Tending The Goalpost Against Diabetic Foot Complications

David G. Armstrong DPM MD PhD

I am something of a podcast junkie. I generally listen at night, trying to capture the feeling my mother and father told me about when they curled up next to radio sets as kids. In fact, I have listened to shortwave radio (and later podcasts) ever since my childhood.

Every now and then, a program comes on that helps to explain the human condition or at least someone's condition. Recently, while zooming across the middle of the USA, I heard a superb 22-minute program, first broadcast on the BBC and later on Radiolab, entitled “The Loneliness of the Goalkeeper” (see http://bit.ly/eM2c4d ).

This podcast speaks to the psychology of the keeper. He or she is something of a self-imposed breed apart on the soccer squad. While a flashy striker can score once in five tries and be the hero, the inverse is the case for the fellow between the sticks. In many ways, one would wonder why someone would ever subject oneself to such a plight. To many, it may seem like a punishment.

I played some 20 years of organized soccer. In all but one of those games, I was the goalie. The one time I ventured out (we were up 5-nil in a late season game and I wanted to score), I ended up catching a volley straight in my eye and spent a solid week in the hospital. I learned my lesson. My place was at the back — defending.

I grew up with podiatry in my father's office and around so many of the luminaries in the profession. I literally grew up in this field. As I had everything handed to me by the best folks to play the game, I had no excuses but to grow up and prosper. However, I think it was the love of tending goal that drew me to my position on the field in “diabetic football.”

Thanks largely to those who have come before me, I think I am the luckiest goalie on the planet. I am also willing to wager that those of you who do the same feel the same way.

This blog has been adapted with permission from a previous blog that originally appeared at www.diabeticfootonline.blogspot.com .

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