The human body is amazing — and also somewhat exasperating.
Amazing how something as small as a big toe can lead to important reflections on living and life, no?
My spouse has been on a ventilator for 22 days and is not likely to survive the week. Among the many reflections and feelings are regrets over the walks not taken and other experiences not shared.
I’m glad your toe isn’t hurting, but it’s not healed, so my advice is: get it fixed while you can and where it’s relatively affordable.
You can always get more money, but you’ll never get those hours or days back.
I’ll never forget this line from the obituary of one of our high school classmates who died two years ago: “live at once as if you have all the time in the world, and no time at all.”
I’m glad you are no longer in pain, and beyond that I understand and agree with your point about life being short. We are fellow nomads, after all, so we get that better tan some. But beyond THAT, I hope you have a plan for when/if you pain comes back. No more limping through your life, OK?
Oooof. I'm so sorry to hear about your toe! Pain that comes and goes is so frustrating. At least be consistent!
And yeah....SafetyWing. They only reimbursed me for a claim after I badgered them for weeks after the high end of their window. They count on people to just give up.
Hey Brent, my wife had big toe pain so bad she could barely walk around the block. Hallux was on the table (though not as progressed as yours) and one doc recommended surgery.
INSTEAD, we found a Portland foot doc who specializes in zero-drop shoes. Shifting to Altras completely fixed the solution and has worked for two other friends of ours as well.
I know this doesn't solve the hot, sweaty feet in Asia problem (I wore flips every day there!), but FWIW, most flipflops position your toe in a way that is terrible for natural position. Try to find the flattest flips you can if you're going to wear them vs. sayyy Chacos.
Disclaimer: I don't know jack and this is all anecdotal and I only play a doctor online. :)
Sorry to hear your dad is reaching the end of his life, but it sounds like he's had a full ride. Here's to you and Michael continuing to live it up with your remaining days!
This was a profoundly good read. Thanks, Brent!
Quite the story. . . You gained an insight into yourself and, sorry to say, a common, if rare insight into why medical insurance is a profitable business. One can only imagine the damage done by their damage control. Oddly enough, I have a toe issue as well--walking down stairs and hills exacerbates it. After months of trying to see a specialist at Kaiser during our brief time in Washington, it got diagnosed as a curved nail due to foot fungus. With only 2 days until we were to set off, no time to do anything about it. So, I’m in denial mood and living my life! Get behind me, satanic toe pain. Hope yours continues to ghost you.
You might find these interesting. Cameron is an accomplished hiker and TV presenter in Scotland. He had a similar toe issue.
I recently had gout for a short period that then just went away again. I am told it can get so painful that people cannot walk. Started in just my right big toe. Sounds like your problem
Bodies! They really are so strange. And always keeping us on our toes (no pun intended...lol)
Well written. Love the way you tied it all in.
Excellent piece! Lots to think about here.
this is a very timely article for me. I am reading this on May 23 and on May 25. I am having surgery on my right big toe. I actually had bunion surgery in 2018 and the surgeon did a terrible job. I have lived with my big toe pointing far left and not being able to wear decent shoes. My surgery will fix my toe.
You're probably getting all kinds of medical advice now, and I hope you don't mind me sharing mine as well. Dealt with chronic pain recently and discovered the concept of neuroplastic pain. Yours sound a lot like what I went through, for one, the pain disappears without an explanation. What caught me is that you got better after the doctor's appointment and that your pain happened during a time of stress in your life. (I'm really sorry about your dad. There are no words for that.)
Anyway, during the course of my research I discovered a surprising thing. Not all people with missing cartiliage, arthritis or lumbar deformities suffer from pain. And that it is the brain that gives out the signals for pain. So I urge you to to explore the concept - I recently wrote about it and you can find the resources here https://firediarist.wordpress.com/2023/05/14/my-adventures-in-healing-neuroplastic-pain/
Glad your toe is better. I wonder if heat plays a part (especially this last month we have had).