Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Most of my adult life I have had foot problems. In my right foot I had a neuroma, or pinched nerve. It feels like I have a  pebble in my shoe and it can hurt like hell. I've had surgery to fix it, and steroid injections, yet I still have some pain in that foot. In addition to the neuroma, both feet hurt for reasons I cannot figure out. They hurt when I wear shoes, when I wear socks, when I walk barefoot, but worst of all they hurt even when I lay down in bed. Just the pressure of having bed sheets pressing on my feet makes them hurt.
Yesterday I was watching one of my favorite shows, American Pickers. It's a show about two guys who go around the country picking through hoarder's crap. They buy what they think other people might want, and take it back to their store in Iowa where they sell it. It can be very interesting, like the episode I watched. One guy they visited in Alabama had a barn full of odd old electrical devices that were used in medical applications back when electricity was considered almost magical. They zeroed in on one machine in particular, a machine that instantly brought back memories from my early childhood. It was called the Adrian X-Ray Shoe Fitter. I vividly remember looking into the little window of one of those machines, and watching my toes wiggle inside the new pair of shoes my mom was purchasing for me. Let me tell you about the Adrian X-Ray Shoe Fitting Machine. You stuck your feet into the holes at the bottom while you, you're mom, and the shoe salesman looked into the little portholes on top. What we were looking at was radiation from a fluoroscope blasting through my little boy feet. Not only was radiation zapping my feet, but those machines were notoriously leaky, meaning the shielding was not very good. They were finally outlawed, and the last working one was decommissioned in 1981. So maybe I have solved the reasons behind the horrible feet I have to live with today. Possibly radiating my feet when I was five years old screwed them up. And maybe the family of that shoe salesman so many years ago, might be able to figure out why daddy died so young and why his casket glowed as they lowered it into the ground.


  1. I'm thinking that daddy had no kids because of the radiation! I remember that machine....I don't think we used it very much, how many new shoes did YOU get? You probably wore Dave's hand me downs and THAT'S why your feet hurt! Probably why you walked duck-footed....trying to keep his shoes on your feet!

  2. Your sister just called you duck-footed...use your radiation superpowered foot to kick her!

  3. Peggy, I actually only remember my feet in that machine once. It was probably at a more expensive shoe store, so that would explain why only once. As for wearing hand me down shoes, that never happened. Even back then I was very particular about my shoes. I demanded and got cowboy boots once. They were horrible. They gave me blisters and did not fit. Dad said, "You'll wear those goddamned things or I'll shove them up your goddamned ass." (Still miss Big Al).
    Hostess, unfortunately I was, and am 'duck footed'. Don't know why, but when my knees point forward, my feet point to the person next to me.