Other Stuff

Podiatric Pampering

Hello people, I’ve had a wonderful experience to-day – a podiatric pedicure. Yeah, I know I’m only 60 Podiatric_medicine_symboland I was horrified when the doctor mentioned visiting a podiatrist as part of my ‘chronic pain case management’, thinking only old people go to podiatrists. But when the government wants to give money away, one has to use it or lose it. I can have five visits to health professionals under the plan – the initial ones completely free.

This was why I went to the St John of God Hospital in Bendigo a week ago where I saw a physiotherapist. She seemed a bit put out, asking why I wasn’t seeing someone locally and I told her it was because there was a wait of ten weeks. When she said my condition was hardly life-threatening, I could have waited, I explained that the nurse who did the case management interview asked me to go there. So, I was coached through three simple exercises to do daily to help my back and she advised heat packs twice a day whether I had pain or not. She also advised aqua therapy but then agreed the travel right afterwards made it less beneficial. Anyway, she must have warmed to me in the end, because she invited me to see her again if I wanted. I assured her that the ten week jump on the exercises made it  worth my while not waiting.

In case you are wondering, my back pain lurks around at the levels 1 or 2 constantly, but as soon as I clean windows, do the laundry or make beds it whips right up to 5-9. Early morning tossing and turning in bed doesn’t help, either, which is why I’ve developed a late night reading habit. At level 9-10, I usually take pain-killers and have a good whinge. Most of the time I can ignore it by distracting myself – which is where family history, blogging and writing comes in handy. 😀  Well, now I know to reach for the hot-water bottle as well.

Anyway, I digress. The Podiatrist. I hadn’t yet made my appointment when the lady rang me yesterday, offering a midday appointment today. I jumped at it, else I was likely to forget.

podiatry2Somehow my feet now feel naked despite the three pairs of socks. (It was minus 3 this morning and still only 10C, mid-afternoon)

The young pretty podiatrist trimmed my toenails first. I felt better about taking up her time when she said, at one glance from across the room, you have a corn starting there or you have a very strong potential for a corn. Oh? Great. Luckily, there was no corn.

She scraped off callouses. She used a pick beneath my toenails, dragging out dead skin and grot. Gross. Yech!

Then came the power tool and everything was smoothed over  – dead skin was flying everywhere!

She moisturized.

I loved it.

After walking about barefoot most of the warmer months, you can imagine what my heels looked like. I only think to put Sorbolene cream on my feet when the crevices in my heels catch on the sheets.

Before I left, she smiled and said she would see me in a few more years, but if I wanted to come in for a tidy-up I would need a referral and $65. Well worth it. In the meantime, I must find my pumice stone.

Thanks for reading this highlight in my mostly mundane life.  🙂


28 thoughts on “Podiatric Pampering

  1. sue says:

    Luxurious, lucky girl. Getting to the stage where I can’t reach my toes. – Didn’t she think that getting a referral meant that the “professional” thought you needed the attention. Yesterday – Donald & I cleaned out mum’s linen cupboard, spare towels into Vac bags, refolded all linen. 3 1/2 hours all up. Today – can hardly move, have taken pain killers & stuck on the pads for the “tens” machine. So I know where your coming from with the pain. Now – I have a reason not to do any housework!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought it was a bit rude to question why I was there, but she seemed friendly enough after a while, especially when she found out I was self-employed and not bunging on pain for workcare or the dole. I suppose they get people like that. She also didn’t have the actual paperwork my doctor sent which was a bit slack. The receptionist had it in the office, though. Yeah, it’s good to have a reason not to do housework, but sitting here too long is bad too. Glad you understand Sue. I’ll have to strap on the hotwater bottle. 😀


  2. I had my feet done a few weeks before I did the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km walk, mostly to eliminate blister potential. I loved it. My feet felt so good. Probably why I signed up to do the walk again last year. It seems less self-indulgent to have my feet pampered in the name of charity. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry to hear of your back pain, Christine. Do you know what actually causes it? I can’t help wondering how a podiactric pedicure helps with back pain, but I’m sure there must be a reason, somewhere. But I know from personal experience that a hot water bottle is a great comfort for pain anywhere! I really enjoyed reading the description of your pedicure. Such luxury. 🙂


    • Ha, I wondered about the pedicure too, but it is a case of overall health management for chronic conditions. The podiatrist would pick up if one had feet troubles leading to improper walking techniques which put stress on my back – but in reality they needed to refer me to 2 people under the system for it to be a proper case management for funding. I could also be directed to a pharmacist to help me choose creams and products (I suppose) to ease chronic conditions. A dietitian might be of use, but they never mentioned that.

