I often hear a fellow at my golf-club being described as a pain-in-the-toe. I don’t know him at all well, but I hear other chaps moaning about his manners and unnecessary demands. And so, I thought to myself, why do some folks use this saying to describe people who are a ‘pain’?
The big toe on your foot is important. It is made up of two bones the proximal and distal phalanges and these in turn much like the fingers on your hand are connected to a metatarsus. It is a very important part of the body as it controls your balance as you walk. A friend of mine, a fellow high in the legal profession was cutting the grass in his back garden one day – just after it had been raining. The grass was damp. He was using a hover-mower with a highly dangerous, fast-spinning blade. Something took his attention from the task in hand and he slipped and his foot slid under the mower. Despite the fact that he was wearing stout gardening boots, the blade ripped through the protection on his foot and cut through his big toe. Later at hospital the shattered remains of his toe were removed. I met him some weeks later in a street where he was shopping. He walked with a stick for support. He told me that he had lost his balance mechanism (his big toe) and was having to learn to walk all over again. He never realised how important a part in in his life his big toe had played.
Of course there are other (less-serious) things that can go wrong with the toe such as blisters, bunions, ingrowing toenails and so on, but gout is something that I think is the worst. I have had it myself. Exceedingly painful even to lay a bedcover on top, at night it throbs with intense pain and prevents sleep. Inflamed and red it can only be described as – Argh! You can read my story about it at moss-grove.co.uk/article-gout.html
We are on our feet a long time every day. They carry us around doing the work that we ask them, yet we rarely say thanks. My article moss-grove.co.uk/article-hot-weather-foot-hygiene.html tells of how good it can be to give your feet a little TLC, however, for me, the longest running problem that I have had with my big toe is arthritis. It hurts most of the time. It never goes away. Yet in a way, I am to blame with all of the overwork that I have given it.
For many years I played football and rugby where I kicked a hard leather ball. The boots that I wore had little in the way of protection and thus my toe got damaged, yet in those days I cared little. When I was older I bought my first home, a flat in an old, near derelict building. A young married man, I had very little money and so having no choice but to do the work myself, I spent many hours on my knees with my big toes bent under me as I ripped up old floorboards, laid the new ones, sanded woodwork, painted skirting boards, laid carpets, indeed all sorts of things that I had no choice but to do myself.
The result of all of this, I suppose, is the arthritis that I suffer with in my knees and toes. It’s a curse – or so I thought until that is my wonderful wife Sheila started to study the incredible benefits that can be gained by using plant-based therapeutic essential oils. And so, our company Moss-Grove was born.
The children of the cobbler were always last to have their footwear repaired. In a way I was similar. We sold lots and lots of bottles of Joint-Ease yet I ignored its benefits myself, preferring to limp along, complaining about the pain in my big toe. This went on for years. I was a silly man – until that is that the lovely Sheila suggested that a daily dose of Joint-Ease may help. Needless to say, today, I am pain-free. I have learned the benefit of applying a little lotion every day (prevention) to my very own and ‘very important’ big toe!