Sometime about a year ago, maybe March or April 2011, I noticed the balls of my feet had started feeling like they were bruised.
I facilitate meetings for a living, and for years had worn high heels — not very high, just high enough to be cute. I stand while I work, sometimes for two or 3 hours at a time, and sometimes for two or 3 meetings in a day. My feet felt like I’d been standing on these high heeled shoes for a year nonstop and the balls of my feet were bruised deep inside. I could hardly walk.
That went on for a little while and I hobbled around, and one day took myself to a store that carries Earth Shoes. I’d been a big Earth Shoes fan when they first came out in the ’70s and actually bought some of my own when they became popular again in the late ’90s. I hadn’t owned any Earth Shoes for a few years, though, and tried on a pair there.
Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....just what I needed: a negative heel. It took the pressure off the balls of my feet. I could walk again! Fantastic!
I bought those, and proceeded to haunt Amazon and buy every pair of Earth Shoes in my size that I could find — winter shoes, summer shoes, sandals, sneakers, anything. Eventually I’d bought about 12 pairs. Anything to be able to walk, right?
I started noticing in maybe June or July of last year that when I’d get up in the morning, my feet hurt. Now, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Even if you’re old like me (more than 50, but not all that much) you can still walk, right? You can still get up out of bed in the morning, right? You can still get up out of bed and when you get up and get out of bed, your feet work, right?
My feet were still swollen and it had been months now that I’d been wearing only Earth Shoes. If I tried wearing anything with the slightest bit of a positive heel to it, I couldn’t wear it. I could wear *only* Earth Shoes. I’d get up and roll myself out of the *brand name* valley I’d sunk way down inside overnight, plant my feet on the floor, and my feet hurt for the next hour, maybe two hours. They were swollen; they didn’t function correctly — the tendons at the bottom of the feet wouldn’t function correctly, and I can’t explain it now, but my feet didn’t work, getting out of bed, and they hurt.
Also during this time period I took a couple of little short weekend trips. I’d be away from my house, my bed, for a few days, sleep on something else, whether just sleeping in my car (I can do that in my Honda Element) or sleeping on a mattress in a motel room or what have you. I observed my feet feel dramatically better on those days when I was away from home. My feet actually worked! when I got up and started to move around for the day.
And then I’d go back home to that *brand name* memory foam mattress, and my back pain would be back, my shoulder and neck pain would be back, my foot pain was back, I couldn’t walk normally when I got out of bed, and I started wondering: where is this going? What is this all about? Is it really the mattress? Really?
I searched around the internet a few more times, looking for someone who had similar complaints to mine. I didn’t really find anyone talking about my issues, but there were plenty of people out there complaining of things way worse than what I observed was going on with my body.
Another odd thing I noticed was my body was starting to develop little explosions. Somewhere in my body, every second of every minute of every day, there was something going off, like a little tiny firecracker, somewhere in some tissue of my body. One would be in my left upper arm, then down in my right big toe, then in my right shoulder area, then in my left thigh…all within the matter of two seconds…all day long, all over.
At the end of October, 2011 I took about a 6-day car trip away from home, during which time I visited some relatives and some friends. When I got together with my friends I told them about these weird symptoms of mine and my suspicion about the *brand name* memory foam mattress. By that time I was ready to admit that yes, it was the mattress, and yes, I needed to do something about it, and yes, I was procrastinating. I was expecting a wall of silence from the manufacturer; I was expecting no cooperation whatsoever, and no acknowledgement of any wrongdoing. I came to this conclusion after reading people’s complaints online. I read so many complaints, and I didn’t see anyone talking about any kind of a resolution, especially not after the 90 days had come and gone. And yes, on the trip I noticed that my symptoms very quickly dissipated and I felt so much better.
Then….it was time to go back home and face the *brand name* memory foam mattress that was trying to kill me.