      I had CT scans a few years ago when I developed numb bits, but all they was osteoarthritis in the sacral area. I was told back in the 1990s that my spine was ‘riddled with arthritis and I can expect a lot of future pain’ so I’ve been building up my thresholds since then.

      I’ve pulled the hot-water bottle out of storage, and am learning to bask for a while in my electric blanket morning and night. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for taking the time to explain all that, Christine … much appreciated. Living with any kind of pain isn’t much fun, is it? I have similar problems in the lumbar region – all of my own making, though. All the gymnastics I did when I was younger has badly worn away a couple of discs, so I get a lot of pain. They could operate and put in artificial discs, but there’s always the fear of catching the spinal cord. Paralysis is not something I want to think about! Let’s stick with the hot-water bottles. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry about your back! So many folks have major pain there and yet no exciting miracle breakthroughs in treatment yet from surgery, nanobots, genetic monkeying, whatever!

    Glad you found foot felicity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 Foot felicity – love that, Babe. I am gradually doing a MOOC about chronic pain and the numbers are staggering. I’m trying to start managing mine through other methods other than drugs – but haven’t been taking it seriously enough yet. Just building up my thresholds for the future.


      • You don’t say if your pain is upper or lower. If lower, these are things I do that have reduced my pain to an almost-always manageable level. I’ve written the list as if for you.

        1. No more standing still.
        Standing still is hell on your back. Stop doing it. At least, not for more than a few (five, ten) minutes at a time. If you stand around chatting with your neighbors, resign yourself to looking like you have to pee, and constantly shift your weight from foot to foot. Or lean on a fence. Or drag around a little folding stool. When you know you’re going to stand in line at a post office or store, bring along that stool.

        2. Remind yourself to pull in your abdomen.
        “What?” That’s right. I practiced while in the car, at first. Mostly at stoplights. I had gotten lazy, particularly after the C-section cut through all my muscles there, but I can pull in the two separated halves. It was very tiring at first to re-establish the habit. Then I would practice walking (see 2, below). Eventually, after a long time, it became second nature. This little modification does a lot to adjust your spine shape and strengthen your core, without the agony of situps or all that.

        3. Take a daily walk of an hour (or more).
        No strolling like you’re at a museum looking at paintings. Strolling is hell on your back, just like standing. No racing. Just a good regular pace, that lets you look around but walk like you have a destination. If you can’t do an hour to start with, don’t. Start with whatever, and slowly work your way up. Don’t forget to hold in your belly : )

        4. Cat pose from yoga. Get on your hands and knees with your back straight, your arms straight with hands directly under your shoulders, your knees directly under your hips. From the side, you’ll look like three sides of a square (or rectangle : ). Now gently let your back slowly sag down. Don’t force it. If it hurts too much, stop. This is to GENTLY stretch the spine. Then gently lift and curve the spine upward, stretching in the other direction, like a cat with its back arched. Do this slowly a few times. Say, five, to start, and hold for five in each position. You may want to work up to 10x. Do it once day.

        5. Door pushups: Lean your hands on the back of a door, arms straight, shoulder height, back your feet up from the door a bit, keep your body straight, and do some pushups. I do “sets” of 20. Start with sets of 5 for a total of 20, or whatever you can manage. Start with sets of 2 for a total of 10, if that’s all. Anything is a great start. Don’t forget to hold in your belly : ) This exercise will strengthen your core without putting any strain on your back. Your arms will get a bit of benefit too, which is excellent for women as we age.

