The feeling starts below the backside of my rib cage. My back aches and my sides are tight. The discomfort moves up my back to my shoulders where knuckle-sized knots have made their home. I’m tense all over. The pain spreads out along my upper arms and all the while continues up my neck and then to what seems like a grand finish at the back of my head with a headache.
Three months ago I went to my doctor to talk about this aggravating ending in my head and I learned that my headache is a direct result of a fifteen-hour day in stilettos. The feeling may start in my back, but the damage painlessly begins at my toes, which I now cannot feel.
This tortuous fifteen-hour-day I refer to was initiated by a demanding bride whose aim was to have five glamorous bridesmaids.
I wonder if I will still look glamorous with only four real toes.
I justified the $400 purchase from Christian Dior for this one time event because the shoes were cute. The shoes were gold and did have gemstones. If I had known then that I’d lose a toe and five grand over it I might not have been so agreeable and fought harder for the $90 pair of NineWest shoes. If I had known then that my future involved a lifetime of closed toe shoes and short-term financial ruin I might have voted for the $50 pair of Mudds.
The day at the wedding and half of the night at the reception I sported the gorgeous pumps with style. But it’s true, later that night I became that cliché bridesmaid. I had my glass of wine in one hand and the straps of my shoes hanging off my fingertips of the other hand. I’m not proud of these moments certainly captured in photos, but the whole situation was motivated by my throbbing and aching feet. When the clock struck midnight, and after the encouragement of the bride’s mother, I put the shoes back on my sore feet and limped back to my hotel room.
Things changed at this moment. The throbbing and aching in the ball of my right foot was replaced by a strange tingling sensation that ran from my toes to my knee. I blamed it on the wine.
A few hours later when I woke from my stupor I stood up to realize I could no longer feel the bottom of my right foot or the tips of all five toes. I inspected the bottom of my feet and discovered blisters and the beginning of calluses like I’ve never seen before. At this moment I opened the sliding glass door of my hotel room and threw the gorgeous gold and gemstone stilettos over the balcony and into the pool. As I watched the shoes tumble to their end, I couldn’t help but notice my toe-prints on the gold fabric.
Now, three months later, after a few visits to my podiatrist I still have not regained the ever-so-delightful feeling of my baby toe. The thought of missing a body part had never occurred to me until the moment my doctor handed me a Q&A pamphlet on toe reduction.
You say: So what? It is just a little piggy. But I say: It’s my little piggy and I want it to come home with me.
But, as it turns out, my little piggy is blue and is not coming home with me after all. So here I am in my podiatrist’s office looking at a catalog of prosthetic toes and learning that of all my options a plastic toe without a toenail is the most economical purchase. If I buy now, it’s only $4,500.
Toenails are extra.