Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cracks in the Foundation

My feet are coming apart at the seams.

I don't normally like to write about my various medical and physical complaints in this blog. It's not so much that I am private or, God forbid, embarrassed.  I just figure it's bad enough that poor LK has to listen to me grumble and complain, and I don't see any reason for the rest of you to have to hear that stuff.

But this latest problem of cracked heels is worth telling you about - not so much because of the condition, which is very minor, but because I think the causes related to the condition say a fair amount about me.

As I said, it's not all that serious (I would call them heel fissures if I wanted it to seem serious), but it has been getting annoying in the last month or two and a little painful at times. Glomming cream all over my feet has helped, but it has also reduced me to wearing sockettes around the house. Just because LK doesn't want oily smears all over the new floor.
Yesterday I decided to go on the web to figure out what the cause was. I had wondered if this was a result of diabetes. Turns out it could be, but the more likely fact is that the diabetes and cracked heels are the results of the same thing. I'm fat.

In fact, when you look at the list of causes for this condition, it's quite evident what's causing them. In a nutshell, I'm getting it because I am me.

It seems there are several primary causes for cracked heels, and the first one is due to standing for long periods of time. OK, we can scratch that one pretty quickly, but get your pencils ready because now the tick marks start flying.

First, being overweight contributes to the condition.

Second, getting old contributes to the condition.

Third, wearing open-backed shoes such as flip-flops contributes.

So there you have it. Being old, fat and dressed in my uniform of choice makes my heels crack. I am somewhat surprised being bald doesn't contribute, as well.

The one thing all the web sites seem to agree on is that cracked heels is not a serious condition. It just seems to be one more of those things where my body reminds me I'm getting older and there really is a payback for not doing anything to stay in shape for so many years.

So, while the material I read has ensured I don't worry about the latest bodily imperfection, I do have a pretty unpleasant attitude about it all. The good folks at epodiatry put it this way:

Consider a tomato on the bench ... when you push on it from above, it wants to expand out sideways ... eventually the skin cracks. This is what happens to the normal fat pad under your heel ... as your body weight pushes down, the fat wants to expand sideways and the pressure on the skin to crack is increased. If the weight is excessive (eg prolonged standing) and the skin is not supple (eg callus and/or dry) and nothing is helping hold the the fat pad under the foot (eg open backed shoes) ... do you get the picture?

Yes, I get the picture.

Lovely, now when I walk around in my flip-flops, every time I feel a pain in my heel I get this image of my feet as large crushed tomatoes cracking under my weight. It's enough to make me sit even more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh God! Me too! You are just brave enough to admit to the causes! I have been putting it down to running around everywhere and not wearing proper shoes. If I even start to look at weight being the cause, then I have to look at myself openly and honestly and I dont think I'm quite ready to do that yet! lol
So I'll stick to the fact thats its because I'm shoeless most of the time - after all, my heels dont crack in the winter - do yours?