I grow up in a family of doctors. My mom is an anesthesiologist, my father teachers medicine at one of the local universities, my uncle works in a family practice, and one of my cousins just recently became an OB / GYN. To say that we are well vaccinated before vacations, get our flu shots early, and always have the latest information and data on whatever trend is taking place would be a big understatement. In other words, we have no excuse not to be healthy.
That's what makes my sister's story so strange. She was playing in a soccer game and without even really knowing it began to limp. My mom, who was watching the game on the sidelines, asked her after the game what happened. Kim did not know what mom was talking about. After mom said that she seemed to be walking funny, Kim agreed that something was off, but she did not feel any pain.
Despite having a doctor for every specialty known to man in our family, we did not know a podiatrist. I thought it was strange that my parents insisted Kim see a podiatrist right away since it appeared to me she probably just got bruised and would be fine in a few days.
While I was partly correct, her limp became less obvious over a day or two, mom and dad wanted to be safe and sent Kim to a podiatrist after school one day. He conducted a battery of tests and initially found nothing alarming. He said that he wanted to look at the left ankle and foot a little bit more closely and took a few pictures of them.
As it turns out, Kim had a minor chip in one of the bones in her foot. The podiatrist found something that a general doctor would not have. While he did not feel the need to do anything other than alert Kim of the problem, tell her to be aware and cognizant of it, and try to protect it when possible, who knew that you could chip a foot in the same way that you can chip a tooth?
I'm not sure that knowing about that chip impacts Kim at all. However, knowing what is going on, and being able to document and track it is something that is valuable to any individual. Perhaps not knowing in this case would not matter. However, early detection is so critical in so many ailments. Going to a specialist at the first sign of a problem is a great way to stay healthy in the long-term. I should know, my entire family preaches it.