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Putting Your Flat Foot In Your Mouth

, , , , , | Healthy | April 11, 2022

I’ve been having heel and arch pain for a couple of months. A relative suggests that I may have plantar fasciitis, as she has it and my symptoms are identical. She recommends a particular shoe brand that her podiatrist suggested a few years ago.

This brand has a variety of cute shoes with a built-in insole that’s famous for helping plantar fasciitis patients. I buy a couple of pairs, and they are very helpful.

I get into a podiatrist and am wearing a pair of flip-flops by this brand. I’m also the youngest patient in the waiting room by about thirty years. The nurse calls my name, does a double-take when I stand up, and points me to a room.

Nurse: “So, why are you here?”

I am surprised by her tone, but I describe the pain I’ve been having and explain that I suspect plantar fasciitis after chatting with a relative who has it, so I am here to see if it’s that or something else. The nurse eyes my shoes.

Nurse: “The arches on those shoes are very high, and you have flat feet. That’s causing your pain.”

I think that maybe she can’t tell what they are, as they do look like normal flip-flops, just with a better arch.

Me: “Oh, sorry, they are actually [Brand].”

I slide them off and show her the brand name on the sole.

Nurse: “You can’t wear shoes like that with flat feet. Stop wearing them.”

Me: “They’re helping the pain. Are [Brand] shoes not recommended for foot problems anymore?”

Nurse: “But the arches are too high. They can’t be helping.”

I’m annoyed and let my tone show it.

Me: “That’s the point! They have extra support to help stabilize the arch and heel. Therefore, I have less pain when I walk.”

Nurse: “Your only problem is flat feet, but whatever. The doctor will be in soon. She’ll tell you.”

She rolls her eyes and walks out. The doctor comes in soon after. After a few minutes of chat, she starts checking my feet. I flinch as she pushes on my left arch.

Me: “I felt that!

Doctor: “Yep, plantar fasciitis. Your paperwork said the right foot is worse, right?”

Me: “Yep.”

Doctor: “Okay. Hold on to something. I’ll be as gentle as I can.”

She lightly pushes on my problem arch, causing pain to shoot all throughout the foot. I yelp.

Doctor: “Plantar fasciitis confirmed in both feet.”

She writes something on my chart, and then she looks at my shoes on the floor.

Doctor: “Hey, those are [Brand]!”

I nod.

Doctor: “Fantastic. They’re top of the line for plantar fasciitis, so keep wearing those. I always recommend them.”

She talks to me about other shoe brands I should try and some stretches I need to do daily. She asks if I have any questions.

Me: “Um, yes. I don’t necessarily want to get anyone in trouble, but…”

I briefly recap the conversation with the nurse. The doctor sighs and shakes her head.

Doctor: “I’m sorry about that. I’ll take care of it.”

She gives me some additional instructions and exits. Another nurse comes in to check me out, and she is much friendlier. I go back for a follow-up several weeks later, and guess which nurse calls me back again? She makes a face and mutters something under her breath as I walk in.

Nurse: “So, you’re back for your flat feet?”

Me: “No. I’m following up on my plantar fasciitis.”

She looks at my chart and her expression immediately changes.

Nurse: “Oh. Yep, it’s right here. Plantar fasciitis. Uh… the doctor will be in soon.”

Exit nurse, stage left.

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