Holistic Life


I knew better. I’ve had peripheral neuropathy for a few years now, so I have no excuses. But yesterday, I let myself be talked into a pedicure. I was getting a manicure, my standard practice before taking a cruise where I won’t have to cook, wash dishes or toilets, or pull weeds for several days. Manicures are cool, especially when you opt for the warm wax treatment. Arthritis melts out of my fingers with that stuff.

But it was a twofer special – I could get the basic pedicure without any extra cost since I was having the manicure. I had time and I thought… why not try? Maybe it won’t be as bad as the last time.

Actually, the LAST TIME was the thing tripping me up. I had a pedicure back in June, when most of my daughters were in town and we were doing a girly day. They picked the place – one of those cheap, maybe-not-so-safe nail spas. They had big chairs up on stands so the workers could sit on a stool and your feet were at a good working level for them. I did that pedicure and it was easy – no weird pain, just a nice foot wash, scrub, and nail polish. I mean it – it was EASY.

But my particular spa does not do pedicures that way. Once they’ve washed and scrubbed your feet, their chairs recline, bringing your tootsies to the nail technician’s lap-height. That’s really the big difference, and it doesn’t seem like much, does it? But for some reason, my position during the pedicure makes a difference to my nerves.

It wasn’t really pain. It’s hard to describe. But all the work on my toes – clipping, shaping, cleaning cuticles, painting… every bit of that sent electric jolts shooting through my feet and up my calves. I tried to be brave – tried to force my way through it – but by the time she’d finished the first coat of polish on both feet, I’d thrown the rosemary-scented eye pillow onto the floor and was sobbing into the soft, warm blanket that covered me.

I begged to sit up for a minute. Once there, I didn’t give a friggin’ damn about the second coat of polish. I didn’t care that my struggles to escape had resulted in messy polish on my toes. I just wanted her to STOP. I was NOT letting her touch my toes again.

It wasn’t the technician’s fault. She made every effort to be careful with me. It was the neuropathy  that caused it, and my own choice to do it. But never again.

It’s too bad, because my feet could really use the extra care. They’re sort of like hobbit feet, just smaller and less hairy. All that oil and pumice and trimming really does make them prettier. But in this case, the price of beauty is too high. It’s not short, either. My feet tingled and hurt far into the night, even after medication.

Neuropathy is a weird condition. I need to listen to my nerves.