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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I was working at Crawley Down Health Centre last week, in a room situated about ten metres from the waiting room. Bearing in mind that I have to do a 20m round trip for each patient twice (once to poke them in the eye, and once to take their photo), that's 40m per patient. With a book of 29 patients each day, that means I walked more than a kilometre up and down that corridor on a daily basis. It's no wonder my feet hurt.

I've actually been having problems with my right heel for the past few weeks. I'd like to blame it on the wedding shoes that Lisa insisted I buy, but if I'm honest, I'd already been having problems before then. So I blame it on the hill she makes me live on.

I should break off at this point and mention that the morning after our wedding, when most couples would be jetting off to the sun, I was heading down that hill to the rheumatology department for an appointment with a specialist. He took one look at the x-rays I had taken in May and told me I have osteoarthritis in my little fingers. It's a bit of a shame, because it means the six guitars I have in the bedroom are now little more than ornaments, but on the plus side, he said I won't end up crippled. As far as he can tell.

Unfortunately there's nothing they can do (apart from smile and offer sympathy), although he did say that much like the home of a horse, it appears stable. There's a chance it could spread to my knees and toes, meaning that Amelie could sing a song about it, and if it affects my other fingers, I may have trouble picking my nose, but other than that, I can live with it.

Anyway, the point is that he did ask me if I have any problems with my feet. So I lied and said no. I'm not entirely sure why. I think podiatry is my Achilles heel and I didn't want to put my foot in it. And besides, my heel had healed slightly by October 1st. Probably because I'd been walking on air since the wedding.

Over the past two weeks though, I haven't had a leg to stand on. I walked Amelie down to the marina on Sunday to invest in some art materials...

... and having stood on the balcony of our flat for half an hour, wondering if I could flog that as modern art, I was hopping mad. Well, I had an aching heel.

But as luck would have it, I saw an advert on TV at the weekend for new Scholl Orthaheels. They're little foam inserts you put in your shoes, and according to the entirely unbiased Scholl website, "Their unique patented design naturally repositions the foot, enabling the feet, ankles and legs to function as they should. By re-aligning the feet, ankles and therefore correcting body posture, Scholl Orthaheel orthotics can also provide natural relief from many foot problems as well as knee pain, tired aching legs and for some, positive effects on lower back pain".

Obviously you'd expect something which can perform such miracles to look mightily impressive. And needless to say, you'd be wrong...

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Two thin bits of foam that go in your shoes? Why, I'd be willing to pay upwards of twenty quid for those." And you're not alone. Despite being made in China by short people on low incomes, Scholl Orthaheels currently retail in the UK at around £23 a pair.

Unfortunately, when I walked (ironically) all the way into Lewes town centre at lunchtime yesterday, I didn't know that. And having got to Boots and found them on special offer at 'only' £18 for a limited time, I felt I had to buy them.

And as it happens, I'm glad I did. I've worn them all around Uckfield today, and the only time my feet started hurting was when I got home and took off my shoes. Lisa says I should sellotape them to my feet.


Dave said...

I'm on a market research panel.  Now they've been launched, I can reveal that I was one of those consulted as to what price we thought would be reasonable.

You'll be please to know I suggested they be sold in Poundland.  If it hadn't been for me, you'd have forked out fifty quid.

No need to thank me.

Phil's Mum said...

If you're looking for someone to blame for your painful heel, I have to admit to having had TWO bad bouts of 'arthritic spurs' on my heels over the last 37 years!  (The 1st one when you were a baby!) ;)  The good news is its the sort of arthritis that goes away eventually - as long as you cut right down on your walking, which Amelie might not allow you to do!  The hospital prescribed all sorts of weird things for me to wear in my shoes, which at least were free on the NHS.