Why I Became a Pedorthist
June 2012 Issue
A tongue in cheek (or tongue in shoe) look at how fairy tale history might have to be rewritten if Prince Charming had become a pedorthist.
Ballroom dancing is my father's idea of a good time. Every Saturday night for the past two years he's hosted a ball, and if you were invited you had better show up. After all, my father is the king, and "No" is not an option with him. It wasn't long before many of his guests began complaining of sore feet. Six hours of twirling on a cold stone floor every week takes its toll. My father, however, was oblivious to the problem. Like many of his guests, I made excuses to slip out of the ballroom. Thirtyminute bathroom breaks were not uncommon.
Outside the ballroom, people begged me to find a solution for their overworked feet. One guest suggested wall-to-wall carpeting, but the royal tapestry maker said that it would take years to make. Someone else said that we should switch to playing Bingo, but that was already going on at the cathedral. The most desperate idea proposed was to instigate a war with a neighboring kingdom—anything to create a break from the incessant dancing. I vetoed the latter idea since as the prince, I would be obligated to lead futile cavalry charges into heavy enemy fire. I confess that I get a bit queasy at the sight of blood.
The answer to the problem of aching feet from endless dancing came through pedorthics. I attended a course in a faraway land across the sea and returned in time to successfully treat my father's subjects. On the first Saturday after my return, I evaluated people's feet during the ball. Not surprisingly, everyone needed some form of treatment, most notably one of the daughters of Ms. Stepmother, Drusilla, who kept hovering over me and running her fingers through my hair—obviously fascinated by my work.
Drusilla's feet were especially challenging. It took numerous visits to fit her custommolded dance clogs properly. With these new shoes, she added a whole new dimension to the art of stomp. At times it was difficult to hear the orchestra when she was on a tear. The other guests naturally gave her plenty of space when she got going.
Quite the opposite was her young stepsister, Cyndi, who came to dance—can you believe it—in a ridiculously flimsy pair of glass slippers! I told her straight up that although quite lovely, these were the absolute worst choice for any serious activity, especially endurance dancing. She balked at my suggestion to switch to something more practical. I told her that there was currently nothing wrong with her feet, and that as long as she stopped wearing the glass slippers, there would be no further need for her to see me. After I gave her this advice, she burst into tears, snatched back her slippers, and stormed off in a huff, without a word of thanks.
Drusilla and I have a good thing going now. After 25 follow-up visits, I felt that I knew her better than any other woman in the kingdom. We dated for three months before I worked up enough nerve to propose. Today she's a great asset to my new pedorthics business; you should see her collect those co-payments up front.
Cyndi reacted to our engagement by smashing her glass slippers into a thousand pieces and shipping the broken mess to me inside a rotting pumpkin. At least there's no way she can wear them now!
Michael Adams, CP, LP, CFo, is a prosthetist with OrPro Prosthetics and Orthotics, Dayton, Ohio, and has 12 years of experience in the O&P industry. He is currently pursuing his pedorthic certification. He can be reached at