Morton's Neuroma

One of the not-so-great things about Paris is the public transport. Taxis are practically nonexistent, the Metro is everywhere but where you are and where you want to go, trams no, buses no...

Really, from what I gather, you have to play le flâneur, and walk most everywhere.

And yes, I do have Edmund White's book - thanks Jen (of Melbourne) - which I shall be using as my trusty guide. That and my little Paris Moleskine (pronounced 'Mol-ES-kuh-nay' - or is it' Molly-SKY-nay'?).

Problem With Walking:

My feet are still killing me. That's over two years now. It is not the Lipitor. (That affects the muscular nerves more, says my Doc.) It is Morton's neuroma. The knuckles of my foot bones at the second and third toes have been pinching the nerve, causing it to swell slightly and just become irritated. I can't walk more than a few hundred yards without having to rest, soak my feet in a foot-bath and have vigorous sex with a gorgeous nymph to take my mind off the ache. Sometimes I forego the foot-bath...

I have sore balls. Of the feet. Both.


Schopenhauer says that health (or happiness) is a negative thing, merely the absence of the positive illness which makes you become aware of yourself through pain. I'm betting Schopenhauer was a "glass is half empty" kind of guy.

He quotes Aristotle: "freedom from pain, not pleasure, is what the wise man will aim at."

The truth of this remark turns upon the negative character of happiness, -- the fact that pleasure is only the negation of pain, and that pain is the positive element in life.

Auden asks, aptly, "For who when healthy can become a foot?" To understand the pain of a sore foot, you have to have a sore foot. Because it's all you think about, and you are alone ("apart like epochs") in those thoughts, in that world. And I've got two of them sore feet.

Nice art-gallery, nice cathedral, nice food, nice conversation, nice tits, but GET ME HOME, MY FEET ARE KILLING ME!

I have mentioned before a scene in "Oscar and Lucinda" where Oscar comments totally out of nowhere in the narrative flow how painful his haemorrhoids are. Forget the story, forget the structure of plot, conflict and resolution, MY ARSE IS KILLING ME, he is saying.

As this foot pain has been going on so long and as 12+ months of VitB therapy hasn't worked even with ultra-comfy shoes (I can only wear runners or expensive sandals) the pain is still there, my orthopaedic surgeon this morning gave me the two main options for treatment. It is way past conservative stuff...

1) Operate now, or

2) Operate later.

With the prospect of not being able to enjoy my flâneuring next month because of the pain, I am seriously thinking of taking a week off and going under the knife so that I will be ready to walk around and really concentrate on the town, not the pain in my fucking feet.

He says the pain will go away instantly, but there will be residual numbness. Unless you've suffered from something as chronic as this you've no idea how that promise of being comfortably numb makes me feel... It is wise to seek to alleviation of pain.

Call me Aristotle.

Call me a taxi.

Just don't make me walk.



Posted by: expat@large on Aug 01, 07 | 4:12 pm | Profile


yikes, sugar! wishing you an easy surgery and a numbingly easy recovery!
from your favorite the glass is half full friend, savannah
ps. out of respect for your current condition, i'll not argue the merits of the parisien transportation system

Posted by: savannah on Aug 02, 07 | 10:19 pm

A buddy is trying to talk me into visiting an osteopath and gettgin some orthotics, but I am only half convinced. He says he has had the same trouble and has greatly improved... but he has also lost a heap of weight over the same period, and lets face it, that's not gonna happen for me...

Posted by: expat@large on Aug 02, 07 | 11:47 pm

try've a few weeks to get the feel/benefit of the orthotics

Posted by: savannah on Aug 03, 07 | 5:35 am

I stepped out of the taxi this morning - it was like standing on nails - this is not a postural or stance thing. It can't be that I am standing or walking incorrectly, I hadn't been standing since last night before, and I hardly stood up or walked at all yesterday. This is a nerve issue: there is no actual bruising, only the SENSATION of bruising. I'm going to have to get the surgery done soon... I need good feet for Paris and I'll need some recovery time prior to that.

Posted by: expat@large on Aug 03, 07 | 1:11 pm

"you're an expatriate. you've lost touch with the soil. fake european standards have ruined you. you drink yourself to death. you become obsessed with sex. you spend all your time talking not working. you're an expatriate, you see? you hang around cafes."
- hemingway 'the sun also rises'

Posted by: Dick on Aug 04, 07 | 3:49 am

Dick: Ernie's not saying that's, like, a BAD thing is he?

Posted by: expat@large on Aug 04, 07 | 4:11 am

Come on E&L. It's just one character making an observation. An old writer's trick.

Posted by: Dick on Aug 07, 07 | 5:54 am

Not sure which is worse; an old writer's tricks or a writer's old tricks.

Sounds like a scene from Hemingway's other mastepriece, "Nothing New Under The Sun."

Posted by: expat@large on Aug 07, 07 | 6:52 pm


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