Paradise regained

Like an elderly lady at the end of a long day, I’m sitting on my sofa with my feet in a basin of warm water with a capful of Dettol added in. My feet are in a bit of a state.

I’ve been on my feet more than usual, doing tourist things around Kiev (this post isn’t about Kiev, but no doubt a future one will be) and have a few little blisters on my feet as a result. My ankle pains are also worse than usual tonight after all the walking I did in the last few days and I think the warm water is good for that.

As well as the blisters, and the ankle pains, my toe nails are badly cut and have been cutting into the skin of the neighboring toes. Earlier in the week, I was at my wits’ end after multiple attempts at cutting my toe nails. Toe nails are just so hard to reach when you have a sixty-inch waist. In one of my lower moments, I tried to think of who I could ask to cut my toe nails for me and I literally couldn’t think of anyone I’d be willing to humiliate myself like that for. Luckily, I did manage to cut them eventually, but badly.

Finally, I have horrendously itchy athlete’s foot. I can barely reach to apply the ointment I need. And I can’t kill off the fungus that causes athlete’s foot because I can’t reach my feet to dry them properly after a shower so I invariably put my socks on while my feet are still wet and the fungus breeds on my dank and unattractive feet.

At the start of the week, I was resigned to this being my life. I couldn’t afford my surgery. I’d be fat for the foreseeable future and my feet would just have to tolerate the uncut jagged toenails and the rampant fungus and the blisters and the ankle pain.

My main reaction when I couldn’t get the credit for the operation wasn’t anger. It was a familiar feeling. I thought “Of course I didn’t get this. I’m doomed to be fat forever. I don’t deserve to be thin.” 25 years of failed diets has an impact on your self-esteem. Part of me really does believe that I don’t deserve to be able to reach my feet.

And then, a fairy godmother intervened. I have a loan of the money. I have booked the operation for the 4th October. It’s real.

It’s magic. I’ve regained what was stolen from me and it feels so much more precious. And not only do I get all the improvements to my health and my sleep and my feet and my body and my life expectancy. Not only do I get all that, but I also get to feel that someone out there thinks I deserve this and I feel like I matter. I matter a little bit more than I did a week ago and that’s more profound than anything. The world can be so beautiful sometimes that it hurts.

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