The Shoe That Fits

I for one is not a fan of fashion but I know a good brand when I wear one, and I am willing to spend if I know I can use it for years.

Since I can now walk without any assistance, I try very hard to get back to my normal self maybe even more. Well, walking and I are not very good friends, people that know me can attest to that, but I like to wear nice shoes like every woman does (do I need to elaborate?).

After my doctor consults last week, I was out trying to find good therabands or similar products that I can use at home. Unlike in my projects, we don’t get take-home therabands from my rehabilitation center even if I have to shelve $ 20 per session. In my last project, we allowed the partners to give away at least 1 meter of bands depending on the color they need, and our services are for free, thanks to our donors!

Anyway, so I went to this sports shop and inquired about what I wanted to buy. All around me are sports gears including shoes, and it got me thinking about the different shoes I have at home — I have lots, but all are not made for my current condition.

  • My hiking boots and sneakers are out of commision at the moment because it feels tight even with loose shoelaces, my feet still swell when I stand for a long time 
  • My canvas sneakers don’t have the arch support I needed and will be too tight if I added an insole. 
  • My flats and of course my heels even with peep toe design doesn’t feel snug when worn, I have to crawl my toes all the time I am wearing them and of course balance. 

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  • And ballet flats don’t really look nice on me right now although they are my staple when overseas., next to my Birkenstocks of course. 
  • My Birks are nice, I swear by it, but I am not comfortable walking in it for a long time. My heel and the ball of my foot would have pain at different stages of my gait. 
  • Last, I am avoiding flipflops unless I am on the beach and I will only use one brand (Beach Walk) — I slipped using (Bench brand) in my bathroom. 

Until I found my (shoe) match last week. I was trying different brands and model, in fact, I only have VANS in my mind because I only want something that fits but after trying several I decided to have a better objective to what kind of shoes I will buy.

I want to believe that these new slip-on Skechers Women GO Flex Walking Shoe were designed for me. Although I am not a fan of the style and design but this time I am choosing comfort over aesthetics.

I am not promoting the brand, this is the first time I am wearing this brand and this style, but I have to say, I am happy to have bought it. The moment I tried it on and walked, my stance and steps felt different. (I should know I am the one walking right?)

(Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)
My new ride … Sketcher Go Flex Walking (Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)

Not to sound too technical but when I do the heel strike (putting weight on my heels), the materials of the shoes accept the load with ease allowing good balance. And the loading on the ball of my foot when pushing off was comfortable, no feeling of pain even when I still have some limitations in my ankle. The cushioned footbed and the flexible outsole allowed for that comfort it makes walking easy.

I also feel comfortable standing for a long time even if I still have swelling from time to time, it means I can do my stretching and some standing exercises without getting tired quickly. Even standing from sitting too long writing blogs, I don’t feel pain on my ankles and knees. The shoes absorb the weight and provide good contact on the floor and balance is not compromised.

(Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)
Even my scar is happy … me resting after my morning walk (Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)

Must be wondering about the heat. especially now that we’re in the 40 degrees. Well, the material is water resistant, it has mesh upper that allows the foot to breath (you know what I mean!) so there’s good airflow depending on the amount of activity you do, your location (indoor or outdoor) and condition of your foot. If your feet sweat a lot, maybe it’s good to wear cotton heel socks both for hygiene and comfort and make sure to air dry them when not in use (and make it a habit to throw your shoes in the washer when you can).

So for now, I am walking around the house in these shoes (also keeps my soles baby soft). And in the future, if I am allowed to prescribe footwear, I will do it, because these shoes are made for walking.

The First Temple I Visited When I Was In Nepal

Who would have thought that when I accepted the job in Nepal to support my organization respond the destructions brought by the earthquake in 2015 it would also pave the way for me to visit holy site after holy site … I started a pilgrim without me knowing.

I was happy to meet Nepalese returning from their work abroad, like our driver and many new physical therapists to help in rebuilding Nepal. They are willing to leave their high paying job because they know that their family and country needs them. It is good for us as outsiders to work with them knowing that their intentions are the same as us … to help and support the nation building.

The Monkey Temple

Found the middle of the busy streets of Kathmandu, the Monkey Temple was named because of the abundance of monkey around the hills that joins the pilgrims as they climbed the stairs to venerate their gods.

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Buddha welcomes you to the temple … start your ascent!

In Hindi, it is the Swayambhunath Stupa and temple complex. It is on a hill that can be seen from far if you know where to look. Hindu worship animals and as you already know the “cow” is a “holy cow” to them.

