Last week I found the courage to deal with something that’s been bugging me all my life.
My horrible, Hobbitty, cracked and ugly feet.
Over the years I’ve spent a fortune on creams, balms, balsams and unguents, all promising baby soft feet, and guaranteeing to remove the dreadfully painful and utterly disgusting hard skin on my heels. I’ve pumiced, scraped, grated and sliced at it and used the creams, all to no end. I somehow ended up with these.
People of a nervous disposition please look away now.
I don’t take pictures of my feet, just in case you wondered why the what? While I was seeing my physiotherapist she wanted to show me my buggered tendon, as it showed some bruising and she wanted to know what it was. As I wasn’t able to fold my head backwards like some contortionist in the circus she asked to use the camera on my smartphone and took a picture. I couldn’t explain the bruise but felt utterly ashamed at the state of my heels and started stammering and apologising profusely. I felt ashamed afterwards at the fact that I had to apologise. I shouldn’t apologise for a bit of me I should probably treat better!
But after the creams and exfoliants, files and pumice stones I’d used, nothing had worked. I’m not talking over weeks here, I’m talking over YEARS. My feet have been like that for as long as I can remember and the photo above was taken on a GOOD day after I’d exfoliated using my foot scrub, applied with my foot spoon.
Yes, I even have a foot spoon!
I thought something was horrifically wrong with me. Some form of foot plague. The Andromeda Strain. Collins’ Syndrome. Dragonpox, Methuselah Syndrome, or even worse, Groat’s Disease.
I thought the only way I could fix with my feet was to chop them off and replace them with wheels. My feet are hideous and walking often HURTS so, with wheels, I’d get about quicker. Like one of those fellas in Chorlton and The Wheelies. Or maybe I could dunk my feet in acid.
‘You could buy those fish that nibble the skin off your feet’, said my stepdaughter.
Piranhas? No, I think she meant those Garra ruffa fish, when they were all the rage in shopping centres a few years back. Remember fish pedicures? People loved them until the Daily Mail published that they could spread HIV and then the craze for these crazy skin-eating fishes ended, and they all got dumped in boating lakes. True fact.
So I googled local businesses, scrolling past the pet shops and fish vendors, and I found a more sensible option. A podiatry and chiropody centre ten minutes away from the house. BOOM! I thought.
I went to the arranged appointment two days later and was greeted by someone who wanted a brief medical history, and then told me to put my feet in a glorious foot spa thing. OH MY DAYS those things are good. It vibrated a little, which felt so wrong but yet so right, and after 10 minutes my feet already felt supersoft and superawesome. I was gonna say thanks and bid them good day but no, this was just a preparation for my treatment.
My podiatrist, Lauren, wasn’t phased by the horrors at my bottom end. She simply trimmed my ragged nails, dealt with an ingrowing toenail, and used a scalpel to cut off all the hard skin. She then used a stone thing on the end of a drill to finish the job.
At no point did any of this hurt. In fact, mid appointment I remembered just how ticklish my feet are so I had to think of very unfunny things lest I start laughing. My mum’s death. Syrian refugees. Adam Sandler. As the ball of my foot was being scraped, to prevent a massive fit of the giggles I sat there reciting war poetry in my head. ‘Dulce et decorum est…’ and when this didn’t work, I had to dig my nails into my legs, as the little buffer tickled my ball.
Ball of my foot, you wrong ‘un.
Lauren cut, scraped and buffed, and after 40 minutes all this lot had come off.
Look at the difference!
Now my feet feel loved. Special. Happy feet.
It feels like I’m walking on clouds, my feet wrapped loosely in silk, encased in velvet cushions, bunnies, or sommat soft and ting. I no longer have these sharp pains shooting in and up me as I put my foot on the ground and feel a crack split open. My feet are flexible and can MOVE.
‘THIS MUST BE HOW NORMAL PEOPLE’S FEET FEEL!’ I thought.
Seriously, get yourself down to one of these places. Or better still get yourself up to mine. Lauren is wonderful and she can probably sort out a meal for five thousand people with only a few loaves and a fish, after the miracle she performed on my feet.
She also gave me a cream to containing urea, use daily to continue improving my feet , and this balm is amazeballs. Urea is basically ‘the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals’, but if it means putting mammal piss on my feet, I can put up with that, as I’ve often thought I’d let an old drunk tramp piss in my face if it meant my feet were fixed.
You’re welcome for that image. Take it home with you. Along with this message:
Look after your feet.
We go to the hairdresser. We go to the dentist. Why not go to a podiatrist too? I’ll be going back in 8 weeks for a follow up appointment. See you there?
Thanks for reading.
Are there bits of you that need buffing, polishing, scraping or generally looking after? Does anyone else suffer from Hobbitty foot like what I has? Are you still recovering after seeing the horrors that were my feet BEFORE treatment? Please let us know in the comments section. Also big up and shout out to Lauren Sykes at Greenside Podiatry and Chiropody Clinic, Mapplewell. Thanks muchly.
This was not written as part of a campaign or promotion for podiatrists, chiropodists or ‘owt like that. It was written because my feet hurt and I had to sort them out.
No fish were harmed in the writing of this piece.