Ugly shoes might be my saviour . . .

As the next step in my attempt to reclaim my old, pre hospital, life (or, at least, escape the one forced upon me by a malign fate), I’ve ordered a pair of ugly shoes.


In fairness, they’re ugly because function dictates form, and they’re designed to open up fully, as shown, to accommodate swollen and bandaged feet – i.e., mine. There is a closed-toe version, but that’s even uglier and the closure is clearly an afterthought.


That’s in the case of this model – some styles they seem to have worked hard at uglifying for no good reason.

This is the fabric slipper version they also do suede or leather shoe versions, but I figured that fabric, being softer, would be less likely to further damage the fragile skin around my ankles/heels than the leather variants.

There’s still the problem with the fact that my feet and legs still leak considerably, a problem that can be ameliorated if we can stop my GP fucking up the prescriptions for my dressings. It won’t go away entirely, however, so what I propose doing is cutting part of the legs off a pair of waterproof trousers and making them into waterproof socks which can then be hidden away under a light bandage. They’ll also help contain the stink, as will a healthy dose of deodorant on the bandages (though, mercifully, this is diminishing).

They’ll be delivered on Monday and, if I can persuade the nurses to get here early(ish) on Tuesday, I can be out to the pub at lunch time. One of the problems with chronic illness, like ME, is that while the rest of the world socialises at night, by then I’m a basket case. So I have to take my pleasures when I can, which is during whatever window I have for activity, usually around midday and into the afternoon. However, the prospects for social intercourse, or the more fun kind, at that time of day are pretty minimal, as the other punters tend to be old farts,** the unemployed, young mothers with babies, a few more who are chronically sick and, for the most part, guys.

**Yes, I know that technically I’m an old fart too, but I don’t look it,** I don’t feel it, and if I start buying my clothes from Chums, wearing cardigans, Hush Puppies, or anything beige, you have my full permission to shoot me! Getting old is a lot more than simple chronology.

**If you’re wondering, now I’m recovering and regaining weight, I look more like my avi photo again, but slimmer. The animated corpse look is history.

9 thoughts on “Ugly shoes might be my saviour . . .

  1. oh dear. I SO misread “social intercourse”. That would have to be one heck of a liberal pub. 😉
    Hope you manage to get out.

  2. Things could be worse; you could be a woman who has had to wear Ugly Shoes or nowt for 30 years! LOL Let me tell you, nothing quite finishes of a wedding outfit like men’s trainers…
    On a more serious note, I would not recommend using the waterproofs. Anything which holds the moisture into the bandages &, therefore, your skin is Bad News. They would also make you sweaty which would exacerbate things. My advice would be thicker bandaging for the times you’re wanting to be out & about. Also the deodorant – avoid! You can buy Hibiscrub in Pharmacies which is excellent for keeping bacteria & the associated smell away. Gently wash your legs with it before dressing them. Are you doing any kind of skincare? Even good old Aqueous cream slathered on (gently!) every day will help maintain skin integrity.

    • Having already ruined a £100 pair of walking boots (all I could wear when mobile after lightning fried my feet), plus several other sets of footwear including slippers (whatever’s in lymphatic fluid, it sets like concrete! Well, mine does, anyway. Whatever the risks, containing the crap – and it’s only for a couple of hours – is essential (and the material I’m using is breathable). Of course, it wouldn’t be necessary if my GP didn’t keep screwing up the Flivasorb scripts. The stuff retains leakage for 24 hours if applied properly.

      Most of the fabric shoes are machine-washable, but this style isn’t, god knows why, and it’s the only style that will accommodate my dressings/bandages.

      The deodorant doesn’t go on my legs, but on the outside of the bandages, which worked quite well when the stink was so bad it even offended me.

      Legs/feet are soaked in potassium permanganate solution – the only thing which inhibits the leaks – then coated with Hydromol cream and dressed. That’s also the only combo which stops the itching! The pain I can live with, the itch came close to tipping me over the edge.

      And here’s something weird. Now the swelling has gone. it’s clear that my left leg’s tib & fib have developed a pronounced curve. Can’t see that in the literature! It’s possible it’s always been that way, and radical muscle loss is now showing it up. Don’t think so, though – I’d have noticed, especially as I was seriously underweight until my late teens.

      Plan is to Doppler my left leg and get it into compression next week if the improvement is maintained, though doing my right leg is weeks, if not months away. It’s improving, but painfully (literally), slowly.

