Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for: December, 2013

By Dr. Robyn Paloian
December 26, 2013
Category: family foot care
Tags: patient experience  

I love going to the dentist. Really. I love the feeling of freshly scraped teeth. I love the hygienist's validation of my meticulous brushing regimen.  So, naturally, I was feeling pleased with myself not having a cavity after my routine check up last month.  But my dentist was concerned about a cracked tooth, and she recommended that I undergo a procedure to investigate, clean and fill the crack.

On the afternoon of my procedure I was pleasantly greeted by the front desk staff.  “How are you today?”  

"Just thrilled to be here.”  

They politely chuckled.  They must know that their office is one of the least-desired locales to spend a sunny, Fall afternoon, ranking just above scrubbing toilets.

I was comfortably seated in the chair, my handbag was hung up for me, and I donned some thick, dark eye shades that rival my 87-year-old granny’s.  My dentist and her assistant were very professional and kind, and they explained every step of the procedure to me.  The shot of local anesthetic was unpleasant, as I had expected.  I involuntarily jumped a foot out of the chair when the dentist hit my lingual nerve with the needle.  The dental dam was secured over my tongue and around my teeth.  It looked and felt so awkward, I had to take a photo.  I’m too embarrassed to show you, but imagine me as Hannibal Lecter with granny shades.

The doctor began the procedure.  Her voice was very calm and reassuring as she narrated each step.  But my thoughts strayed, and I found myself noticing every detail occurring in the room.  The soft rock hummed through the speaker system.  The mist from the water sprayer swirled above my face and landed on my numb left cheek.  The dentist’s stomach gurgled; it was 2 pm, she must have just finished lunch.  I wondered what she ate.  

I began pondering what my patients must feel when they’re in my exam chair.  Do they stifle a jump when I inject local anesthetic?  Am I reassuring and confident when I discuss their condition and prognosis?  How could I improve their experiences in my office?  

I left the dentist’s office with a sore jaw, a numb tongue and chin, and composite material filling my cracked molar.  It felt good to have finally completed this recommended procedure.  But I felt even better about my renewed awareness of the patient experience.  

It had been a while since I was the patient.  Since my procedure I have felt a refreshed sense of compassion that I consciously extend to each of my patients.  Putting ourselves in others’ shoes is valuable to us as podiatrists, and as humans.  

If you want to have a great patient experience with a foot doctor, contact the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

Onychomycosis or toenail fungus is an infection of the nails/toenails that is caused by a group of microscopic organisms called Dermatophytes (Derm=skin and nails Phytes =attracted to or grow within ).  These include the most common fungi that cause both athletes foot and nail fungus, and less common yeasts and molds. The fungus has enzymes that break down the nail plate and allow the strands ( hyphae) of the organism to penetrate the nail.

Where did it come from?

It is theorized that sometime in the late eighteen hundreds of these fungi were transported to the United States from Asia and Africa. The increase in the prevalence is related to our use of closed shoes, synthetic socks that retain moisture, diseases that decrease our immune system’s ability to fight infection, and our ever increasing aging populous.

How do you know if you have this difficult to pronounce disorder?

Look at your toenails. Are they discolored, brittle, unsightly, crumbly, or thick? If so you could have onychomycosis or toenail fungus.

To find out if you do, our Seattle Podiatrists have developed a Comprehensive Laser Toenail Program to eliminate your toenail fungus. Your first visit is complementary. Our doctors will not only evaluate your situation but also educate you about how to keep your feet healthy.

To make an appointment, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.


By Dr. Rion Berg
December 09, 2013
Category: family foot care

I’d like to let you know about a wonderful woman, Diane Haugen, the executive director of the now North Seattle Chamber of Commerce.  It is largely due to her efforts and vision along with the board of directors of the chamber  that she now serves as the director of the Lake City Community Center.

Since the chamber took over the management of the community center earlier this year, many wonderful things have happened including the addition of many programs for children and adults, as well as a fresh new and warm look courtesy of Home Depot.

Diane has wanted to make the Community Center a showpiece of what Lake City can be.  Through her efforts,

Taproot Theater Company came to the center last Friday night and put on “A Christmas Carol”. Hors d'oeuvres were served and the place was packed for the pre-show holiday gathering. The children were so happy dipping goodies into the fountain of chocolate. When we were seated there were over 200 people in attendance.

Then came the actors. A grand total of four actors performed this rendition of the Dickens story. With no stage, sound, or special lighting, they were fabulous, and had us all mesmerized envisioning this story just as we remember it , but live! Our hearts were warmed, and our spirits brightened by this amazing event, just in time to welcome the holidays. 

This event and Diane, and the chamber’s work are truly serving to rebrand our community as it deserves to be—“A City by The Lake”.  So much can happen. All we need is a vision and each other.

Happy Holidays!