I’ve just had a lovely visit from a friend, who was explaining that she recently visited a podiatrist. Ok, chiropodist. We were animatedly discussing how our feet, and the way we walk, affects our whole body, our calves, our back, our necks…which set me thinking about my routinely dreadful posture, my shambling and all the compromises I muddle through. These days, I walk so seldom that I can feel my whole body stiffening up, in places I didn’t know could be stiff. So, just to keep me a bit flexible, I think I shall be going swimming more often. So far, this year, my resolution to swim every day – or, at least five times a week, timetables permitting – seems to be holding. Monday, Tuesday and today, three in a row.
Apparently, I have one leg which is an inch or so shorter than the other. That might make anyone lope a bit, I suppose. I use an elbow crutch outside to help with balance. I also wear a certain brand of shoes which make me wobble. But these shoes, which are expensive, top-of-the-range types, are so comfortable for my back, my hips and my knees (except when I wobble too far and fall, in which case, everything hurts) that I persist with them. My legs, feet and knees have endured years of unusual wear and tear, so these soft, sturdy shoes are valuable shock absorbers.
I was wondering what would happen if I telephoned the chiropodist and asked to make an appointment. Would she say there was nothing she could do to help me, that my problems were too complex? I suspect so, though I have rarely had the luxury of an independent or sympathetic assessment of my compromises. There is the chance that another, careful professional look-see would yield a handful of helpful answers, even if the outcome was a fresh list of problems that I might need to watch out for. I don’t mind being made aware, so long as I can keep my body active. On the other hand, I have sort of worked out what works and what causes real problems. I am also reluctant to tell the whole story, again, to yet another professional. Should I just phone up and see how far I get, or would a dignified silence be best? Only time will tell.