Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Non-Load Bearing

Ok, I know I've been going a little nuts with my health posts, but I just got another blow to my fragile frame again today.

I learned a long time ago that the first injuries a chef suffers in a kitchen is either cutting themselves or burning themselves. Luckily, I've never suffered a bad cut. Maybe a few small nicks, but nothing to send me to the ER like some of my other chef buddies have done. I just don't cut fast enough to not pay attention to where my fingers are...that's not really a GOOD thing in the kitchen, but I'm not a big fan of stitches and I'd rather get yelled at for being slow than being yelled at for bleeding all over the food.

I've been burned. A lot of my old school burns have healed up nicely over the years and you can't even see most of them anymore. Most of my burns were on my hands and wrists- reaching into a hot oven with nothing but a kitchen towel. Real kitchen don't use pot holders. (Just an FYI for you there.)

The third, most devastating injury a chef can suffer in the kitchen is slow and silent. It's their feet.

They drilled it into our heads even before stepping into the kitchen that we needed to come dressed right. Sneakers wouldn't cut it. The shoes needed to be hard- to protect your toes and the tops of your feet from a falling knife. I've seen a knife fall tip-down and straight into a chef's foot. The only thing that stopped it from being a complete skewer was the hard leather of the clog. The tip went through and just nicked the top of his foot. If he was wearing Nike's, that knife wouldn't gone through his foot like butter and embedded itself into the kitchen floor.

It took me several months to break my clogs in. I went home after a long 8 hour shift on my feet at the school aching the entire way. Joel usually have one of my ped-covered feet in his lap as he drove us back to Queens. I guess I was lucky in that sense. Other people have to walk and take the subway after being on their feet all day or all night long. I had an air-conditioned ride home every single night, and a foot rub to boot!

Once my clogs were nice and molded to my foot- let me explain this process. A clog is a perfectly designed shoe for someone on their feet all day long. I am talking about a CLOG, not a CROCK. Please keep those piece of shit plastic whatevers far away from me. A good clog is made of leather. It's perfectly inclined just enough to relieve of the strain on the foot, the calf, the Achilles tendon, the leg, and the spine. The inside is not some soft squishy material that will soak up bacteria and stink to high heaven. No, it's leather. And as long as you're wearing socks (Yes, there are some dirty fuckers who go barefoot...EWW!) it's pretty damn resistant to odor. The force of your foot in the clog, combined with the heat of your foot wearing it night after night molds that hard leather inside to perfectly hug the curves if your entire sole- the heel, the arch, the pad, and even the toes.  But, to get to that point, you have months of achy feet coming out of a hard leather clog.

I wore my clogs to every catering gig I did. Sneakers really didn't cut it. Not only would my feet hurt after a couple of hours, but my back started to ache like a screaming Banshee, too. After moving again, I lost track of my clogs and my back and feet have not been the same since.

Sometime last year, I noticed my feet were aching a lot more than usual and were not feeling any better even after a rest and a hot soak. As time went on, I would wake up and not be able to walk on my left foot. I bought insoles- expensive one's- and they were not helping.

I know my support-less Chucks were not helping the situation but I've been wearing them so long I couldn't imagine what my outfit would be like without looking own and seeing one of my 21 pairs smiling back at me from below. It got so bad, I started throwing out my worn out shoes. Old Nikes, the Black Chucks, the Gray Chucks, the Navy Blue Chucks....I said goodbye to them all. Still, my left foot continued to give me problems.

I finally went to a podiatrist earlier today. As soon as she saw my shoes she shook her head and said, "No more." WHAT?!?!?!?! Even with insoles?? Even with insoles- she told me.

Well, it's a combo of many things, she told me. The shoes were one factor, but the fast weight gain over the year has been the biggest factor. My poor little feet just can't handle the extra 20 lbs I heaped on those little guys. My arch is collapsed. I have a heel spurt and some extreme inflammation in that area. My right foot is starting to show the same symptoms.

So, she stuck a pair of heel cups in my shoes. She wrote my a script for an anti-inflammatory, and I have to go get an X-ray sometime this week to make sure I don't have any stress fractures or breaks.

The bottom line is: "You're not doing yourself any favors staying at this weight. It's not natural for your body. You put it on very rapidly. And the problem will travel from your feet, up your legs, and into your spine. You need to lose the weight.....but you have to stay off your feet until we can get them painless again. Stop eating. Get an exercise plan in place. And buy a dress you're gonna want to fit into. The motivation will do wonders. LOSE THE WEIGHT!"

I have never felt like such a fat piece of shit before in my entire life. Not only am I chunky and not sexy anymore, but now my body is breaking because of it. This fucking sucks. I really hate myself right now....and I'm really hungry.

I'm not going to eat though...The kitchen is downstairs and my feet hurt too much to walk all the way down there. Lazy ass.


  1. I told you it wasn't me. Why would I even put something like that up here? You just assumed the worst as if you didn't know me any better.

    Anyway, why can't you just switch over to Nikes and retire your Cons for now? Is fashion and your vanity really worth the pain?

  2. I said I was sorry! Anyway, I'm looking for a new home for my little blogs so don't worry. We'll be outta this dump soon enough!

    Actually, she said Nike was the WORST brand of sneaker to buy (in terms of good sneakers. Cons don't count.) She said they are not structurally sounds for most feet. And she told me to get Suacony or Asics. Can you imagine? The two cheapest sneakers on the market are the one's she suggested. =( I'm so bummed. If I don't wear my Chucks, my Nikes were always my other option. And now I can't wear either one.

    I have to go buy new sneakers. I'm wearing my Nikes today but with the heel cups she gave me.

    1. You're still crying over your vanity? You're limping around like a gimpy old woman and you're upset you can't wear a name brand shoe? You just wrote this whole piece about your feet being important and how it effects the rest of your body when they're not right. With everything else breaking on or in you, this is a pretty simple fix in comparison, wouldn't you say????

      What happened with the xray and does the anti-inflamitory have any side effects with the other thing you have going on?

    2. I'm not crying over my vanity. I'm upset about all the sneakers I spent my money on that I won't be able to wear any longer.

      But, you're right. In the grande scheme of things; this isn't a big deal. I'm going for my xrays right now.

  3. Did you do the X-rays? What did the dr say? I know some foot docs out here in Jersey if you want a referral let me know. Gotta take care of your feet. If your feet hurt, it's hard to get anything done. I'm a big guy. Trust me, I know the pain you're talking about and my weight did play a big factor with my heel spurs. Catch it quick before the damage is irreversible.

    1. The xray says I have heel spurs (not heel in both my feet with severe inflammation on my left foot. I immediately stopped wearing all the "bad" shoes and I have to wait for my next paycheck before I can buy some Asics. I can't workout for another month. I'm on the anti-inflammatory drugs. I'm wearing the heel cups. And I'm looking to buy some night splints to help stretch out my tendons so I can start healing. That's all I can do. I'm probably gonna join weight watchers because I obviously can't be trusted enough to watch my own damn weight. =( *le sigh*