A not-so-nice tale from Down Under: Feet, Feet, FEET!

In my experience, very few people are fans of feet. I am not one of them. They look a bit weird when you think about it, often they aren’t completely in proportion (YOUR BIG TOE ISN’T THE BIGGEST AND IT’S CREEPING ME OUT), they can have hard nasty knobbly bits, smell like the worst cheese ever and we’ve all seen those adverts about the icky nail fungi that god-knows-how-many people have and don’t even know it yet. But as unpretty as they are – excuse the plain phrasing – feet are good. They’re like an unintentionally smelly and dirty wet dog, the kind of dog that may have swam through something a bit dodge on the way to you and now continues to shower you in potentially radioactive material as it dries itself off, but when real danger rears its violent head actually turns out to be mans best friend. And so it goes with feet.

So, why am I talking about feet? Have I gone mad? Have I forgotten that people are meant to want to read this blog? ‘Fraid not. I’m speaking about feet because our travels have been rudely disturbed by them, or more specifically, Simon’s feet have disturbed them. This is because Simon’s feet have been disturbed themselves by a nasty bug, caused by some very irritating blisters, which we suspect was caused by some very dodgy sandals purchased in Chennai.

After arriving in Australia, Simon’s been in pretty constant pain with his feet. Something (and I have a pretty good idea what) was irritating his feet to high heaven and his otherwise tough and skanky rugby boy feet became baby soft, extremely quickly. This is turn, created a small colony of painful, extremely sore, blisters all over both his feet. Now, blisters sound like the worst excuse ever. We’ve all had blisters right? But this looked like someone had literally burnt away sections of his toes so many layers of skin suddenly went missing. Not to be put out, we treated his feet and bandaged them up best we could (hallelujah for nurses in the family), teased him about being a wuss and finally the blisters began to disappear. Then, after wearing said pair of dodgy sandals once more for less than 24 hours, the nasty tribe of blisters moved back in at an alarming rate and we put two and two together, throwing the offensive footwear out as fast as we could**. A few days later, after putting up with excruciating pain to play a bit of rugby and go to work, Si comes back with one foot twice the size of the other. It was like he had smuggled a balloon into his workboots. After cracking a few jokes about ‘Big Foot’, we went to A&E – thank god we did.

The doctors were alarmed by how quickly his foot had increased in size. Turns out he had Cellulitus and his dressings – which we had been careful to change every day – had that sweet smell of infection (tip for life: an infected wound smells sweet, not nasty) which could mean only one thing, the weird blisters we couldn’t account for weren’t just blisters at all, but something much more sinister. The nurses were shocked too, exclaiming that his feet looked like something which belonged to an elderly diabetic, not a twenty something year old with a love for sport. The docs were worried that the infection had actually spread to the bone in his foot, and so started cutting and cleaning out the wound, looking for a visible track which would show if that had indeed happened. Luckily it hadn’t. Unfortunately, that didn’t really stop poor Si from having to go through hours of someone cutting away at his feet and jabbing his toes with needles. The nurses were wonderful, giving Si strong antibiotics through an IV along with laughing gas to try and numb the pain of the multiple local anaesthetic needles, but it was still a long night. They took a swab and when tested in the lab, it grew a tropical bug (EWwwww) and he’s been hobbling around on crutches the past few days (not that fun in 42 degree heat I can assure you).

So, why am I making you wince and cringe at this? Because, you – yes YOU – should love your feet. Be careful what you put on them (we learnt this the hard way), even if they are from a respected brand, and forgive all the nasty bits. Sometimes its worth paying a bit more to get shoes that don’t damage your feet.  Oh and that hard skin? Stops you from bleeding when you take a walk. The slightly mismatched toes? Means they don’t rub against one another. That smell? Okay, you just need to wash. BUT – whilst I chase this up with the company that made the shoes, I have definitely learnt one thing:

Feet are good. It’s not nice when you can’t take all the piggies to market.

-Oh and next time the blog will be more fun. Promise.

Over and out Amigos,

Liv xxxx


**Google informs me this isn’t the first time this has happened. Walmart has had to recall a batch of sandals made in China before because the chemicals used to treat the rubber / latex weren’t washed / cleaned off properly, resulting in damage to peoples feet.

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