Because I wear compression hose, my toes are almost always hidden under several layers, - those several layers are especially fun to wear in the months of July, August and September while visiting relatives in Georgia or maybe sight-seeing in NY, or when visiting tropical islands or experiencing a hot-flash, or while breathing. Shoes, socks, bandages, compression hose, toe caps, and pants worn on top of the whole conglomeration of medical necessities, my toes are buried much like the little candies and gifts deep down at the bottom of your Christmas stocking. I think that's more what Hannah had in mind.
Hannah spent the night at my junkhouse on Friday. When she knew we'd be getting ready for bed, the excitement was palpable. She declared with gusto, "This must be tomorrow because you are showing me your toes, and you said you would show me your toes tomorrow!" Love that logic! Nice to know that's how to figure out the schedule. Based on whatever day I finally decide to show you my toes. "Today must be when hell freezes over because that's when you said you'd show me your toes!"
Like a mummified Gypsy Rose Lee - with kankles, I removed my shoes, pants, then the bandaging, then compression stockings, backing out of my clothing, finally revealing -- my. left. foot. Upon seeing my foot, Hannah got a look on her face of sheer terror, as she held up her right hand in that "talk to the hand" pose, half covering her face, and exclaimed, "JAN!, your toes are really creeping me out!" Then she lay back in bed, desperate to gain back a smidgen of four-year-old little girl composure, back of her hand to her forehead. Then she immediately sat back up, looked at my toes again, slightly shielding her eyes from the horror, like driving by a train wreck with decapitated bodies. And with trepidation, she asked to see my other foot. Being the loving, sharing auntie that I am, I showed her my other foot. Once again, Hannah gasped in horror. Laying back in the bed again, trying feebly to regain composure. Sitting up again, a great idea came to her. She exclaimed with a joyous glee, "JAN!? You have to show your toes to my friends because they will be really creeped out!"
She wanted me to promise that my feet would stay far from hers throughout the night so with her permission I wore my Reid sleeves which I wear nightly, regardless (except on the nights that I "get lucky," and thankfully I have not been lucky in ages.) There has never been a case of spread through contact with creepy toes. You either have them or you don't. And I'm lucky! I got 'em!
None of this bandaging or compression hose for lymphedema is pretty though it's necessary for survival and necessary in maintaining lymphedema so the patient aka me, can walk -- like inhalers for asthma or braces for an enormous overbite or a wheelchair ramp for a wheelchair right smack in the front yard declaring to everyone driving by that someone inside that house has to use a wheelchair. Without compression, lymphedema worsens. Infections are likely and pain is a given. The only way I can describe the swelling would be to imagine your legs as a couple of 20 - 40 gallon aquariums. That heavy feeling is very painful. Some people with lymphedema have it way worse than I do. And some people hardly show sign or symptoms.
Long ago - back in the days of yore, I developed a theory (because I was born with creepy toes, my theory was part of a defense) that everyone on the planet has an issue - something that makes each one of them different though that difference is not always visible to the naked eye. I may have creepy toes but thankfully I can cover my toes with layers of bandages. Then when I go out to eat at swanky restaurants, the sweat can pour off my forehead into the soup and people can wonder why I sweat so much.
I asked Hannah if she loved me regardless of my creepy toes and of course, she said, "Yes!" I asked her if I should sleep outside because I had creepy toes and she said "No." Over time she'll discover that as humans, we all have our differences and sometimes those differences make us that much more lovable. Or at least that's the case with me.