Burning feet, orthotics, sandals and some magic!

The CRPS makes my feet burrrrn! It starts at my toes and works it’s way up the foot, (usually both feet but the right foot is worse). For a short and bemusing while my feet decided to burn at the big toe and travel up the inside of my foot instead of the usual burning on all toes and travelling up the whole foot. This is a pic’ of my feet being confused and doing the big toe only version on my left foot but burning a few more toes on my right foot!..

Burny feet, unusual

Don’t know what that phase was all about, it’s gone back to it’s usual burning behaviours again now!

If my feet are covered that sets them off and so does friction, so for most of the year I cannot wear any socks or boots. (Sadness as I loved wearing my biker style boots even with floaty summer dresses). I even have trouble wearing light shoes when the weather gets warmer, which not a massive problem in the UK admittedly 😉 , but I want to be able to enjoy any rare glorious weather and get outdoors to do some physio’ walks in the sunshine when it occurs. But the screamy-burning is more than offputting, it’s unbearable.

My problem is that I can’t walk in anything without my orthotics (sculpted insoles to support my high arches, lots of pain in my knees without them), so sunny weather footwear has not been an option for years as the insoles have nothing to sit in. I have to wear shoes and burrrrn! Nooooo!

Last year I made a discovery which I thought I’d try out and see how it goes. I can quite happily say that it’s changed my life! But it turns out that lots of other people knew about this wondrousness already. How did I not know about it?!

Anyway, I should have guessed really. The answer is velcro, hehe 😉

Just like the answer to stopping laptops from falling on our heads, the answer to wearing orthotics in sandals is also good old velcro.

Of course our usual orthotics are pretty thick and obvious, but there are now thinner versions out there which come complete with velcro attachment for the sandal of our choice! I’m lucky that the most supportive off-the-peg ones do the trick for me. I went into a shop which claims to be orthopaedic.. okay, so it’s a shop, but they employ orthopaedics on site where you can have appointments too (yes, in a shoe shop!). I don’t know how good they are but for choosing what works for me it was brilliant. And the ranges of shoes/sandals etc specifically leaned toward the orthopaedic end of the scale – lots of cushioned and supportive footwear in there.

So I crossed my fingers, opened my wallet and hoped it would be worth spending the money. The value was massive. I had got myself a sensible pair of walking sandals and a pair of thin velcro orthotics to allow me to walk in them. I tried them during different physio’s and it took a while to get the best placement of the orthotics but they worked a treat. I was so gleeful to be able to walk in the sunshine without the crippling burning which would make me try and walk in my shoes without my toes touching the shoes, toes all curled in and me walking in a terribly painful manner. Problem solved. I felt like I had a spring in my step, it was wooonderful!

You can see how thin the orthotics are here (not in their best placement in this piccy, though)

You can see how thin the orthotics are here (not in their best placement in this piccy, though)

Once I knew it worked I wanted pwetty ones as well! But cheap ones, purlease! So I discovered these cuties in a sale….

And yes I took this piccy whilst lying down, that *is* the ceiling you can see!

And yes I took this piccy whilst lying down, that *is* the ceiling you can see!

As the velcro that came with the orthotics had already been stuck into my other sandals I just bought a short length online and stuck that in the new pair. Then the other half of the original velcro already stuck to the orthotics would happily stick in either pair of sandals.

When I was next able to physio’ I spent a lot of time looking downwards in glee!

Sandals, looking down alot!

Admittedly this sandal-wearing lark means that I get some funny looks from friends when they notice my purple or grey feet at times when the blood is pooling (good ole Dysautonomia, eh?!), but oh well. Tis a topic for conversation mayhap?! 😉 My feet are happy! 😀


How to stop laptops from falling on your head

I awoke as Magic Dude got ready for his early shift this chilly Sunday. I found that my hints of a sore throat had increased overnight and I was warm and yet really cold at the same time. Uh-oh, I can’t afford to be ill, the knock-on effects with my condition is severe and I have studying to do that I’m already way behind on. So my lovely Magic Dude brought me a cup of tea and the laptop before he left and made sure that I had ‘warp capability’ (i.e. that the wifi was switched on 😉 ).

I set the laptop up on  the adjustable-height stand (which is an absolute saviour for allowing me to use the laptop without putting the weight on my CRPS legs) but the near-fainting then decided it wanted to join the party (one of my Dysautonomia symptoms) and I had to lay down. So I did what I have done before…. I cranked up the height of the laptop stand so that it looked like this…

Elle and the Auto Gnome, laptop stand at max height

My eyes must’ve thought they were missing an opportunity coz they then decided to join in, too. As I tried to focus on the screen my eyeballs roamed around misbehaving and not allowing me to see what I was trying to look at. It was all getting a bit silly, and then when I then moved my painful legs the laptop fell on my head!


I can read the signs. When they’re as unsubtle as this it’s kinda hard not to! I took this as a suggestion that I put the do-stuff idea to one side and instead I snuck back under the covers and phased in and out of sleepy consciousness until midday. Not the norm’, but managing this condition includes knowing when to say ‘zzzz’. Most of us with CRPS and/or Dys’ are familiar with endless lack of sleep, so when a day arrives where my body will try to fake some not-quite-sleep then I’ll take what I can get, thank-you!

Now I’m up, I’ve done my first physio’ of the day, and I’ve finally sought out the other half of the velcro the Open University furnished me with. The laptop stand that was sent out to me to help me to try to study despite the health issues was already decorated with a couple of strips of velcro. The idea was that I would then stick the other part of the velcro to the laptop so that it would not move on the stand or, in the case of a near-fainty person, it would not be quite so likely to fall on my head! But the laptop was so shiny and new I couldn’t bring myself to deface it with ill-person-velcro! Hah! Not so any more, I have velcro and I will use it. My head demands it! 😉

Elle and the Auto Gnome, laptop stand with velcro

It’s funny how no matter how comfortable and accepting we become with regards to our conditions and limitations, there’s still the odd little thing which we get stubborn about on principle. It’s taken me nearly a year to get to the stage where sticking bits of velcro on my laptop (my constant companion and portal to the outside world) does not seem such a violation of shiny tech or such a feel of being abnormal enough to require velcro. Daft eh? But truly, if something works, make use of it. That’s how we enable ourselves to do more.

So onwards with the velcro! My little interim task for the day!