Chiropody (podiatry) is the form of medical treatment that keeps us on our feet! It helps keep us upright, marching through life and its challenges. Some of our MMM Sisters take this on as a “second career” and provide an invaluable service, especially to the elderly.
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who have been trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs.
They also prevent and correct deformity, keep people mobile and active, relieve pain and treat infections. They can give advice on how to look after your feet and what type of shoes to wear. They can also treat and alleviate day-to-day foot problems. (NHS, UK)
According to a study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, in young people as well as the elderly, the muscles in the leg can weaken by a third during a two week period of inactivity.. Therefore movement is very important. So if a person has an ingrown toenail, corns, or other foot problems, then walking (movement ) becomes difficult and often impossible. The chiropodist plays an important role in relieving the pain involved.
Sr. Patricia O’Connor and Sr. Corona O’Brien have been providing this service in Drogheda, Ireland for many years. Sr. Patricia was already a trained nurse with wide experience before entering MMM in 1968. In 1971 she was assigned to Tanzania, later Kenya. In 1996 she returned to Drogheda to look after our sick and elderly MMMs. During her time as clinic Sister in Drogheda, she became aware of the podiatry needs. “I enjoy chiropody very much. It is great to see people up and moving around. When you can keep people mobile, they have better overall health.”
Sr. Corona is also a trained nurse. She spent many years in Tanzania and Nigeria. In Nigeria she was involved in complementary therapies and on her return to Ireland became involved in chiropody through watching Sr. Patricia’s work and seeing the huge need. She combines this work with massage therapy and works to keep the person pain-free, mobile and agile. “People are so grateful when they have their feet treated. At times I am overwhelmed by how much such a small difference can make in their lives. Elderly people often can not bend down enough to reach their feet. Others have poor eyesight. I enjoy my work.”