        6. (Advanced): Everyone hates this one–It’s like a leg lift–If you want to leave it off, do:
        When you’re sitting watching TV, lift up your legs straight out in front of you and hold them there. Don’t forget to hold in your belly : ) Seriously–don’t do it if you haven’t gotten in practice at holding in your belly, and your belly muscles are up to it yet. We want to HELP your back, not strain it. Now, some folk with bad knees will say “oh, I can’t do this one–my knees are bad.”. My sister Meg has NO KNEECAP on one leg. That knee was so bad the cap had to be removed. Her other knee is for sh#t, too. And this exercise was advised by her famous doctor–the one who did the surgery that permits her to be mobile today. At first, I hated doing it, and couldn’t hold for long, but now, I can read in a doctor’s waiting room and forget my legs are sticking out there–until they start to tremble!

        Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh wow, Babe. Thank you for passing on all that useful stuff. I need to to the tummy thing, for sure. My whole back has its turn. When standing stirring stuff on the stove, or ironing, it begins burning right up to the nape of my neck. That’s the worst time. The lower back is much more bearable. Geez, I wish I had kept up with the exercises i used to do when I was young.

          “At first, I hated doing it, and couldn’t hold for long, but now, I can read in a doctor’s waiting room and forget my legs are sticking out there–until they start to tremble! ” Terrific images of you in my head, there.


          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re welcome–hope some helps!

            I cannot cook anymore–not the way I used to. No more standing and chopping at length. No more standing and stirring. If it can’t be left on it’s own for bits. I can’t make it. I miss cooking for fun, and baking for fun. Do very little of it now. I’m amazing at those who excel at it from wheelchairs. I tried a stool, and it didn’t work for me.

            This is why I liked Barbara’s recipe’s so much: They’re super-fast and simple, AND lend themselves to gluten-free adjustment. MoSY beat me to it on that pecan pie, but I’ll get there. Just gained another pound, though!

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m glad I had the sense to buy an ‘side-by-side’ stove last time – and the stove top is almost at waist level. I can stand straight to stir, but I forget and put things on the back burner! I usually just bung things in the oven. It’s the standing still that does it, I see. So sorry you miss it, Babe.


  5. I had no idea you suffered from back pain, Christine. I know what that’s like. Do take care of it. Be kind to yourself.

    I haven’t ha my feet one in ages and yes, though I wear thick slippers, my heels are a wreck. Time to do something about them. Sure, I use the pumice stone in the shower, but a complete workup seems in order. I bet your feet feel marvelous. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • They do feel marvellous Tess. Sorry to hear you have trouble with your back too. I’ve had it since my first pregnancy at 18, so I’ve learned to ignore it pretty well by now. It seems worse since this case management though, because I’m dwelling on it to report what’s happening!


  6. I’m sorry for your pain Christine. It’s no fun to live with pain as I well know. I have had lupus for many years which takes me out of commission occasionally.

    Your visit to the podiatrist sounded so interesting. I must try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sue says:

    That’s great info Babe, must admit they are things I have heard of over the years, of course have never gotten around to doing them. Must print your list out and pin it up on the wall where I can’t miss it. Mine started when I had my first son (38 yrs ago). Chemical pain relief doesn’t always work Christine, I am like you and try and “put up with it” to build up tolerance (have been giving into it lately, the changing weather is playing the arthritis up). The only good anti-inflammatory I tried I had a reaction to. Brian does Reiki and when it is really bad I get him to do it for me, even though a lot of people say it doesn’t work, I have found it helps and can usually tell when he has started to Reiki. Also my little zapper helps quite a lot. Specialist from the internet said that one of the best exercises to do for lower back pain is to lay on your back and pull your knees up to your chest and count to thirty. I do that every morning before getting out of bed. I’ll stop whinging now and get back to the picture of Christine in her fluffy dressing gown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your helpful comments too, Sue. I find that pulling my knees up is great – especially in bed with the hot electric blanket. I better go get ready for work. Catch you later.


  8. Whenever I read a post like this one with the resulting comments, I’m always so grateful that a sore back is something I’m not afflicted with. Outlier Babe gave you some great advice.

    Arthritis is a dog … hopefully some of the treatments will give you some relief! … and yes, pedicures are awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are fortunate, Joanne. I’m taking Babe’s advice onboard – well, I will when I get around to it. Usually on Mondays, after the laundry on Sundays, is really bad but it seems the heat treatments have done wonders already.

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