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Dec 17, 2021

A stabbing pain beside my left little toe once prompted a visit to a podiatrist. "You have bunion by your left big toe." He stated flatly. "I know about my bunion; I named it 'Paul,'" I replied with a laugh. "But it doesn't hurt. The pain is on the other side of my foot. "You don't understand," he responded. "The defect of the bunion causes the pain you feel." Patiently explaining, he added, "The bunion affects your walking gait and creates stress points that cause pain.' "I'll bet your left knee hurts as well, doesn't it?" Admitting it did, I listened while he described treatment plans to help relieve the problem. Discomfort with the pressures of caregiving often leads many caregivers to blame the loved one – the "pain point." However, with an honest look, we find the culprit is often our predisposition to fear, worry, and control. Those 'defects" disrupt our balance, hurt, and are often greatly amplified by the stress of caregiving. The doctor helped identify and treat the root issues of my foot's pain, and the discomfort eased. With his help, I improved the way I walk. In a podiatrist's office, I also learned that when I focus on the root cause of my stress –invariably my defects instead of others' - I improve the way I live.

“…Once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves" ― Socrates