Friday, August 19, 2016

Falling in love with a new guy, or, the time I lost and found my sandals

Mark and Bernice Fournier
I knew I was in love the minute he touched my right big toe and ran his hand down the sole of my foot and knew exactly what I needed.

I need help with my LEFT foot due to the way it is falling, causing my ankle to list outward, thereby putting pressure on my RIGHT foot thereby causing the past plantar fasciitis and current big toe pain.

All this time I have had an orthotic that corrects the right foot more than the left, so...

I had to wait about a month to get into Fournier Foot Care Center in Northampton. Owner Mark Fournier, who has been making orthopedic foot products for 32 years, is a popular guy. I learned a new word when I saw him yesterday: he is a certified pedorthist. 

He knows and appreciates the work of Ken Holt, the physical therapist who (knock wood) fixed my plantar fasciitis, but he said that as a pedorthist he sees things a little differently, and he could see right away that my left foot needed a different orthotic to straighten out my ankle.

This might not seem such a big deal except that I have wanted to keep running, even just a little, but most times afterward my big toe hurts, which is not the case when I play tennis because in the former you pound more consistently. I always feel in a better mood after I run and I have missed the endorphin boost. Because, well, don't read if you already have, but running saved my life.

Naot Paris sandals
The reason I went to see him is that I THOUGHT I had lost my Naot Paris sandals and I THOUGHT that Masoud Hakimzadeh, the now retired owner of Comfort Shoes, had modified their insoles to keep my plantar fasciitis at bay. I looked all over for the sandals and finally ordered a new pair because they are sooooo comfortable. Then I made the appointment to get them adjusted.

Meanwhile, our friend Jane was at my house looking at something on Facebook with me. Since I had ordered them online, an image of the sandals kept chasing me around. I hadn't gotten around to x-ing it out. (Of course you can't make it go away unless you give a good reason, so I put I already own these shoes.)

Jane looked at the sandals and said she had forgotten to tell me they were at her house.


She said that when I had come over a few weeks ago to have Jim Bloom take a photo of me in my Hoka One sneakers to run with my story in Womens Running, I had left the sandals there.

I decided to keep both because the old ones were looking the worse for wear.

But it turns out the old ones had the original insoles. Apparently they were so comfortable because I had molded them to my feet through wear. The Comfort Shoes guy had made me orthotics for something. I just don't remember what.

Fournier said he would adjust the new Naot insoles and I could keep the old ones for beach shoes. Then he took my orthotics that I wear in my sneakers and tennis shoes into the next room. He returned in just a few minutes, having adjusted them to correct the leaning on the left. He also made an indent for my toes to take the pressure off of them.

Most importantly, he was the NICEST guy.

His wife, who runs the business with him, interrupted our visit several times due to printer problems she was having and questions from a customer who had come into the store. A sign on the wall said the minimum payment for a visit is $38. But when I asked him how much I owed, he said nothing except for the charge for modifying the Naot insoles, which I'm picking up tomorrow.

I hadn't even said to him my oft-repeated truth: "I complained more about plantar fasciitis than I did about leukemia." So I didn't think he felt sorry for me or anything. I think he was practicing good customer service.

I know that doctors have to try their best to run on time, but I'm still annoyed by the Brigham and Women's endocrinologist, Eva Liu, who said on Wednesday that she wouldn't see me because I was running slightly past the 15-minute grace period. My ride had been late, therefore making me late for my 10:40 a.m. appointment. I called ahead and said I was in the area. The receptionist said it would be up to the discretion of the doctor if I was more than 15 minutes late and she would probably have me rebook because I would be about 10 minutes past that. When I emailed Melissa from the car, she called the doctor and said I had come a long way and I could wait up to four hours because my next appointment wasn't until 3. But she said no, so I cooled my heels until going to my next appointment.

In all my doctor visits, I never encountered anything like that. I might have waited for a long time, but I would have been seen.

I have cried over some things lately. But when I emailed Melissa about the problem, I wrote, "At least I'm not crying."

My bone density test was already on record so we were just asking for a consult on whether I should do anything for my bones because prednisone can be weakening them.

Thanks to a nice doctor in Northampton, I feel good about the prospects for my feet.

I guess my bones will have to wait until we rebook...with another doctor.

No comments: