Need help for hard to fit feet - extremely swollen diabetic feet - AgingCare.com

Need help for hard to fit feet - extremely swollen diabetic feet

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My MIL has impossible feet to fit. Last year I spent an entire day and traveled about 200 miles to visit nearly every specialty shoe store in our area only to find that she could not be fitted with shoes - her feet are just too fat and swollen (bunions, too!). She has forgotten this trip and wants to do a repeat performance - which I refuse to do.

We have also done the orthopedic shoes from the podiatrist - expensive - and she refuses to wear them. She says they 'hurt' her feet - we think she just thinks they are ugly. Unfortunately, what else do you do for ugly, swollen beyond belief, feet?

She is diabetic and SHOULD wear shoes at all times and she doesn't. Her feet are a mess. She still crams them into a 15 year old pair of lace ups that have sort of 'stretched with her' over the years - but they are nearly worn out. Her feet just sort of hang over the tops.

She gets these magazines in the mail and wants to order shoes from them. We have tried that a couple times and I have also ordered shoes from Amazon.com a couple times - but we must always send them back - losing money on postage each time. She just cannot wear a normal shoe anymore. That's what she wants and it just isn't possible anymore. Her arch is nearly 5 inches high - with swelling. Her feet look like little fat clubs - like she is walking on 4x4's..

If any one knows where a person can find some fashionable looking stretch fabric/lycra shoes for impossibly hard to fit feet - she would need an 8.5 and VERY WIDE and the height of the shoe is also a problem due to the swelling.

Her foot doctor has talked until he is blue in the face.

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OldCodger2 I just want to thank you for this thread. I did a search on Google for super wide shoes for my mother and I came across this thread. My mom's feet sound exactly like your MIL's. They are 4-5 inches off the ground, swelling starting at the base of her toes, everything you said. The only site I saw mentioned here that might have possibilities is based in the UK and we are in California but I sent for a catalog anyway because they go up to 8E. She has a pair of sandals she got from Hitchcock that are 5E and today when I took her to the doctor the velcro barely made contact with the other side. She fell two days ago because of her too small slippers, so now I am in search of a pair of those. I'm also going to get her an appointment with a podiatric to see if they can get her some shoes. Thank you for at least a glimmer of hope!
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Hubby is on a search for thin soled shoes to drive in. he has bad neuropathy but no diabetes. Right now he goes everywhere in slippers. He had me order 2 pairs for LLB so he had one decent pair to go out in. Now he's considering having his car converted to hand controls.He's getting sicker and sicker since I was ill. Does not work I beat him to it this time.
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Have to add that she is really picky about her shoes. They have to have thin soles and no heel. IOW, she wants her shoes to feel like slippers on her feet. She won't wear good solid shoes.
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oldcodger, I go through the same thing with my mother. She has big Barney Rubble feet that are usually swollen. I've found some shoes that fit her online. they are some pumps by Dr. Scholl's. Every couple of months she says that we need to go to get her some shoes. I ask her where she plans to shop. She says any shoe store will be okay. She really doesn't understand how bad her feet are and how hard they are to fit. They just don't make 11 EEEEEEEXXX to sell in shops. :) Really, she doesn't need any more shoes. She only goes out of the house 2-3 times a week, so doesn't have a huge need for shoes. She'll only wear slippers at home no matter how I encourage her to wear shoes with better support.
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Shopping for shoes at a 'regular' shoe store or online is out of the question for my MIL. Been there - done that. Her feet must be at least 4 or 5 inches from the ground to the top of her foot - mid foot. There is absolutely no way to get her toes into a regular shoe box - not even an extra wide one. Her feet resemble 4 x 4 blocks of wood - about 6 or 7 inches long - just a huge block where her foot used to be. She curls her toes under when she walks - podiatrist says it has something to do with the neuropathy - and that causes callouses on the ends of two toes.

Orthopedic shoes from the podiatrist are the ONLY solution to her shoe problem. Yes, they look big. They ARE big. Her feet ARE big. Even on good days her foot is easily 2-3 times the size of mine.

When the health fails - a person has to 'accept' the way things are and go with it. It took her years for her to reluctantly - VERY reluctantly - accept that these were the only shoes that she could get her feet into.

