For whatever reason, I frequently find myself involved in foot-related mysteries without a person who has ever wanted to be involved with the matter . For example, a couple of nights ago at some point while I was sleeping, I twisted my ankle. I don’t know how I managed to do this while I was asleep, but I woke up with a twisted ankle and have had one ever since. Of course, the ankle I twisted was my right ankle, as that is the leg that gives me the most trouble in life. Many people have seen me hobble around as a result of gout attacks, and so this is the sort of foot problem that might make people think I had another gout attack, even though I didn’t. No, this is a fairly dull and garden variety sprained ankle, not that it is any more enjoyable to hobble around for that reason than for any of the ordinary reasons I usually hobble around for.
How does one get a sprained ankle in the night? I did some research on this and it turns out this is not an uncommon problem. Some people blame it on sleepwalking, which is not something I tend to do but something that runs in my family, along with sleep cooking, sleep singing, and sleep talking, a couple of which I have been known to do on occasion. Other people give themselves sprained ankles in the night by putting the sheets on too tight. Far more likely in my own personal case to be an issue is the problem of hypermobility, which applies in at least two senses to me. First, I have quite a few joints with a great deal of flexure that are “double jointed” and more than a few times my double-jointedness has led to some excessive burdens on some of my joints, like my knees. It seems pretty likely that one of those comments during one of my particularly active dreams set me up for several days of hobbling around painfully. Of course, some people even have gout attacks in their ankles, which would be particularly painful and irritating.
In the course of reading about foot problems, I find a great deal of humor in reading about the relationship of the foot to aspects of Eastern religion. To give the most notable example, reading about feet problems tends to trigger sources about the foot chakra, which according to adherents of various mystery religions relates to such issues as feeling grounded, overcoming nightmares and insomnia, and freeing one’s creativity from blockage. It is interesting that these issues should be connected with the feet. Our feet are what connects us to the ground, and sometimes we struggle with our connection to the world of which we are a part. My own feet have long been a part of the body that has provided special trouble, and even before it did was a part of the body that I tended to view as being largely worthwhile for utilitarian reasons because I like to walk fast. When one is afflicted with foot problems, walking fast tends to become impossible and even walking at all can be a struggle.
When one thinks about it and is not biased by one’s hostility towards feet, there is a sort of beauty in the way that feet work. Our feet have to be robust not only to handle the blood pouring down and the occasional difficulties of the lymph system in getting fluid up the leg, but also to handle the repetitive motions of running and walking that allow us to be such versatile beings as we are.
 See, for example: