Follow up with the podiatrist today. While a part of me thinks it's kind of silly to see the doctor over a sore toe (even one that's been pretty persistent) I have also been told that with diabetes I have to pay special attention to my feet and this kind of thing is not to be ignored.
The problem is a puzzle. The X-rays show a very slight increased separation in the first joint (the joint between the metatarsal and the first toe bone) but nothing that really explains the problem.
One thing, the new shoes I got--up from 9 1/2 EEEE to 11 EEEE--are still not wide enough. There's apparently a "turning" of the metatarsal bone on the little toe side that's normal with age and that makes my foot wider than before. He suggested going to the New Balance store and see if they have 6E in stock. I can probably reduce a half size in length so long as they're wide enough. In the meantime he gave me a steroid shot in the joint, hoping to get the inflammation (the probable cause of that increased separation) under control.
If the wider shoes do not relieve the problem (since I still have the discomfort when going barefoot at home, this may well be an issue) and the cortisone doesn't resolve it, then we may be looking at surgical intervention. According to the doctor since I have a sedentary job, I might be able to go back to it about a week after the surgery, so long as I can stay off my feet with the "repaired" foot propped up.
We're hoping to avoid that.
All that from a sore toe.