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The Conclusion of Lisa's Sock Week

Image result for foot images cartoon

Upon diagnosis, celebrity Montel  WILLIAMS made the following statement:: 
Unfortunately the way MS affects me the most is through neuralgic pain that I have in my lower extremities, meaning from my knees to the bottom of my feet, on both sides. It's 24 hours a day, and as I describe in my book, at one point it was so bad that it almost prompted me to try to take my life, twice. That was in the midst of what I know now was my last episode or bout. A couple of my other symptoms are slight left-side weakness, especially in my left leg. I also have very, very marginal balance issues. Those are my three main symptoms.

Maybe, when I actually learn how, I will knit a pair of cozy socks for Mr. Williams. Everyone, even feet, need a hug. What better hug could there be than the feel of soft, argyle wrapped around you?

(But, don't get too anxious, Montel. My current knitting project is still in a questionable state. I really do not see sock knitting in my immediate future.)

Fortunately foot pain has not been an issue with me and my MS. Foot Control, yes, but any  pain in those lower digits I usually chock up to muscular neglect. 

My interest in yoga lead me to the discovery of Yoga Toes. I purchased a pair of Yoga Toes sandals a few years ago and after wearing them for a little while, I can feel the obvious difference in my cramping toes. I cannot wear them for long periods of time, though, because too much exercise, I believe, is as bad for us as not enough. (See how the toes are separated? Feels so good for moderated time periods.)

Just One *Step* For Naturally Beautiful Feet

  • When muscles are relaxed, circulation increases. Walk away feeling like you just had a foot massage. Remember: relaxed and healthy feet are beautiful feet. 
  • YogaToes® are fun, easy, and simple to use! 
  • YogaToes® do the work while you relax. All you do is put them on... it's an instant vacation!


YogaToes® Do 4 Things Very Well:

  • Relax & restore toes.
  • Stretch & tone the entire foot (with benefits extending to your knees, hips, and right up through your spine).
  • Gently direct feet back to their optimum shape & function; accelerating recovery time for the whole body. 
  • Increase circulation to the feet, which feeds repair & removes waste (vitally important since feet are furthest away from the heart).

Read more:

I do not know why the feet are attacked as frequently as they are for folks with ms; but I do know it is real. Although neurological pain is not one of my major complaints, I do know the benefits of foot massage and toe stretching. Yoga has taught me so much about the importance of the smallest movement in improving our over all health. In Miss Terry's yoga class (Tuesdays and Thursdays at Fairmont Health Plex), we concentrate a lot on the feet. One of the most interesting and important things I have learned about foot care if that we should spend time with the pressure points in our feet on a daily basis. Using your thumbs, press into the pain until it passes...and it will.

No, this does not eliminate neurological discomfort, but it sure does feel good for a while.

Image result for foot images cartoon  How Does Something So Simple Do So Much? The patented ergonomic design of YogaToes® exercises every aspect of your toes: between, above, and beneath them. Stretching them apart from each other, away from the ball of the foot, AND down from the top of the foot. If you want to understand this effect, spread your fingers apart and out as far as you can. You can feel the goodness immediately! Weak muscles in your toes and mid-foot become flexible and strong again. Improving your whole foot’s posture & alignment. All of this increases circulation to the lower extremities. You know how good you feel after a foot massage. Now you can enjoy the same results any time you slip into a pair of Yoga Toes toe stretchers. Read more:

Of course, shoe shoe choice is important for anyone's well-being, but those of us battling the MonSter need to be especially cautious about what we lace on to our feet. I have learned this the hard way. With my Foot Drop (Yes, medical world, this is a REAL thing.), I know, without a doubt, that flip flops are not my friend. 

In my book I Have MS. What's Your super Power? I further describe my issue with Foot Drop and , hopefully, offer some tips on how to live with this issue.

