Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's Always The Shoes

Over the past 2 years I have had a horrible back problem where I am in excruciating pain after walking for about 15 minutes. I need to sit down and rest, twist and crack. And my back is sore for a couple of days after. A couple of months ago, my chiropractor once again admonished me for not wearing the lift in my shoe as he had advised. I balked, because I had tried that a year prior and it didn't help. Plus, you can't wear a lift with sandals or slides, my shoes of choice. But since it was winter, I told him I'd try again. He glued together 2 lifts to make a slightly taller one, and I wore it that weekend as I walked around my neighborhood. Shockingly, I had no back pain at all. It was a miracle come true and in one instant my back problem was solved. Apparently one leg is about 6mm shorter than the other. Why has this just started bothering me now, after over 40 years of being a gimp? Apparently, it is age. I am old and now my spine is more delicate.

So this is good news. Except I can only wear closed shoes that are built high enough to contain the lift and remain comfortable. This is fine for boots and most closed shoes, but not for sandals or clogs or slides. I am so saddened by the limitation of shoes that it brings tears to my eyes. I love shoes. How can I limit myself? This is almost as devastating as having back pain. However, it has been winter since I've discovered this problem and I haven't yet had to test the limits of my shoes. Except for the recent trip to Tahiti (where I wore sandals and suffered horribly for it) I haven't had to make the choice.

But now... I have a trip scheduled to Orlando in April, when it will be hot again in Florida. Ok, I could probably wing it with my shoe choice, except for one thing. I called Disney to make an appointment with them (for my job) and my contact was thrilled. "Oh great," she said. "We'll reserve the conference room for 11am, have a short meeting and then I'll take you on a tour of the parks. I'll block off the whole day for you."

Wow, what a thrill. A tour of Disney World with an insider. Except for one thing - what shoes will I wear? How will I walk around Disney for 5 hours in closed shoes, with socks, or even worse, stockings. How will I go from a business meeting to a day of walking without changing into sneakers? Panic ensued.

So today I went to Macys (wearing sneakers with the lift) and spent 5 hours (no pain!) trying to figure out what to wear. It isn't the largest store in the world for nothing. Macys is gigantic. It is overwhelming. And crowded. And there are so many clothes. I honestly didn't know where to start, so I began to cry. Then I went into the office where the personal shoppers work. I begged for help, my voice stuttering. But no, you must make an appointment 3 days in advance. "That's why we call it Macys By Appointment," the receptionist said.

There was a personal shopper there, an older lady wearing an awful lot of makeup, on her way to lunch. She asked me what the problem was. I told her my Disney story and she looked at me like I was stupid. She said, how about a summer weight suit? What, I'm going to wear high heels for 5 hours at Disney? I didn't tell her about my back problem, not enough time--she was on her way to lunch and she was about to spill the secrets without a 3-day in advance appointment. Then she told me that long shorts are quite the style. Those, or cropped pants, with a cami and a shrug sweater would do the trick. Ok. I thought, I can do that. But first, I had to start in the shoe department or all else would be for naught.

I found a great pair of Clarks that are very comfortable and sort of professional looking, but they are sandals. I bought a linen cropped pant suit with half sleeve jacket and funky belt. After wandering around in tears I think I have my outfit. I found a clear plastic lift on the internet that comes with double-sided tape which I will affix in the sandal of my short leg. I hope the lift stays in at least for the one day. With my luck, the tour of Disney will be done in one of those electric carts, and all this will have been for nothing. I need to win the lottery and not have to worry about these things. Wish me luck.

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