Tuesday, June 03, 2008


They are huge and black and strapped to the bottom of his feet. You see them, often, worn by a certain type of middle aged women who like to hike. He looks down at them and laughs. But we are both thrilled by them, even though they look like they weigh 70 pounds. Orthopedic sandels, who'd have thought.

Several weeks ago when I wrote about the pain Joe was experiencing with his feet, we got a note from an old friend, Susan Ludwig, about an orthopedic kind of place in Newmarket that she recommended Joe go for appraisal. Apparently it might be possible to avoid painful surgery by an accurate assessment of his feet and the provision of the appropriate support. Susan knows whereof she speaks so we took her advice seriously and made an appointment. Our doctor looked a bit skeptical figuring that surgery was the route to go ... but the wait list is long and Joe's pain was immediate.

So yesterday Joe had his appointment. He's been popping pain pills like one of the divas in the Valley of the Dolls so we were both pleased that he had the appointment. I wanted to go with him but I hadn't been to the office for three weeks so I decided to go in and wait for his call. To be honest I've been really worried about all this, the idea of surgery for Joe scares me deeply. Surgery for me is no big deal, I can cope with that - but any threat to him causes me profound fear. I waited and hoped.

"I feel no pain," were the first words he said. Then he described his visit and the horrid black sandels ... but for the first time in a long time he was walking entirely without pain. Neither one of us had any real faith that this would work, but you trust your friends. I hung up the phone thrilled.

We stopped at a grocery store on the way home because I had to make a vat of chili for a pot luck at work and as I pushed myself through the store I got separated from Joe who had gone to look for the secret ingredient in our chili (no I won't tell, it's secret). You know how you recognize someone you know well, at a distance, from their gait? Well, Joe no longer limped. I'm going to have to get used to a whole new cadence in his walk. Cool.

So, I've got my wheelchair, Joe's got huge utilitarian sandels, and we're both still moving through the world.

Thank heavens for adapted shoes, chairs with wheels and friends with good advice.

(Susan if you are reading this could you drop us an email, I've misplaced your address.)


lina said...

Do they at least come in different colours! (you knew I would have to comment!!)
Great news Joe!

liz said...


andrea said...

Being faceblind, I use gait a LOT! That would really throw me for a loop, the Joe-no-longer-limps part. But I'm so glad to hear about it. May or may not prevent the need for surgery, but at least it sounds like things won't worsen!


Anonymous said...

Regarding the comment that your doctor was skeptical . . . if the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem looks a lot like a nail. I'm so happy for Joe - for the improvement in his quality of life. I'm so happy for you - for the relief you must feel. I have sent an e-mail as well.

e said...


i work in a pharmacy, have put on some 'extra baggage' with the extra years, and TOTALLY can relate to the foot/leg pain!

They have those coil-in-the-heel shoes in the states, and everyone i've chatted with that wears them...RAVES about them.

The only reason i haven't been to check them out?? the looks.

I guess that means i'm handling the pain better than I thought...thanks JOE!

i won't worry about it the way they look any longer!

I am kicking myself for being awol from the blog site! I'm in southern missouri, and would have made my way to tenneessee had i known you were there! Kathy T has faboulous things to say about you!

Do you list your tours? Is there anyway we could get hold of a schedule?


e & molly kate

Shan said...

Susan, I love that quote. I'm going to steal it sometime.

SO GLAD Joe has no pain.

Rosemar said...

I have several pairs of those ugly shoes, but I LOVE them! They maybe clunky, but the pain relief is worth it. Hooray!!

Ask A Life Coach! said...

what is the brand, please?