Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the podiatrist

Today I went to the podiatrist.  Since I was a kid I always had weird random foot issues. I have nail fungus, athletes foot issues,  high arches, wide feet and  a under lapping toes of the pinky toe on both feet.  Over the years I have asked my various doctors about things and most have said "oh let them go until you start to have problems". I have always kinda liked this passive approach to my health until I really sat down and thought about how crappy that plan really is.  I am obsessed with cog style tennis shoes. I don't really know why I have decided that these are my dream shoe, but maybe its the simple ease of getting them on and off, or the fact that they fit my size 11 wide feet with room to spare. But whatever the reason I searched all around for a pair that wasn't white, finally finding them in a random Sears out in the middle of nowhere Eastern Washington.  I bought a pair and quickly knowing that I was leaving town soon got another. Recently I went back to visit a good friend in the area and she laughed at me because I specifically made the trip back to the Sears to see if I could get another pair. This one store seems to be the only store on earth that has my dream shoe in stock..  What I have found as I started wearing this one kind of shoe, is that I tend to wear them out in a funny location, so i figured that something had to be wrong with my gait or how I put my weight on my feet.

I have a pretty physical job. I am usually on my feet most of the day in some form or another. I also in the last few months picked two very physical paces to volunteer at on my days off. So I never really get to take a break and have a day where I am totally off my feet. I have great shoes that I change into when I am working out or at one of these volunteer places because they handle the rough terrain a lot better then the slip on clog sneakers. At work I wear those exclusively. Why am I rambling about my shoes??? OK because today figured that with the amount of time I spend on my feet and how dependent I have become on standing and walking, I should make sure that they are as healthy as possible for the future.  So I made a visit to a podiatrist and I found out a whole lot more then I expected to.

First off, I have one goofy foot and one normal foot. My right foot seems to be the bearer of all my  bad foot issues whereas my left  foot has nothing.  The podiatrist office was super nice and I didn't even have to wait very long to get seen. The doctor was a cute little older man with some sort of  faint European accent. He did a bunch of touching, bending, and stoking of both feet, told me that I have lovely high arches, and seemed to understand why I was concerned. He asked me to walk up and down the hall so he could see my gait.  Turns out that I am nob-knee-ed. My knees turn inward when I walk and this is making my right foot have to push out more and causing a lot more pressure when I take steps on it.  I come down very hard on that  right foot and in a weird place. He said that right now all my weight when waking is being put on the outside back part of my foot, so basically exactly where my shoes get worn down.  He says that my left foot isn't nearly as server and that a simple orthotic to support my arches will suffice for that  left foot. Now for my retarded right foot with the bad weight distribution, they want to create a custom orthotic contraption that will cost me 500 bucks and be like a second shoe for my foot. Well at least until I have been able to train my foot to not be so gimpy, then we can move down to a normal orthotic like my left foot will already have.  He was able to explain how all the weird toe issues I  have with that foot are all related to this one simple problem. I had no idea, but I guess that is why I went to the podirtist.

The other thing that he told me and I'm sorry this might cross the line into being gross. Is that he thinks I have a super bad case of nail fungus that is not just attacking my nail on that foot but also attacking my foot skin on that foot. He immediately sent out a culture and gave me an prescription anti fungal medication to slather my foot with twice daily until the results come back. Who knew that nail fungus can attack foot skin? Look at all the things I have learned today at the podiatrist office.  So I left the office feeling like I have a plan of action and something that might actually make things easier for my body and feet in the years to come. I love my life right now and I know that I place really hard demands on my body to accomplish all I want it too. I am learning the older I get that treating my body good now will hopefully save me from injury later.   So I will go back in two weeks to get fitted for my orthotics, and hopefully after a few months I'll be walking much better. Oh one more thing to mention. The podiatrist totally said that my dream shoes are OK for me to wear. So I'm glad I don't have to try to find new ones.

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