Friday, August 12, 2005

Blisters and other ickyness

WARNING: IF YOU'RE SQUEAMISH, STOP READING NOW.

Due to popular demand, a few words on the condition of my feet.

At the end of the first day, I took off my socks with some apprehension as my feet were in a lot of pain. I looked forward to the surgery necessary for the use of the fancy blister plasters, which involves lancing the blister (using a sterilized needle, in my case a safety pin held over a lighter for a few seconds), then peeling off the loose skin to expose the burnt part. Then the plaster goes on top of that and stays for just under a week.

Lo, the sole of each foot had several white patches on it, most the size of 10p or 50p pieces (that's quarters or bigger for those of you on the other side). I wasn't about to operate on them without washing them first, but by the time I'd showered they weren't nearly as pronounced as before, so I let them be, and by morning my feet looked completely normal. I'll add here that the white patches were mostly on parts of my feet where the skin was a bit thicker (if not calloused) already--heels, outside of the big toe, balls of the feet.

It was more or less the same story every day until I left England. In Canterbury, however, I tried using one of those wet wipes to clean one spot to try to pop what I thought was surely a proper blister, right after getting my boots off. The needle caught nothing but skin making the surgery entirely useless.

Along the coast in France, the number and size of white patches shrank a bit; I was doing shorter days. Then, I slept in my boots in St-Riquier after a longish day and followed that with my longest yet. So I was certain I'd have something to operate on when I got up to my hostel room in Amiens. Sure enough, my feet were in a right state, with two tiny proper blisters a,idst the blotchiness. But by then I had only enough energy to take a picture (on my lomo, so you'll have to wait a while to see it), no concentration at all to surgerate, and went to sleep. By morning, there was still a trace of the blotchiness, but the blisters had disappeared.

To be honest, I'm not even sure if it's worth the bag space to carry the fancy plasters anymore.

For those of you who might be comforted by knowing that my choices have brought me suffering, let me offer this solace. Both my Achilles' tendons are about twice their regular size (Herzog only had that happen on one side, but he had blisters too so I think I win), and have been for a good week now. This makes getting into and out of my tiny tent kind of painful.

I have a minor rash on each shoulder where the bag rubs. I think this is because my bag is actually designed for someone a bit bigger than me. But this is under control by way of an anti-blister stick that reduces friction (No, Mum, I don't carry moleskine with me).

Also, it's been sunny hay-making time for the last week, so of course I have raging hay fever.

Was that graphic enough for you? Really, all that's left to say is a big thank you to the kind fellow at Black's near Chancery Lane station who helped me pick my boots. Even if they do bother the Achilles, being blister free for the first two weeks is a boon indeed.

4 Comments:

Blogger Christina said...

Hooray for good boots! That wasn't gory at all and I'm glad of it. I hope the Achilleseseses calm down, and that your rest in Paris is enjoyable.

8:57 pm BST  
Blogger Catty said...

Poor Arthur. Is there any way to send you more pasters, hand sanitizer, and Benadryl?
You should also investigate sex wax... it's not just for surfers anymore! The beauty magazines recommend it for breaking in new stilletto shoes.

5:35 pm BST  
Blogger secretagentarthur said...

Sending stuff is probably too tricky, but thanks for the Sex Wax tip, I'm gonna start looking.

Sorry both to those who thought this was too much, and to you Christina, for not going far enough. If it's any consolation to anyone, what I had in mind before writing was actually much more grisly. Ah, self-censorship.

7:31 pm BST  
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7:36 am GMT  

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