Here’s a topic close to my sole. Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle. Yes, a podiatrist is a “real” doctor — look for the initials D.P.M. (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine). In the US newly minted podiatrists continue their training with hospital residencies, including surgery, too. These docs may specialize in feet, but they see a wide variety of patients: diabetics who are at risk for wounds that won’t heal, folks with skin disorders, circulatory problems, infections and trauma. Did you know it’s a good thing to have hair on your feet? It shows you have good circulation. Very important.
Here’s another thing to look forward to as we age — losing our heel fat. Those cushioning fat pads on the bottom of our feet thin out from all the pavement pounding we do (in high heels, mostly). Seems this is a special kind of fat. You can’t just take the fat from your tush and inject it into your heel. But the podiatrist or pharmaceutical genius who can replicate this heel fat will be rolling in the dough… it’s that elusive and desirable.
Podiatrists and dentists have something in common. Their fortunate patients take their feet and mouths for granted — until they hurt. Because if your feet or teeth hurt, you can’t walk and you can’t eat. And when that happens you are truly miserable.
So please do not take your tootsies for granted. Keep them clean and dry. Do not use sharp objects or power tools on your feet (nail clippers are OK). If you are diabetic, find a podiatrist and check in with him/her periodically to keep your feet healthy. Because even though you have two feet, you’d really miss one if you lost it. (note: all these points apply to teeth as well)