Damn, those are some nasty looking feet.
The podiatrist at Hampden Foot Clinic didn’t exactly say this and at no point did he even give me a look that might reveal any sign of disapproval, but I just knew that behind his really friendly welcome, he would be disgusted at what he was about to witness.
Before I had my first shoe off, I was making excuses and preparing him for the sight that awaited him.
I’ve ran a few miles ( I didn’t tell him howmanymiles) and I possibly haven’t taken as much care of my feet as I should have”.
Even as I said it, i knew that it was a lame excuse. I own dozens (and covet many more) of pairs of relatively expensive running shoes and I have merino wool socks that I take great care in washing. I take great pride in adorning my feet in the latest designs and the brightest colours with only the best running shoes worthy of encasing my feet.
In fact, as soon as I learned from Magic Mandy that some orthosis should help me run, I went out and bought myself the brightest and best shoes that I could find (using my Vitality discount, of course).
As a runner (I am running again), I might very well have all the gear, but I am guilty of neglecting my feet and were it not for the Feet For Life campaign, I am not sure that I would have taken the steps that I have.
However, with Magic Mandy (I WILL make this stick) having discovered the cause of my knee pain, I was intrigued to see what other mystical powers podiatrists possessed and deep down I knew that my feet were gradually worsening even though I hadn’t even been running.
This is what brought me to be sitting in Hampden Foot Clinic with podiatrist Graham Bone, a former student under Magic Mandy at Glasgow Caledonian University Podiatry , preparing to treat my feet to some much needed care.
Podiatry is a medical profession and it was therefore not surprising to see that the clinic resembled a hospital theatre or dental surgery. It was white and bright and in Graham’s room he had a tray of surgical instruments….wait, a tray of surgical instruments?
Was I booked in for a £29 podiatry treatment or for an amputation?
Hopefully it would not be the latter, but as an obesity campaigner and someone who is overweight, I am painfully aware of the very real danger that diabetes poses to our feet
But first up, he needed to see the task ahead and if you are reading this at lunch or at dinner, you might want to skim over these before pictures. Or, with Halloween on Monday you might want to print them off to scare the local kids.
Graham must be a fantastic poker player, as he didn’t flinch at the sight of my feet. He simply looked them over and then explained what needed to be done and how he would do it.
Although I wasn’t experiencing the usual tell tale sign of itchy toes, Graham explained that the white residue around my toenails was symptomatic of a fungal infection. He would remove the cuticles and a layer of my toenail, using what looked like a drill piece and then apply some anti fungal cream that I would reapply in two weeks using the application technique that Graham coached me to perform.
He then set about reducing the mass of hard skin that had developed on my heels and along the outside of my feet. While doing so he explained that the hard skin was my foot’s way of protecting it from the force and friction that I apply to it and subsequently he would not remove all of it, unless I wanted it removed. As I am not currently considering a career in feet modeling, I decided to retain some level of protection. He also identified and skillfully removed at least four corns on my right foot which correlated with my tendency to walk on the outside of that foot.
Even with some hard skin seemingly retained, Graham left my feet dolphin smooth (yes, the departure of Abraham is hard) with a mass of skin that seemed to symbolise the ashes of my past life as a neglector of feet.
For having seen how Graham has transformed my feet in one session, I have decided that I will take more care of them and undertake some basic daily care.
- Rather than just standing in dirty soapy shower water, I will actually bathe my feet at least three times each week. Gordon would have me do it daily or twice daily like brushing my teeth, but I will aim for making it a regular feat first.
- I will actually use that pumice stone sunk somewhere deep in my toiletry box and keep that dolphin smooth feeling.
- I will wear even more shoes. I have my favourites and I sometimes wear them days on end and when you consider that our produce about half a pint of sweat each day, it’s no wonder that my shoes stink. I will use my ever growing collection of shoes to aid my feet. By alternating shoes, I can hopefully keep my shoes and my feet fresh.
- I will get myself a “proper” pair of toenail clippers and use them more regularly.
- I will moisturise them (no, I don’t mean peeing on them in the shower) and apply some cream to them every couple of days
- And lastly, I will treat them to a massage. Not only as possible content for a future Feet For Life post, but because I genuinely quite fancy it. After all, our feet carry us for miles and deserve the same respect and care that we afford to the rest of our lower limbs. After a race, we queue to have our legs massaged… so why not our feet?
Can you look at your feet (go on, take off yours shoes and socks) and honestly say that they are in good health or do you also have the odd black or fungal nail and some excess skin?
To him whose feet hurt, everything hurts.
My corns are gone and my feet feel great and somehow, I feel much better. I am walking taller and straighter ( see my previous Feet for Life post) and I have a spring in my step.
That Socrates was quite a smart fella.