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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Quo Vadis

A question often posed to podiatrists is how they feel giving comfort to others and many Christians naturally compare the humble foot massage with the humility of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Whilst no practitioner, I have known, would ever compare himself or herself to the Christian Savior many acknowledge their chosen profession allows then to expresses their love and concern for others by ministering to their feet. There is a real pleasure in giving comfort to others. Foot care is not about vanity, but health. Giving solace to tired aching feet can often make the recipient want to leave the podiatry chair and dance all the way home. What better job satisfaction than that. It’s not just a one-way communication either, podiatrists learn much more from their patients than they from them. Old-fashioned remedies, which have kept a life long freedom from corns, athlete’s feet or fungus, enhance the practitioner’s understanding. One of my favorites is a warm; milk footbath (46 0C) using powdered milk. After all it was good enough for Cleopatra but only became vogue to the generation exposed to dehydrated foods. Long forgotten in today’s market driven society. A practitioner’s day is further enriched by meeting seniors with rewarding, diverse lives. I should know, for not only have I practiced as a podiatrist, and manager of podiatry services in one of the highest elderly population concentrations in Western Europe, but from age 9 years until 19, I shared my house with sixty seniors. During the 1960s my parents were in charge of a 60-bedded Frail Ambulant Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland. As a child I had no need to open a modern history book because I was privileged to know people who had been there. From the First World War Trenches, to gun running during the Spanish Civil War, I knew somebody who had actually witnessed it. Beguiled as a child, I was transfixed to hear the stories of Aberdeen fisher woman, ex-Colonials, the Red Clyde Revolutionaries, Razor gang members of the infamous 1920s Glasgow gangs, and a sportsmen who had actually pulled on the Guernsey of Scotland. What an oral history and one, which has been further enriched by meeting and treating seniors in my humble capacity as a podiatrist.

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