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The view from the top of the hill … overlooking one part of the densely populated city of Kathmandu in the late afternoon as the smog rises up covering the sky

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When you see them in the middle of the streets, you drive around it, or you completely stall the traffic until it moves out of the way, you cannot shoo them away, or you will have the evil eye upon you!

Reading up on Swayambhunat made me feel sad when I saw the destruction around the complex brought on by the devastating 7.2 and 6.8 earthquakes within one month apart in April and May 2015. Most of the buildings, statues, and murals that toppled to the grounds can be said to be over 100 years, and in that jolt, they fell like Lego bricks and nothing could have prevented it.

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Fallen bell
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One of the altar with the Buddha eye in the center
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Prayer bells … you can see the shine caused by the hands of those passing and pray

It is wonderful to see that the spirits of the people didn’t falter, they come in droves and continue life after the destructive earthquake. With the contributions from all over the world – the pilgrims and the devotees had made constructions and reinforcements of the structures possible. The community was able to start rebuilding early.

The photos are some of the devastations I saw when I visited the temple during one of our weekend breaks. There was less and less aftershock by that time, and there are more and more people allowed to visit and worship again in the temple.

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The peace it brings to the pilgrims amidst the rubbles
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More climbing required … the price is at the top of the stairs
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The stairs … along the way you will be welcomed by HIndu gods to guide your way, to the enlightenment
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Constructions commence. The community reinforced the structure to prevent further collapse
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One of the last standing column/stupa that’s reinforced for safety and reconstruction
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One of the stupa that didn’t make it … it was reduced to a stub
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The temple complex with the round bell for everyone to turn as they pass by praying
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One monkey contemplates the outcome of the destruction the earthquake brought to his temple
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Monkeys are part of the life in the temple
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Bells left hanging secured by those huge chains
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Rubbles blocking the way to the other side of the complex
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Cracks in the wall of an old building that houses monks looking after the temple complex
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It all comes down to this … more rubbles
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More structure damage … some of them are condemned to be demolished completely
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Debris everywhere … the red building is an old library and bookstore
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Houses of monks destroyed during the quake
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Piles of rubble from buildings that collapsed during the shake
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One of the stupas and housing complex for the monks

The Heat is On

Ah, the end of the month … it means that in two weeks it would be the fourth month since I broke my bones and third month since I started my physical rehabilitation treatments.

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My bones had set well and good. I was already given a full-weight bearing go signal by my doctor, and my therapist had been wearing me out trying to work more on my gait quality and endurance. Strength is not a problem for me, but I still have residual tightness and numbness which as I was told is usual with ankle injuries.

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Although, my therapists been telling me that I recover fast and is able to do active exercises faster than most patients they see in similar condition. And my doctor also said the same and mentioned that some patients love their injuries so much they don’t want to be moving on their own, I am the opposite.

I challenged the norm pushing myself hard before it’s time, and it fought back putting me in my place by letting me feel pain.

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The weather in the Philippines been rising. I was still happy until the summer officially kicked in because the heat is also kicking us all indoors.

My doctor was right when he said “let’s not put you on full leg cast” when he saw me the first time in January. Instead, he prescribed for me to use an Air Cast, a type of boots that I put on myself with help at first, and adjust the pressure on both sides to control the movement of the ankle as I start putting weight on my foot while keeping the ankle secured and stable.

 

He said I will thank him come March knowing that the temperature will continue to rise, and I am thankful indeed. Since 4 weeks, after wearing the boots at least 12 hours per day, I am almost not wearing it at all. I walk around the compound in shorts, without an appendage and only has one when I go to the hospital or attend a meeting like I did last week.

Wearing the boots outdoors now is more a precaution and protection from bumps in high traffic area like hospitals and malls. Otherwise, I almost don’t need it anymore, soon it will have to be shelved until I need it when my wires are removed.

**
In spite of the positive remarks from my treatment team, I still feel I am not doing enough, and I still feel sad and depressed sometimes with my condition. That was one of the reasons I had by set-back that I wrote all about here Happy Scar, trying hard to fast track my recovery that I almost re-injured myself, at least in my mind.
I am counting the days within the time frame I set for myself which is by mid-June to see if my physical and emotional self will be attuned. For the meantime, I am trying to fight off the heat playing in the garden with my niece and the garden hose.

Cooling Off
Cooling Off