Thursday, February 24, 2011

Modern Day Pioneer

We've all heard the stories of the pioneers crossing the plains barefoot in the frigid cold. It's not surprising that many of the ended up with frostbite. I'm sure that once they finally reached Salt Lake all they wanted to do was rest their weary feet. When I was a kid my family went on a little pioneer trek I made it maybe a mile before my feet were aching and I rode in the handcart the rest of the way.

That was the first sign. Over the years that foot pain would only get worse. I could hardly stand for 15 minutes with out my feet aching. So like most reasonable people do, I put off going to the doctor... for several years. I finally went last month. I just stopped by the health center to see a podiatrist and I was scarcely in his office for three minutes before he started naming my symptoms for me.

"You're heels hurt all the time don't they? 
And the only way to relive the pain is to wear high heels right? 
Also your feet are usually purple and sometimes you hands. 
Oh and when your feet get warm they itch and swell."

His accuracy was both impressive and creepy. He then proceeded to tell me that my heels hurt because I'm becoming flat footed, My feet and hands are purple because I have Reynaud's disease, which limits the blood flow and the feeling in my feet. And finally they itch when they get warm because I have frostbite. (I guess putting ice on them to stop the itching was a bad idea)

I could have figured I was flat footed since everyone else in my family is, and I saw the Reynaud's thing coming, but frostbite!? I thought that was reserved for pioneers. Trudging through the harsh winter with out shoes! In an effort to raise awareness about modern day frostbite here are some picture of my feet.

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