A Shoe Story (Part 2)


My RAD first presented itself in my wrists. Later, it moved to my feet, with a vengeance. Though it is now mostly under control with weekly methotrexate and Enbrel, I do still get the occasional flare. For me, this usually means very sore and painful wrists and feet, swelling, morning stiffness, and all-encompassing, is-this-what-having-mono-is-like fatigue.

I recently came back from an incredible two-week trip to Southeast Asia. (Side note: not needing to keep my Enbrel refrigerated was a lifesaver.) But the best part about the trip was, despite long days walking many miles (I think I hit 10 miles one day in Bangkok and probably a comparable amount at Angkor Wat), I only experienced swollen, sore feet, not a full-blown flare.

The return jet lag has been pretty rough and I think it wore my body down. I was exhausted and sleeping every chance I could get for about a week. I was finally feeling more like myself. Until Thursday.

Last Thursday, I felt the inkling that something was stewing. My feet were just a little more swollen and sore than they ought to have been. I decided to go for a short run anyway, because I’m still the worst at figuring out when to rest and when to push.

Then Friday came and my feet were so sore and stiff getting out of bed that I almost fell over. I combated it with a long shower and an outfit designed to incorporate comfortable Crocs Mary Janes, which were a half-size too big to accommodate for swelling.

Halfway through my 3/4 mile walk to the office, I felt blisters forming in addition to my already aching feet. I hobbled through.

Come lunch, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I spent my lunch break shopping for a new, more comfortable pair of shoes at a nearby store. My feet were so swollen, most the shoes in my size didn’t fit (including flip-flops!). I wound up with well-insulated Reef slip-ons.

I was invited to post-work food and drinks with co-workers, which I achingly accepted. A glass of wine did make me feel a whole lot better.

Afterward, I stubbornly wanted to have a fun night out with my boyfriend. I hung for a couple hours until I just snapped. “I’m going home,” I announced, starting to cry. Of course to him, this appeared bat shit crazy, but all I knew was that if I had to spend one more second in any sort of footwear, I was gonna scream.

We talked outside and I explained myself. That sounds way more graceful than it was…I actually whined through my tears about my feet and my frustration and how I just really, really needed to be home.

“I wore my ugly Crocs because I knew it would be a rough day and they’re supposed to be comfortable, but they attacked me with blisters! My feet were too swollen to fit into flip flops that were a size too big! Flip flops!” I lamented, my boyfriend trying hard to understand how shoes, yes shoes, could bring his otherwise composed, mature girlfriend to tears. (Of course this is the moment a friend walks by, but I didn’t have the energy to explain, so I assume she thinks we were having some terrible fight).

I got home and soaked my feet, but that didn’t stop this flare from stealing my whole weekend. It was all I could do to leave the couch Saturday for a lunch date with the bf. Today has been equally sore and exhausting. I’m sincerely hoping tomorrow treats me better.

Interested in more tales of shoes driving me utterly mad? Check out A Shoe Story Part 1.

  1. #1 by Kristan on July 18, 2014 - 3:47 am

    I’m so sorry that you’re having shoe struggles again. And that you cried in public–crying in public is one of the things I have been wanting to write about, because it’s unpredictable and embarrassing, every time (and it happens way more often than I like). I finally caved and bought the Dansko Sonnets and even though they aren’t the cutest, they are cute enough and BOTH straps have Velcro closures that allow for extra room on swollen feet days (I have adjusted them multiple times every single day and the Velcro seems to be tough enough to handle it). I did a fair amount of walking in them in Portland last week and every time my feet hurt all I had to do was adjust the Velcro. Hope this time of pain is a short one.

    • #2 by My RAD Life on July 18, 2014 - 7:35 pm

      Thanks Kristan. Crying in public truly is the worst!! And very rare for me. I seem to have better luck in the summer with shoes like the Dansko Sonnets (though with more cushion and less heal). I think on really bad days, closed flats like the Crocs are not the way to go. Luckily, I’m already feeling a bit better. Hope you’re doing well too. 🙂

  2. #3 by CAMMY on July 30, 2014 - 5:56 am

    I’m glad your feeling better! gosh it’s such a struggle RA…darn! All I can say as a girl just passing year one and it’s MY FEET too….and I’m a metho and enbrel girl too is sometimes the tears just come….nothing can stop them….keep writing it helps all of us….HUGS CAMMY in California….and yap when the shoes aren’t fabulous like we are used to ….it’s sad.

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