There is nothing sexy about going to the podiatrist. When you arrive, they don’t sit you down in a massage chair and let your feet soak in rose petals and cucumber water. Instead, the harsh fluorescent lights glare down on you as your feet caress the plastic covered lining in the epsom soak. You hear trashy pop music playing in the office next door and you smell smoke from someone nearby, most likely in that office next door or on the street. There’s, in fact, no massage at all. You feel a little like your feet are being violated, much like you feel your teeth are being violated at the dentist’s –but that it’s all OK because someone has been trained in a medical fashion to handle them. And actually, I prefer this experience over a pedicure any day.
- Knowledge – my podiatrist not only told me I didn’t have an ingrown toenail (thank goodness!), but she also told me what it was (basically, a fancy callus), and how to deal with it. She didn’t say, “Never ever go climbing or running again!” In fact, she told me how to minimize activity-related calluses. I walked away with a callus softening cream for when they return, and instructions to purchase a ped egg.
- Shaving – “shaving” is what she did with my calluses. It turns out this is not ticklish at all. With pedicures, there’s “exfoliating.” I do think some pedicurists I’ve had in the past have gotten a simple pleasure out of my pain-inducing giggles, and I therefore dread the “exfoliating” process very much.
- Simple solutions – so, apparently, my feet have very high arches, which is mostly good in podiatric circles, but it also means that I put more stress on the front of my feet. With increased mileage, it means pain; so, she set me up with a pair of these orthotic supports to redistribute the pressure.
Sure, they’re not fancy orthotics (the kind that are custom for your feet), but they do feel firmer than the insoles in my running shoes. I tried running with these yesterday, and, though it was probably too long of a run to try something different (I felt a little more stress in my calf area than usual), my heels did feel a little more supported than usual, and the stress on the front of my feet felt less. Could be power of suggestion, but it could also be that something is working. Yay podiatry!