Bill Bracks

I live in Te Puke, New Zealand. I’m 80 and finally retired from my job as a company chairman. My first symptoms appeared with hot, swollen, burning feet 25 years ago. I photographed them for my GP who could not diagnose or research the complaint. So, I was off to numerous consultations with specialists. The burning feet were preferable to their prescriptions. I finally decided what you cannot cure you must endure! In the early days I would get out of bed and stand on the tile floor to get some relief and hopefully sleep. I also found that bare feet on the lawn brought relief and do believe there is a relationship to the level of the zeta potential (the negative electrical charge on which our body functions), e.g., when you wear shoes or are lying in bed your body is not earthed and the natural negative 15 to negative 100 millivolt charge becomes supercharged and out of balance. Colleagues at board meetings often passed snide remarks about the Chairman being unable to afford shoes when I was sitting barefoot in meetings. If only they knew!! You cannot feel others’ pain and in the case of EM it is even more so. My remedy today is off with the shoes and socks as soon as is practicable. If that means having worn them for three or four hours, then it’s a bowl of cold water to cool them down before retiring or a stroll on the lawn if the weather allows. In bed, cold wet towels keep my uncovered feet cool enough. Not an ideal situation but it makes life a little more bearable. I do have a carbon fibre underlay which is coupled to a copper earth rod outside the bedroom window. I believe this also helps. When undergoing a recent heart valve operation it was a nightly fight with the nursing staff to let me keep my feet sticking out of bed. My sympathy goes out to all those who suffer from this rare disease. It is fantastic to have a dedicated band of people in TEA who care enough to form this worldwide association. The idea of forming support groups in countries outside the U.S. may just be the best means of accessing the resources to fund more research into this nasty condition. Blessings from Kiwiland.