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So I went out and bought some hiking boots a couple weeks ago, and started wearing them around the office at work, to break them in. So far so good. They were possible a little tighter than they should have been, though. I got them a half size larger than my normal shoes, but they are supposed to be work with an extra pair of socks. In any case, they were slightly too small.

The problem is, I mistook this as holding my foot securely, instead of as them being too small. I figured, hiking boots are supposed to hold your foot that tight, so it doesn't move about in the shoe and give you blisters.

Umm, no.

Apparently, these boots managed to put a tad bit too much pressure on one point of my foot, and restricted the blood flow past a certain nerve. It was limited enough that a small portion of my right big toe fell asleep, and I didn't notice it. Ten hours later, when I got back from work and took my boots off, the damage was done. I still didn't notice it for a couple hours, because I didn't get any pins and needles sensation. A patch of my big toe, about the size of a quarter, was now numb.

When I did notice, I freaked out a bit, because it stayed numb. I started worrying about diabetes, which my family appears prone to, and numb toes is one of the warning signs. My toe was pink, though, so it was getting circulation. It was just numb. I went to see the doctor the next day, and we figured out it was the boots, though I did get blood drawn for a diabetes test, just to be on the safe side. No, I just managed to damage a nerve, and it's going to take a while for it to heal. From talking with friends, it looks like such things can take up to a year to sort themselves out.

In the meantime, there's a quarter-sized region on the top left of my big toe that just feels like it's been injected with novacaine.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2003 12:18 pm (UTC)
Yow. Watch out for causing more damage to it while you cant feel anything. Hope sensation returns quickly.
May. 21st, 2003 12:20 pm (UTC)
Ow -- I still have numbness from surgery in my knee (to insert a rod in my shinbone) from 2000, but it's nothing like it was. Just funny when I shave my legs, really.

Hope you're ok -- and that the diabetes test is negative, as well.

May. 21st, 2003 03:07 pm (UTC)
I had about a 2" dimeter spot like that on my inner thigh for about a year after my surgery. Very weird sensation. It finally got better, but it used to make me worry a lot. Ohwell. At least it wasn't anything important. :)
May. 22nd, 2003 06:19 am (UTC)
I used to have a ganglion cyst on the top of one foot, and below it the skin was numb to the touch, down to and including the area between the toes below it. I'm not sure what ever happened to that cyst - probably got ruptured and I didn't know it at the time - but I now have sensation in the area that used to be numb. Ganglion is something to do with nerve tissue, so the cyst and the numbness were probably related.

Hope your foot recovers well.
Jun. 20th, 2004 09:02 am (UTC)
I made that mistake with my hiking boots once--bought a pair that (apparently) had been mismarked and returned to REI, only to be resold on clearance. And they were snug, and I--like you--thought snug was how they were supposed to be. And so, after breaking them in around town, I wore them on a five day backpacking trip to the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It wasn't so bad while we were in motion, but the first night I took off the boots I couldn't believe how painful my feet suddenly were. That was nothing like the next morning, when I had to cram them back into those shoes. I even slept with my boots on one night because I didn't want to go through the agony again.

After all was said and done, I lost five toenails and my feet were variously achy and numb for months.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )