September 2010 – Patient Sympathy

August 2010 – Back to School Shoewear

July 2010 – Womens Shoewear

June 2010 – Summer Foot Care

May 2010 – Skin

April 2010 – Ingrown Toenails

March 2010 – Barefoot Running

February 2010 – Pediatric Flatfoot

January 2010 – Being a Compliant Patient

December 2009 – Raynaud’s Disease

November 2009 – NA

October 2009 – Shin Splints

September 2009 – Dealing with Corns and Callouses

August 2009 – Relieving Painful Gout

July 2009 – Caring for Plantar Warts

June 2009 – Bunions

May 2009 – Children's Heel Pain

March/April 2009 – Heel Pain

February 2009 – Shoe Fitting

January 2009 – Nail Fungus

December 2008 – Neuroma

November 2008 – Diabetic Foot Care


September 2010

Published in - Healthy Lifestyles

It seems that each month when I decide to write about a certain topic concerning the foot, ankle or any part of the lower extremities, I want to throw into the article somewhere, “Like many of you, I have also suffered with…” Or, for every little ache, pain, strain, frustration I want to tell you, “I know how you feel. The same thing happened to me back in…” I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose it’s just a ‘thing’. A variation of the ‘been there, done that’ phrase would be saying, “Yep, strained this, broke that, too”. And, it’s not that I’m overly clumsy I just seem to push it so hard that eventually something’s gotta give.

The reason I bring this up is for a few reasons: One, if you’ve over-trained for a marathon (twice) I’m right behind you. If you’ve walked onto a playing field with a broken bone or two, I am right beside you. If you’ve had to stop certain activities because of a pain in the foot so severe it had brought you to tears. Oh man, don’t I know it. Not so much from the pain. It’s just the utter frustration of NOT being able to run, cycle, sit, sleep or even walk for that matter, like a normal human being. Even if it is only a short trip from the car to the front door or from the bedroom to the bathroom at 3am. If it’s a broken toe, tendonitis, heel spur, ingrown nail, neuroma, a muscle tear or a myriad of other annoying, frustrating improbable setbacks, I truly have been in your shoes. Sorry, no pun intended, but it did seem to fit.

Two, I frequently have patients complaining, and rightly so, that their doctor hasn’t the first clue as to what it is they’re feeling or going through. Not so much the actual pain that their condition brought them in the office in the first place, but the frustration that bores into them because the doctor just “doesn’t get it”. Not that each physician needs to suffer through a particular injury or issue to understand how to get through it, but it does make it a bit easier to digest any bad news your physician is throwing your way when he tells you that you can’t do this or that for X number of days, weeks or months if he or she has experienced that particular frustration.

Three, it seems that I am well-suited for this career due to my numerous foot issues over the years. This is, by the way, how I ended up here. I’ll spare you the details. I certainly have gained an appreciation for other’s pain and frustration regardless, it seems, whatever the problem. I’ve come to understand that when something new strikes me, soon after I end up with a number of patients with the same foot or ankle problem.

The foot problems I listed earlier I have intimate knowledge of. This list also includes a broken ankle suffered while running, ingrown nails, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bursitis, leg length issues, over-pronation, pulled and torn muscles and I’m quite certain, a few more to be added that I’ve long forgotten, or at least have chosen to.

So when an athlete, a weekend warrior or a retired 60, 70 or 80-something limps into the office and tells me they haven’t been able to run, cycle or just walk comfortably, I get it. I do. I’ve had those mornings for months, going on years, of holding onto the handrail as I descend the stairs waiting to find out what kind of day my knee has in store for me. Gratefully, I found something that works for me and that if I touch the banister, it’s out of pure reflex.

I do feel that the more understanding that someone, physician or not, has about a particular issue, the more they know how someone else feels while going through the same or similar concern. Yes, I know this is not earth-shattering news and it is obviously common sense, it’s just nice to know that someone you’re seeing may actually truly understand what you’re going through. This is, more obvious and to the point of why support groups do so well in helping others get through whatever it is they’re experiencing.

I just can’t wrap my head around the physician who is grossly overweight, eats poorly, smokes and is giving me advice on exercising, eating right and watching my sugar levels, for example.

There is one thing, however, that does seem to be consistent with most non-life threatening aches or pains, foot related or not. And that is our ability to tell ourselves a little white lie and say, “It’s not that bad” or “It’s getting better, it’s only been a few months since I (fill in the blank). Yep, just keep telling yourself that, you may eventually get there but, it’s going to be a lot longer than you’d like it to be, trust me. So, stop procrastinating and get your tired and painful old dogs in to see your friendly neighborhood Podiatrist. Allow us to take care of one of the most important structures of your body. If you’ve ever had a foot problem, you’d know that when your foot hurts, your whole body seems to take a serious beating. And don’t you think we’ve had enough of a beating with this economy? Let’s all walk a little easier. ine.