. I was going to say, ´my life is a constant battle against my own absent mindedness´ but from your Keds story, it sounds like yours is too! I am getting up reasonably early, about 5, and walking in, God willing, about 9. That sounds like a long time to walk 18 km, but Monte de Gozo stands inbetween, and it is really steep, or so I remember it from last year.

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  7. Anonymous, do you have a blog? I would love to read about blog and accompanying blisters.

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  8. Well, Grumphy, I guess that means you will getting up in about half an hour. I will say a prayer for you before I go to bed, and I guess you'll be there when I wake up. That's exciting!

    AMDG

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  9. Got here 9.25. Thanks so much for all your prayers.

    I don´t have a blog, I just constantly interrupt the conversation here and at Light on Dark Water.

    Walked in barefoot from when I could see Santiago from Monte de Gozo to the Compostella office. That was a cool end to an awesome pilgrimage!

    Grumphy

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  10. It's hardly an interruption. It's been a real blessing for me. I am about to commemorate your arrival.

    AMDG

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  11. Of course, monster toes would be a welcomed sight at Halloween.

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  12. Bill, speaking of Halloween you should see my left foot now. The blisters have gone black and green after the barefoot walk!
    Thanks very much for the commemorative photo, Janet. Grumphy, Santiago

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