Wednesday, June 06, 2018

footses redux

Take another look at my serxy, serxy feet. I wore my sandals for four days (you'll recall that I've been dealing with swelling); this past Monday night, I did a 20,000-plus-step walk to see whether distance walking was possible in the sandals. My feet were fine for most of that walk, but they were hurting by the very end. The following morning, I was in some pain and had to walk at a limp. Turns out the walk had given me a blister. All day Tuesday, I still wore my sandals, but my did my best to stay off my feet, and last night, I went to bed very early to give my body a few extra hours to knit itself together through the healing power of sleep. Here's how things looked yesterday afternoon; I took these pics in our company rec room:

The blackened toenails, which I acquired during my walk to Incheon and back about a month ago, are probably a lost cause; I expect to lose both of them. The blister I've labeled as "The Great Red Spot" was very, very sensitive all day yesterday. At some points, the sensitivity felt bone-deep, so I spent much of the afternoon and evening limping as if I were thirty years older. This morning, however, the Red Spot has darkened and shrunk: it no longer hurts, and it's no longer puffy. I can walk normally today, so I've put my shoes back on, and both of my feet feel fine in them. I now know that my sandals are comfortable for short stretches, but they were probably never meant for distance walking. I also know that my foot's swelling has gone down (this may be evident in the above pics, actually), at least for now. Part of my solution to the swelling problem was to cut way back on food, especially sugar. The strategy seems to have worked. I'm contemplating walking home from work tonight; it's something I normally do at the end of the work day, but I'm not sure I'm ready to tempt fate quite yet. So: one more day of rest, one more day of going to bed early, and I think both the blister and the foot swelling will have been licked by the time I wake up tomorrow.


hahnak said...

over all your walks, how many toenails have you lost? i've never lost any toenails. does it hurt at all when they actually detach?

Kevin Kim said...


Thus far, I've only ever lost one toenail, and that was from the Seoul-Busan walk, which was 550 km (340 mi.). Long-distance walkers can expect to lose toenails; it's a fairly normal thing when you're doing hundreds of miles at a time (cf. Cheryl Strayed's book Wild, which got made into a movie that opened with a toenail-removal scene).

As for pain: my toenail just atrophied to the point where it was painlessly hanging on by a flap of dead skin, so when it finally left my foot, there was no pain at all. You may recall, from my blog posts on the topic, that I was paranoid about the possibility of gangrene. I needn't have worried. Also, yes: lost toenails get replaced by new toenails.

John Mac said...

I wear sandals on my beach walks for obvious reasons (it's why they are called SANDals after all). Then I come home and change into my walking shoes for the road work portion of the hike. You just don't get the cushioning from the pounding on pavement you need with sandals. I'd deem only one blister a small miracle, albeit yours is a large one.

Damn, I've never seen rougher looking feet though. Props for that!

As we used to say back in the 1970's: Keep on truckin'!

Kevin Kim said...


You must have the discipline of a Hindu yogin if you're not bothered by the beach sand when it crawls under your sandaled feet. I'd rather walk barefoot on the beach... so long as I know the beach is hypodermic-free!