My feet have always been abnormally flat. I am the poster child for flat feet draft deferment. When I was a child, my cousins and other various relatives would plead with me to get my feet wet and walk on the pavement so they could marvel and laugh hysterically at the shape of my footprint. I have, as KT termed it, an "Anti-Arch". My feet actually bow very slightly outward where an arch should be. To this day, people who have known me since I was young will occasionally ask me to remove my shoes and socks so they can see the freak show.
A few years back my left foot decided to up the game. While doing some very mild hiking in non-appropriate footwear (KT has since made the wearing of Chuck Taylors verboten), I felt a twinge in my foot. It wasn't painful, really, but just felt kind of strange. Within two days, it was nearly impossible to walk. I was eventually diagnosed with a stress fracture right at the point where an arch should have been. Crutches and a walking boot ruled my life for the
The latest fun thing my feet are experimenting with is gout. Also known as gouty arthritis, podagra or the "disease of kings", gout is the build up of uric acid - never mind, just google it. I have had it now two, possibly three (rethinking an instance way back when my foot gave me a particularly bothersome stretch) times. It is insanely painful. It is perhaps best personified in the artist James Gillray's 1799 caricature (thanks Wikipedia!):
I had to shelter my foot last night to ensure the blanket would not touch it and send me writhing in pain. The pain is ridiculous enough, but the best part about gout is the whole "insult to injury" thing. There isn't a lot of sympathy for gout. It's thought to afflict only those whose diet consists of (1) red meat and (2) alcohol. I may be guilty of one of those, but not both (feel free to judge which one). The last time I was afflicted, the reactions ranged from irrepressible laughter (KT) to "Jesus, throw in a salad!" (my brother). The silver lining is it only lasts a few days and when it lifts it feels like when you finally start to feel normal from the world's worst hangover. I lay in bed as I write this - my foot propped up and a three foot (no pun intended) "do not enter" radius surrounding it - anxiously waiting for that sweet, glorious relief.
I'm excited to see what step (the puns are just too easy) my feet decide to take next. I imagine it's going to involve some sort of flesh-eating bacteria. KT and I have been fretting over our future, when my feet decide to give out entirely. I am far too large and she is far too small for her to be carrying me around. So far the only thing we can come up with is sister-wives and we don't feel like moving.