Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pronation, Orthotics and Shoe Repair



Today I went to see an orthopedist as I was having ankle pain. Apparently I pronate, have chronic shin splints and maybe anterior impingement syndrome. In other words I need orthopedic shoes. The doctor asked if I wanted to start with over-the-counter orthotics (i.e. shoe inserts) or go straight for the prescription. Let’s see, shoe inserts or grandma shoes, inserts or grandma shoes ...hmmmm, tough decision but I went with inserts; mainly because I didn’t have an accompanying matriarchal wardrobe. I may be into knitting, sewing and baking but I’m not into knee high pantyhose (sorry Grandma)!

And speaking of geriatric. I also have bunions. Bunions! My big toes have always pointed in giving me trademark overlapping toes. But what I didn’t realize is this condition has a name; a technical scientific name - bunions! Oh sweetie my bunions are killing me; how perfectly elderly. For now I’ll stick with overlapping toes.

I left the orthopod in search of Superfeet. To the tune of forty-dollars I now own a lovely set of berry-colored insoles which will move from shoe to shoe. They sure beat the alternative.

I am also supposed to wear shoes with a raised heel. Not high heels mind you - those aren’t good for my toes - but shoes with a thick raised heel. I own a pair of those shoes - my danskos. But my danskos are broken and I wasn’t ready to spend another hundred dollars.

So I went to a local shoe repair shop. Surprisingly there was a line. Classical music was playing in the background, dusty shoe molds were hanging on the wall and an ancient sewing machine was whirling in the background. The place reminded me of a creepy old music shop. Don’t be silly I told myself as I studied the line of shoes that had been repaired. Slowly I began to puff up, chest out and shoulders high. In our disposable society it was great to see folks restoring footwear. I was a member of this group. I didn’t care if the place was creepy - I was proud to be there waiting in line. After ten minutes the repair man came out with a restored purse. He stared at me and said harshly, “I’m not accepting new customers. I’m booked through November.”

“Oh,” I said meekly and to my surprise my eyes teared up. My bubble had burst. I’d been denied access to an exclusive club. I couldn’t wear the golden slipper (or ailing dansko). I was unworthy. Those people, they were the chosen ones. I was not.

Shoulders schlumped and shoes held tightly against my chest I turned and left. I had planned a celebratory trip to the health food store but couldn’t bear it. I wanted to be alone. Then I remembered - I’d seen a new shoe repair shop just off the parkway - New Beginnings Shoe Repair.

I found it easily, parked then hesitated. What if I was denied again? They’re just shoes I told my hormonal self as I sucked in a deep breath and went through the door. A bell rang and a machine stopped. This place was clean, dust-free. A kindly gentleman came to the counter. Yes, he said, my shoes could be repaired. And he could polish them too. I exhaled remembering to breathe. My shoes could be fixed. They’d look brand new and be done tomorrow. Sweet relief. I didn’t need the nasty shoe guy who probably lived at the Bates Motel. I was accepted. I was part of the club. My shoes and my life will be given New Beginnings.

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Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness . . . . sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted.”

--Paul Johannes Tillich

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Not that I'm in great pain - I'm simply hormonal and found that quote fitting; kinda like my new old shoes.

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As I finished writing this New Beginnings Shoe Repair called - my danskos are finished - today! I’m going to pick them up now.

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I hope today each and every one of you feels acceptance today. Here's to New Beginnings!

3 comments:

The WoodLand School said...

I, too, over-pronate (hubba hubba!) ... I'm sure inserts will be the next step.

Enjoy your newly repaired shoes : )

Begin - writing, yoga, and more said...

Hi Shalet!

I like your blog!! Especially the quotes.

I'm glad you got your shoes. Nobody should be denied footwear! Good for you for perservering!

Marie

palani said...

Just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

Orthotics