Believe me, I ordered so many shoes online - Mary Janes, ballet flats (thinking they would not need to go over her fat instep - wrong - they wouldn't even go over her fat toes.) We went to every Special shoe store in our huge Metro area and found nothing that would come close to fitting her. After spending 8 hours running to all these stores - a year later she asked me to do it again - take her to a few shoe stores. SHE FORGOT WE DID IT ALREADY!! I have no intention of putting in another day like that one ever again. Her health has further declined - she seriously could not spend a day getting in and out of a car any more anyway.

She won't even consider Tennis shoes of any kind. Doubt any would come even close to going onto her feet anyway.

She wears the orthopedic shoes on the rare trips she takes to the doctor and occasionally out to eat. She is getting more and more unsteady on her feet (losing her leg strength) and we are going to have the N.H. talk with her doctor soon.

Hubs and I both have bad shoulders and backs and I have other health issues that I did not have year ago and preclude any kind of lifting. Hubs has had shoulder surgery and cannot lift either. She is a very heavy girl. It is time to consider alternatives - at least to know our options - as the time is coming - we can see it coming. :0/
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it may sound silly, but when i read these stories of ugly shoes ( i refuse to wear them also) All I could think of was decorating those ugly shoes with glue on sparklies, gems, and paint markers - silver or pink, purple....
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My grandma has finally started to accept the diabetic shoes. We actually go to Footprints in our area to get them and they do have a few options (my biggest compliant is that these are for diabetics with a risk of fall and none of the shoes I mean none, have any treads. So when she goes out for doctor's appointments in the rain, or even slight snow, ice forget it, she can't walk and I have to literally brace her feet with mine every step she takes. It's a nightmare and an accident waiting to happen.). But she loves her shoes and the best part is they are covered by medicare. The ones she used to get at the doctor's office while convenient were ugly and she gave me a hard time wearing them calling them heavy, awkward and ugly. She had a point as they were unforgiving, were very heavy and I wouldn't have found them comfortable to walk in. They were also very hot and her feet would sweat. In these new shoes they are airy with cooling insoles which are amazing. I'm jealous of the way they made her feet look better. They look like a black sneaker so sort of stylish. They are light weight which she loves but very supportive and do not give a whole lot where it counts although you can bend the sole a bit if you have it off her. She also has specially made insoles that were formed to her feet after being heated. She used to have sores and calluses on her feet but since she started to wear these shoes during the day with her compression socks, her new water pill, having her feet up in her lift chair as much as possible during the day and in a hospital bed with her feet elevated with a pillow at night, she has her nice feet back. I wish you luck finding the right shoe.
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thanks for all the comments. My MIL wore her ortho shoes to AZ when she visited her sister and has been wearing them since. She wore stretch booties around the house (and at the Asst. Living Facility where her sister resides) that I found at our local pharmacy. No support at all - but she won't wear anything else around the house. The doctor is keeping tabs on her edema - some days it is worse than other days. I have a hard time getting her to elevate her feet - I am tired of nagging her about it. She naps a lot - so probably figures that is enough elevation.

I have stopped searching online for shoes for her. She has finally accepted the orthopedic shoes. Even they can barely fasten on bad days. But most of the time they are adequate.

I think it just took her a good long while to 'accept' that she had to wear shoes that were no longer the least bit pretty. I told her there wasn't anything pretty about having her feet crammed into small shoes with her swollen ankles lopping over the sides. That she needed support and safety. She has finally accepted this. It took YEARS. Thanks everyone. Hope you all have success finding 'just the right shoe' too. :0) It isn't easy.
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If Mom won't wear specially made shoes from the Podiatrist, I doubt anything will please her even if you are successful in finding it.
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desperateson I assume that you and Dad are also working on controlling the swelling. Look up Shoes for Swollen Feet online to see what brands make such shoes. I think a wrap-around style would be convenient as it could be adjusted as the swelling came and went. For a more convention looking shoe check the Dr Comfort site and look at the ones that have double depth and velcro closing. Many podiatrist offices carry Dr. Comfort.

Bless you for working on this. Decent comfortable shoes can make a difference in a person's outlook!

Would you mind coming back and starting a new thread on what you finally get and how they work? We learn from each other!
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