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Monday, February 20, 2012

Parkinson's Disease and My Foot

My left foot goes crazy almost every day around noon.  If I'm walking across a parking lot at the time, it can be a problem.  When it happens, it's called dystonia by the Parkinson's Disease Doctors, I just call it cramps. (read my Parkinson's Lingo story)

Just toes or whole foot
Sometimes my whole foot tries to turn itself inside out and other times, just my toes curl under.  The cramping itself isn't very painful, but my foot doing somersaults inside a shoe is, and trying to walk on it is extremely painful, even barefoot.  I usually try to sit down and wait it out.  If I catch it soon enough, I can sometimes stand on my tippy-toes and stretch it out or place my bare foot on the cold tile floor (which distracts my brain) and make it go away sooner.  

Little feet, big slippers
I have a hard time getting my shoe off my foot.  I am trying to balance on one leg and wrangle a distorted foot out of the shoe. For that reason, I wear oversize boot-type slippers around the house.  My feet are small and yet I wear big slippers that make me look like Big Foot.  I keep telling you that you've got to have a sense of humor to survive Parkinson's Disease.

Clicking on a picture enlarges it
Most of my Parkie friends get similar cramps.  If they happen first thing in the morning, it's most likely because our brain has run out of medicine while we were sleeping.  I used to get painful leg cramps that would jerk me awake.  I ended those by taking my last dose of medicine later and doing specific stretches right before bedtime.  I also increased my intake of potassium rich foods.  

The foot cramps I get now are most likely caused by too much medicine in one side of my brain.  I have Parkinson's Disease symptoms on both sides of my body, but my left side is the least affected and therefore, the muscles get over-stimulated and my foot cramps. 

Most of you know, by now, that I like to write song parodies (read I Re-write the Songs  ) so, of course, I wrote a song about my foot cramps. It's called The Bendy Toe Blues and clicking on the > below will play it for you. Enjoy!

You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:

Clicking on colored words will open a new window and take you to a different story or link.

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!


  1. I love your Site, and you have a wonderful sense of humour. Just listened to your Bendy Toes song and i agree velcro on shoes isn't sexy! I have PD too and miss wearing high heeled shoes. Your blog is great - keep up the writing. Wishing you well, Elaine

  2. I get the bendy toe blues when I'm usually out working, very frustrating having to stop because my right toes think they are ballet toes. love your song's x

  3. My pal Bev Mittan Ribaudo sings for us all! She is my hero and a true warrior!

  4. Mine goes in instead of out. I have an AFO for that. I love the lighthearted way you write, the articles always make me smile

  5. I have Parkinson's and Epilepsy. The medication for the seizures, Tegratol, completely eliminates all the muscle cramping---works like a charm.

  6. I used to get them as well but not anymore. I take about 6 oz of tonic water before bed. Works very well. Bob

  7. It's the quinine in the tonic water. High fructose corn syrup though so get the diet. A friend made me my first vodka tonic last month. Of course don't that one regularly! Lol!
    Bev I loooove your sense of humor! Thank you for being there. You've made a huge impact on my attitude! Hugs to you and wonderful husband! Barb

  8. High heels vs Velcro sneakers - I laughed so hard that my coffee came out of my nose! Thanks for the laugh this morning. :) Katherine

  9. Yes Bev, thanks for laugh. My foot cramps usually happen in bed so I have to get up and stretch. I guess that's good but wakes me up and don't get them while walking. Jon

  10. Interesting, I was wondering why I get the foot cramp on my good side. This is the first time I have read a possible explanation. Very cute song!!! My foot cramp is only minor for now. When I wake up I feel those muscles pulling but they have not taken over yet. Something to look forward to, lol!

  11. Yuma Bev, Thank you for another creative soon to be classic song. A friend of mine who had severe foot cramping got botox treatment and it worked well for her. I find when the foot cramps come a
    calling I can help it some by bending the toes back against the floor or dresser. Keep writing songs I love your sense of humor. Alex big fan in NY

  12. I started getting toe cramps way before I got dx and on meds. The meds helped some, but I still get them. It's so painful. My face contorts and if I'm around people they don't understand what's going on. I don't understand either. Just another day in the neighborhood!

  13. I don't get foot cramps, but have a real problem with my baby toe touching the one next to it. I have to keep them separated. Don't know why, I just have this weird compulsion.

  14. Excellent Bev! I love the song. I am glad your cramps aren't that painful, mine sure are. Almost enough to bring a tear to my eyes. Look forward to reading and hearing more from you.

  15. When I get the cramps I walk backwards

  16. You crack me up! Veronica

  17. I wear tight shoes whenever I get dystonia in me feet.... dystonia is by far my worst Parkinson's symptom.... very painful and your immobilised until meds kick in ... which can take hours sometimes

  18. Know exactly how ya feel Bev, does make this grown man wanna cry at times. Kev

  19. I had that for years and didn't know why until after my diagnosis. Hurts to even think about it!

  20. Rub your feet and hands with hemp works on my husband (he has pd)

  21. I hate these! I get them in my calves, shins and feet all of the time. A nurse told me to lean against a wall and step down on the ball of my foot (like a ballerina pose) and slowly press down. If that doesn't work, roll up a towel and put it under the arch of the foot and slowly press down. Both really work well for me. My new ones are my hands cramping up. Don't know how to fix that. I just have to wait it out.