Yesterdays surprise of getting an earlier appointment wasn’t the only one, not long after I completed my post the phone rang and it was a call I had been waiting 4 or 5 weeks for. I have called the practise nurse to help me with a problem I have been having with my feet, due to the fact I was born with curly toes, curled further with a life being cramped into high heals. Adam had tried several times to cut them without the greatest success, I had a lifetime of practise and I had learned all the tricks needed, so it wasn’t his fault but I can’t reach them any longer and something had to be done, as a couple where digging their way into my skin. With out mixed up sensations, just like diabetics we have to care for our feet as it is easy for them to become infected, I had been warned several times in the past so I had to get something done. The chiropodist arrived a couple of hours after her call and set to sorting my feet out, it is amazing how someone who knows what they are doing can just fly through a job in seconds. Although I only occasionally felt it she confirmed that one nail was on it’s way in to my big toe as I thought, even it came out without my feeling it, morphine often proves to be a real friend at times. I was really surprised when she said that they only come out once every 4 months, but she showed me how to use a file, not across the nail but in a straight movement downwards over the end of the nail to help keep them from over growing. I will have to buy the file and see if I can do it, if not I will have to ask Adam to help as it has to be done twice a week.
With my toenails sorted, she then surprised me with an explanation on something that could happen to almost any of us once housebound. I know I have mentioned a couple of times about a terrible pain that I wake up with in my heel, I thought it had something to do with the fact I don’t move around when asleep and the pressure build up on my heel was at fault. Although the pain is in my heel the second I put my foot on the floor it travels along into my instep, taking until mid afternoon to die down, only to reappear the next morning. At times it can actually be really painful but with no reason for it I was at a lose as how to deal with it, the practise nurse didn’t seem to understand at all what I was describing, and the chiropodist wasn’t in the slightest surprised by that. I, as I would guess many who never leave their home has given up wearing shoes, I don’t even wear slippers just my supports socks to help keep the oedema at bay. Six years of no shoes, means six years of no support for my instep which actually has quite a high arch. Apparently it has to do with the tendons and muscle structure and I am now going to have to find myself some sort of slipper with a Velcro strap over the top of my foot. She is going to post out to me a special insole that will correct my foot position, that has now collapsed forcing my foot to on side and pulling everything around. It doesn’t bother me all the time, but once triggered it remains painful for several days often weeks, before going quiet again and can be in either or both feet at the same time. I worked out with ease why the variance, most days I don’t walk more than 5 or 6 trips form PC to kitchen then bed, but there are days when I feel better and I move around more and that will be when feet get angry with me and the pain sets in. I knew my feet were painful but I hadn’t realised they were conspiring along with the rest of my body in keeping me inactive. She told me about horrid sounding operations that could be done to remove spurs that are bone overgrowths that occur and make it worse, along with her suggestion about removing both my big toe nails to fix they way the grow, left me quite queasy and with no interest in doing either. I have joked now for a long time that every time I went to a hospital I came home with yet another condition, well it appears they are now sending people to me to make sure they can add a few more, I now officially have ingrowing toenails and fallen arches.
I am realising more and more just how correct my theory that illnesses travel in gangs and once you have one, the rest fall in behind, slowly bringing in more and more as time goes on. When it comes to chronic illness it is one of those things that I do really think should be said to everyone, that they need from that point on to take more care of their entire body, ignore it and will pay for it. Doctors seem to assume that we all know what will happen at every stage and what the consequences will be to our health in other ways than our main illness. For some the simplest things like once you are in a wheelchair you will gain weight and then of course you will have all the problems that go with that. It might sound silly but a wheelchair should arrive with some diet books and details on staying as fit as you can, my weight wasn’t a problem at that stage, but I saw enough people out there in chairs that looked too small for them, who might have gained from some help and warning. It is all to easy to focus on just the illnesses you know you have and to blame it and it alone for all the goes wrong, but as I have discovered it masks other illnesses and without constant checking and constant analysis, you can be caught out by them. In the last year I have added a new collection of illnesses, all masked by my MS and without my insistence on listening to my body and checking all the time, may not have been diagnosis and might have lead to greater problems in the future. I and the doctors now know that I have gallstones, COPD and my newly official foot issues, I don’t want to be the person with the most individual conditions, I just want to know what is happening to me.