  3. Oh and coming back to the “ugliness” factor, I eventually settled on a pair of boots so the extension strap was as far back as possible. I realise this may never be possible for you but as and when you may be able to progress to shoes there might be some “styles” (ha!) where the strap is further back than others.
    This is then coupled with a slow change in wardrobe of replacing all my trousers with long pairs. I am not a tall person but sitting in a wheelchair all day is very different to having to walk. I like having trousers which really do cover my legs properly and don’t ride up and show my ankles. So I now buy “long” or even “extra long”. The added advantage is that this covers most of the shoe and the only part you can see is the part covering the toes and top of the foot, which looks just like any other shoe. Ok, I admit it may not be the height of fashion, but at least no longer ugly!

    • Not been able to wear shoes since I was struck by lightning (fried my feet). I can wear only walking boots, and then only one brand and style. They’re supportive, well padded, and protect me from the ground (the fatty pads in my soles were melted, and never really recovered so, basically, all that’s between the bones of my feet and the outside world is skin and a thin layer of muscle. It’s a bit like walking on a shingle beach – forever.

      Intriguingly, the Cosyfeet women’s boots are identical to the men’s – they really don’t put any thought into styling, do they?

      Regardless of what happens to my legs, if my feet and ankles go down enough to wear walking boots again, I’ll be a lot more comfortable, though not necessarily more mobile if my left leg is typical – the muscle loss the receding swelling has revealed is, er, dramatic, let’s say. Horrendous is a good word too. No wonder I can’t stand for more than a short time. The bones, tib and fib, have taken on a strange and worrying curvature too.

  4. After my amputation the dressings had to be done a couple of times a day. They couldn’t wash around the wound but they did a quick sterile soaked pad whip around, then re-dressed and all went well. I was terrified of getting any infection at all so as well as being on a strong dose of antibiotics I still wanted the dressings done more often than I actually got!
    When I went for my limb fitting I had to take three pairs of shoes/trainers with me – they chose the white Adidas trainers and my heart sank. I’m a woman, I’ve just had my right lower leg amputated and they wanted me to wear trainers for the rest of my life? After learning to walk again (hobble at first) they discharged me and after two weeks of puffing and panting, losing breath so badly and the fact that I have carpal tunnel in both hands, I got hubby to take off the trainer on my false leg and stopped wearing the trainers. (Hubby had to do it as I cannot abide to look at the “foot”, even though it has a sock on, which again hubby has to do as I just don’t do feet, ‘specially false ones. I ended up wearing my crocs again as they are the only thing that I had really been able to walk in for years. I then ordered myself some new crocs and felt like a new woman 🙂 When I had to go back to the limb unit I was greeted with a frown from my prosthetist who then tried and tried to take off the crocs by just thinking he could. I now wear my crocs everywhere. I have a separate pair for the house as I cannot wear slippers, and I have another 4 different pairs for going out 🙂 I even have winter crocs, I did have them before but they didn’t have the back straps on so I can’t use those. I’ve also found that my foot has gone up a size as all my life I have been a size 3, now I am a size 4.

    • I’d guess you’re putting more weight on your foot, causing it to spread, hence the size change. There’s 26 or so bones in the foot, and even a tiny spread between them mounts up to something significant.

      My right leg, right now, is as bad as ever, leaking prodigiously and the pain is huge – something has gone badly wrong. I know what needs to be done, but the nurses are just farting about and hoping for the best. The only good thing is that the leak stops in bed, otherwise it’d be awash by morning.

  5. Jaypot you are so right :-)…yes yes to Crocs…I own A few pairs of summer and winter crocs, worn them for years…lifesavers, or more to the point foot and leg savers 🙂
    Ron, you can wash Crocs, they exercise the foot, having a nobbly innersole, they are spongy to walk on, with a back strap which can be used or turned back. I cannot have anything restricting on my feet, which are ultra sensitive, and chronically painful, but Crocs are fine.
    Winter Crocs with soft warm lining, can be removed for washing….
    I even have a pair with silver content for antibacterial properties…try a pair, Amazon sell them cheaply….”Jellyegg” online is a croc specialist shop in wales They have the best selection.
    I must sound like I own shares in Crocs, but they are the only footwear I can handle….
    Oh Jaypot, try Jellyegg for spare back straps….
    And the cleaner for Crocs, is Croc butter 🙂 all humour and comfort
    Good luck Ron…..keep on trucking!

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