Try saying that after you’ve had a few (not that I would know). It’s not a phrase you hear very often or, let’s be honest, ever. My younger son has them on his feet.
It started a few days ago when he was crying because he said his foot was ‘burning’. I looked at his foot and found the cause of the burning – a strange lump on his big toe. At first it looked like a blister, but, when I pressed it, it didn’t squash like a blister. But it wasn’t this weird thing that had caused the burning, apparently. Apparently this thing had been there ‘since I was 4’.
So I looked at the other, non-burning, foot. And there was another one – a strange, large lump on the underside of his big toe. What were they? Where did they come from? Although too hard for blisters, they weren’t hard enough for verrucas or calluses. They were a mystery.
I was willing to guess what had caused them. My son is a tall boy. But if you know him, you may think is a few millimetres taller than he actually is. Because he walks on tiptoes. Always. He says he likes walking on tiptoes. He says it makes him faster. I have never established whether or not he is actually able to walk any other way.
But knowing the probable cause of the lumps didn’t help me in knowing whether they were harmful or would give him any trouble in later life. So I took him to the doctor.
He found a blister on one foot – it was THAT which had caused the original burning. He squashed the lumps a few times and declared them to be ‘pedal piezogenic papules’. So that solved THAT mystery. The doctor said they were ‘nothing sinister’ (thank goodness) and may well have been there since he was 4. Personally, I like to think I would have noticed something on my own son’s feet in the last four years, but who knows?
I asked if they could have been caused by him walking on tiptoes. Now that, apparently, is a bit more sinister. The doctor tried to ascertain whether he actually could walk any other way, and the jury is still out. He had him walking up and down the room on his heels, then crouching down with the flats of his feet on the floor – and he couldn’t do it. His brother and sister were only too happy to demonstrate how they could do it and they all had a good laugh about it.
The doctor said his hamstrings are a bit tight and that is why he walks on his tiptoes. He said he would leave it because, if they operated to loosen them he would be in plaster for a few weeks. OPERATED?! PLASTER?! My boy?! No way.
My boy is a fast runner. He is a good swimmer and a really good footballer and rugby player. His slightly tight hamstrings are clearly not holding him back.
He has to practice walking on his heels and crouching on the flats of his feet at home and hopefully they will loosen and he will start to walk properly in his own good time.
Who would have thought we would have found all that out just because my boy had a blister?!