I haven’t cried due to foot pain until today. The 4th toe on my right foot is reshaping and it is excruciatingly painful. I don’t recall dealing with this much pain since my shoulder surgery rehab in 2004, when the sadist therapists would manually stretch my arm all the way back over my head after having kept it in a sling for a few weeks, tearing tissues and making space. PTs are like carnies, I’ve decided. They start to get a little twisted hearing people scream all day.
Anyway, I have been applying more ball of the foot pressure when I walk to stimulate more arch development, and my 4th toe is beginning to have to activate. It appears that the 4th toe is like the ring finger: the weakest of the series. It is the most bent/deformed of all my toes, hence its needing the biggest structural change post-shoe.
That toe was the reason I stopped wearing shoes. It cried out to me that it was being squished sideways when I started walking more ball-heavy in my ballerina flats. I knew it needed more room, and I had ignored it for 32 years and let it grow cramped.
This is a really emotional process. I have to suffer the painful reshaping of my bones/joints, but I feel so compassionate in the process. I feel like I am finally caring for my feet, and not taking their work nor pain signals for granted. I feel like I am developing a relationship with my feet. We are getting to know one another and appreciate each other. I feel sorry for them. I tell them I’m sorry when they scream at me while restructuring. I think of all the other toes in the world who are not getting this loving attention and it makes me sad. We’ll get through this together, and in the end we’ll have 10 beautiful, functional toes, and sexy, gracefully curved arches.