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Just in time for Halloween: the Frankenboot.
That’s right. For the next four weeks, I am sporting that most glamorous in medical orthopedic fashion: the stability boot.
For all of you young’uns who have nary a health problem in the world and think those Forever 21 stilettos won’t someday give you baseball sized bunions, let me explain: It’s the bulky, black, Velcro strapped boot that you’ll find on people after they’ve had foot surgery or injuries. It is all the rage among Frankenstein impersonators, ski boot enthusiasts and fashionista Yetis.
Ironically, it was an ill conceived attempt to be a fashionista in the first place that landed me in these boots in the first place. I wear heels about once a decade, and had decided to dust off some high heeled sandals for slacks I hadn’t gotten around to hemming yet. I was walking along the sidewalk thinking how tall and willowy I must look when I hit a rough patch in the concrete. My foot rolled over and promptly inflated to the size of a prize Virginia ham.
Within a couple of days, the foot seemed better. But in the weeks that followed, it frequently swelled up like a premenstrual blowfish. Eventually, I wound up seeing a podiatrist, who confirmed that I indeed had a small fracture in one of the 40 gobjillion bones that comprise the human foot.
“We will need to stabilize it,” he said. Translation: Welcome to Boris Karloff’s closet.
Since then, I’ve experienced quite the learning curve. Everything takes longer. Activities that used to be effortless like walking down stairs or driving a car become challenges. The first time I tried to drive with the boot on, I almost rear ended a police cruiser. Imagine THAT ticket: Driving Under the Influence of Jimmy Hoffa’s shoes. No wonder Frankenstein insisted on walking everywhere.
Lately, I’ve started changing into regular shoes to drive (which, of course, adds to the amount of time it takes me to get anywhere). After the trip, I have to heh, heh reboot.
My dog is terrified. I don’t blame her. When walking on hardwood floors, my right foot sounds like a pile driver. I have to do a lot of explaining to everyone I meet. (It’s too embarrassing to admit what really happened, so I just tell them that it’s the price one pays for being a decathlete.) And I had to search for an equal height shoe on my left foot so I didn’t resemble Long John Silver.
But for now, I prefer to focus on the bright side. There are advantages, such as:
The kindness of strangers: People feel sorry for you, which means they let you go in front of them in the grocery line and hold doors for you.
You don’t have to look cute. It’s pretty much impossible to look stylish in medical UGGs. That means you can get away with yoga pants at work and less than perfect hair. I have completely given up on wearing makeup, as I feel looking pale helps to ratchet up my “help this poor lady by volunteering to put her shopping cart away” vibe even more.
You can kill bugs. Pest control is effortless when you wear industrial strength spider killers.
You become part of a community: Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his doctor prescribed footwear. I really am not alone in my boot scooting boogie. There must be an epidemic of sprained ankles, torn tendons and fractured phalanges out there, because every 20th person I meet seems to be clomping around in homely black boots.