• Erin Spineto

My Own Kind of Death Sentence

My definition of a good day: Wake up, put on bathing suit, shorts. If you can make it through the day without having to put on shoes or a shirt, it has been a good day. So when I first saw my endo in his white orthopedic shoes I wondered how long it had been since he has had a good day.

He talked with my mom and gave me the "Intro to Diabetes" lecture. He had me practice jabbing a syringe into an orange and then he handed me my own kind of death sentence. He told me that now that I was a diabetic I could never walk barefoot, and flip-flops were definitely out of the question. He said the moment I got out of bed in the morning my bare feet were never to touch the ground.

Gone was the slightly gritty feeling of the deck of a sailboat beneath my feet and the feeling of sand sifting through my toes. No more hopping from white line to white line in the parking lot in the middle of summer to avoid burning my feet. My happy-go-lucky future was now strapped down and buried beneath my summertime nemesis, the dreaded shoe. And I couldn’t even get away with going to my old standby when society demanded some sort of footwear, the go-ahead as Captain Jack calls them.

Luckily for me, I have a streak, strong and wide, of rebellion. And so that one piece of advice I ignore. I ignore it just about every morning when I get up in the morning to feel the cold, always somewhat sandy, hardwood floor beneath my bed.

I ignore it before every surf as I walk across the parking lot and then the sand with all its hidden glass-shard landmines and I ignore it every time I throw on a pair of heels when I go out with Tony (heels were outlawed by Doc Killjoy because they might hurt? How a man could outlaw heels is beyond me, weren’t they invented and propagated my man after man after man?)

In this fight against diabetes you have to pick your advice carefully. You do your best and forget the rest. For me that was refusing to condemn my feet to the sensationless dark holes that we all call shoes.

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