It is inconceivable that this is my first blog entry during 2013 – mea culpa. As ever, much has been going on – been to Montreal to visit with my 91 year old mum, saw my sister, brother and their families, even spoke with cousins and met with aunties. It feel as though I am the forgotten, invisible family member who chose to move to the UK.

Visiting my mum is like being in a parallel universe – she doesn’t have a computer, internet access, or a mobile phone and is defiantly proud not to be part of the digital age. This attitude is impossible for me to take on board, as I am thoroughly online, working at my pc during the day, texting, going on my twitter, Linked-In and Facebook pages all the time. In fact, one of my bugbear complaints is that not only do I have to update my person social media sites; I also need to keep the social media sites current for Positive Health PH Online – double trouble.

I have been trundling around the NHS to resolve another personal health odyssey - been pain over the top of my foot. When this started to appear in about 2005, I visited a specialist shoe store where I was living in Portsmouth, who referred me to a private podiatrist, who recommended and fitted orthotics and also referred me to a private physiotherapist. The inserts and therapy helped for a few years, until the pain re-emerged following a spate of driving and walking long distances. As my finances didn’t permit the extravagance of private practitioners, and I had my suspicions about a ‘cosy’ relationship between the referrals, I decided to get to the bottom of my problem via the NHS. Well it has been tedious and long-winded – appointments with consultants, surgeons, having my foot x-rayed, obtaining new inserts and eventually an MRI scan, until the final NHS podiatrist sat down, looked at my foot and said he knew what the problem was without having to refer to all these diagnostic tests.

Apparently there are a confluence of factors: being hyper-mobile, doing lots of sport and dance during my younger years, together with factors I was born with – my big toe (hallux limitus) and over-pronation and my 2nd toe being the longest toe. This has resulted in ‘wear and tear’ between the 2nd metatarsal and middle cuneiform base. So the space has narrowed and when I walk a lot, combined with the biomechanics of my over-pronation and limits with my big toe, this joint space gets hit and feels bruised. There isn’t a lot which can be done – not surgery, even injections could exacerbate things. However the podiatrist has created new inserts which do appear to alleviate the pain for much of the time. Hallelujah!

Last night while watching Newsnight, I witnessed Jeremy Paxman with a beard. Astonished, I sat and went on twitter and actually tweeted my own views. I had never before tweeted while watching the TV – incredible that it took something as mundane as Paxman ageing himself at least 20 years to bring me to this point.

Also watched the inspiration Horizon programme on BBC2 about apps which enable us to monitor all aspects of our body and our health – not just body weight, or how active we are, but our heart rate, sleep patterns, our social interactions, even a programme which predicts the detection of breast cancer cells at an accuracy rate of 99%.

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