While researching my most annoying symptom of MS, I had to giggle when I found this most apt description of my malady. Flop Drop. That really does sum it up.
My foot literally “flops” when it is not in a communicative mood. It actually sounds rather disgusting, but it is such a more literal and accurate description of this common MS trait. I hate it when I am feeling particularly peppy, but my right foot decides to rebel, leaving me left behind in more ways than one. It is one horrible thing to feel my age when my mind is still programed to partake in all things young and active; but when my body just refuses to play the game because it cannot, I feel even more incapable of existing successfully in the human race.
Foot drop, or drop foot, is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis. It’s a difficulty in lifting the front part of the foot, which can make walking a challenge. People with this symptom tend to walk by lifting the knee as though they were walking up stairs.  I discovered that I suffer from drop foot after a series of stumbling, lurching, frightening falls that left me totally unnerved and rather depressed, as well as thoroughly embarrassed by the reactions of my friends. Of course, they thought I was drunk. I was doing the perfect imitation of the wino down the street.
 I realized that was not the case when I ended up in the emergency room with an ugly gash in my forehead and a shiny black eye, following an unexpected fall one evening that I do not even remember. The last thing I remember was that I turned from one person to reply to someone else behind me and, boom, I was on the ground. The corner of my eye was imbedded in the corner of a metal heat vent and I could not move my legs or arms to right myself. I do not know what happened. They do not know what happened.
I DO know and remember well that someone called my husband. The nightmare image of him standing across the room with my nine month old son in his arms, blatantly casting judgment over me and telling my friends to call an ambulance because I was in no condition for him to take to the hospital. My stomach twists still today as I remember my baby seeing his mother lying on the ground while his father mentally assured him that I was unfit and would most likely be removed from his life as soon as possible. (This is my former spouse.)
In my young adult novel Abby, the main character relays an incident in the grocery store parking lot when her mother (recently diagnosed with MS) is cited by an ignorant bystander as being drunk and totally irresponsible for involving her own children in her public display of inappropriateness. Abigail is appalled, embarrassed, and anxious that her mother overheard the offensive remarks.
 I, too, worry about the reactions of other people when they see me stumble along a perfectly clear and level walk way. It is even worse when I am accompanied by own son, husband (current and forever spouse), or other innocent escort. It is one thing to belittle me; but I take total offense when people I care about have to suffer the shame of knowing me. It is not fair to them. They didn’t ask to be associated with such a derelict.
The up side of this, though, is the creation of such labels as the Flop Drop. I mean, really. How can one even say this without giggling? MS is not funny. There is nothing amusing about “flopping” around, but the best way to cope with MS is with some inside humor. Folks in “the know” understand our need for little inside jokes like this.
Just call me an over achiever, but I have experimented with a variety of drop foot eliminators; including one of those wire-controlled devices designed to eliminate  drop foot through electronic stimulus. I think it is probably a wonderful tool for folks who can afford it or whose insurance recognizes it as a viable treatment for MSers. Mine, unfortunately, does not; but, I could diverse very quickly onto the topic of what the "real" world views as important.
We have all experienced this. Because we cannot understand MS and because it cannot be categorized in black and white terms as far as definition, then there is no true documentation to make it a "real" disease; so funding for this imaginary condition is not justified with the powers who hold the purse strings. Whoops!
Showing my cynical persona.
Deep sigh.

It's me. I'm back: Miss Positive.
I have discovered several alternatives to the expensive, manufactured suggestions. The problem with drop foot and properly fitting shoes seems to be with how the foot is positioned within the confines of the shoe. You can actually rig a small bungee cord attachment in the shoe that forces the front of the foot to lift at the appropriate time when taking a step.
This Flop Drop thingy sounds like an interesting and affordable idea. Sure, it's another money maker for some enthusiastic inventor, but some of mankind’s best ideas have evolved from unexpected activities. (Who would have thought that flying a kite would start this whole electricity fad?)

After closely analyzing this Flop Drop device, I think I understand the physics of it. At first, I thought that I could probably rig a similar doohicky (West Virginia slang for thingy; thingamajig; whatchamacallit), without the 'professional' accessorizing that I am certain this factory-made tool includes. As far as I can tell, the most important part of the Flop Drop tool is the tiny bungee cord that seems to control the entire process.

Because I am just not crafty enough to put something like this together, I try to remember to do some leg lifts while sitting on the couch. Walking in place for ten minutes or more often helps, as long as you concentrate on lifting the heel, which forces the front of the foot to elevate.
My favorite footwear needs to fit securely to the foot and not slip up and down on the heel. Clarks is my go-to brand, but can be pricey. I look for a bargain and when I find it, I wear the soles off my purchase. Flip flops just do not work for me and even the hint of a high heel is absolutely a no-go. I like boots in the fall and winter months and a comfy sneaker, securely laced, is good year ‘round.
Okay, quit snooping my closet. If you want to know more about flop drop, check out this website.
ttps:// (Try not to be blinded by the accumulating awards this book is receiving. It is becoming really shiny!)

I actually love feet...Not necessarily in the fetish sense, but I admire attractive feet. Well-pedicured feet make me happy. Admittedly, I am also prone to judge a person by their attention to their feet. Sorry...

Many foot issues cannot be helped or are not the fault of the foot owner. I understand and sincerely appreciate this, but I also know that we are responsible for being as attentive a possible to such details n appearance and health. Take care of those feet! Even when they fail to physically support us, they are an important body part.
Love them, lotion them, stretch them, massage them, give them good shoes, treat them to a new pair of comforting socks! (It is fast approaching official sock weather! Indulge!)

So, whether you plain to point those toes this weekend,

Image result for ballerina feet

or plant those toes, 
Image result for foot images cartoon

remember to stretch those feet, 

Image result for ballerina feet

Enjoy the weekend!

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