My daughter is studying to become a chiropractor so I try to impress on her an idea that doesn't seem to get a whole lot of air time in educational establishments: the idea that the patient or the patient's carer often know a lot about their own condition and should be valued as a partner in their treatment.
I mentioned my neurological disease a few months ago. The disease causes muscle imbalances, leading to foot deformity. In my case the foot deformity can lead to a pressure ulcer if my foot care and management is not up to scratch.
Earlier this year, as my orthotic and shoes were aging, my foot started to look as though it might ulcerate. The podiatrist pulled some ragged padding from the orthotic and then redesigned the new padding. I really didn't like her doing that as the old one had worked well for a long time.
My foot didn't improve as much as she hoped and so we embarked on a program of extra appointments for me and hand wringing from her. I had an idea of what might help but she was reluctant to do what I suggested and after a few months of this I was on the verge of an ulcer.
By this time I knew I was going to get some new orthotics from a specialised orthotist so the podiatrist seemed to give up, just waiting for the new orthotics. The problem is, my foot needs protection until that time and wasn't really getting enough.
A few weeks along and I had developed an ulcer. I can't tell you the drama these ulcers cause. It's hard to heal them and if they become infected it can lead to weeks of antibiotics and constant medical monitoring. It becomes expensive and a little bit frightening.
The podiatrist wasn't happy with this turn of events and as a last ditch kind of measure she made up a little pad which she taped to my foot with instructions to remove it in a couple of days. Taking the padding off in a couple of days would achieve nothing so I took matters into my own hands and spent the next two weeks taping and retaping the increasingly grubby little pad to my foot.
It did the job and on next inspection my foot was not only all healed but looking better than it had in ages. The podiatrist was stunned and said I had done so well she didn't need to see me for a month. She gave me a new little felt pad which I have now been taping to my foot for three weeks.
In another week or two I'll have my new orthotics and I might be able to forget ulcers for a little bit but for now I'll keep doing my own stop gap orthotic making. It's too important to leave it in the hands of the professionals!
On another note, I have had to give back the lap top I have borrowed for the longest time which means I am mostly reading your blogs on my phone. I want you all to know that I am still reading even if commenting is hit & miss!