I turned 70 this year, and as I thought back on my life and the experiences that have filled it up to this point, I realized that most of it has been intensely involved with the Theta angle. It may sound strange, but I realized this was the case even before the existence of Theta Orthotics. This inspired a bit of writing about how Theta Orthotics came to be, which I’ll be sharing in a series on the blog over the next year or so.
Enjoy Part 1 below!
Discovering The Meaning Of “Theta”
Some of my life before Theta is important to note. It set the stage for a forty-year-long relationship with an angle.
I was first introduced to theta, a Greek letter, by my college trigonometry professor Dr. Miller, about fifty years ago. Although I had struggled in basic algebra in high school, that man managed to teach me both algebra and trigonometry, at the same time.
To the point, as he lectured and wrote on the blackboard with chalk, he referred to all unknown angles as theta, hundreds if not thousands of times. It was only natural that 10 years later when my research was trying to identify, define, and measure a specific angle, I too referred to that angle as theta, hundreds if not thousands of times.
So fast forward through pre-med, podiatric medical school, podiatric surgical residency, private podiatric medical/surgical practice, and landing about two years into my practice, I started experiencing chronic foot pain for the first time. The pain got so bad that I had to consciously try not to limp as I treated my patients. I knew the limitations of both conservative and surgical treatments, and that they had no guarantee of long-term benefits.
To make matters worse, I had been experiencing chronic knee pain for almost 10 years before I developed the chronic foot pain. I was 31-years-old and praying to God for help.
As a physician who was trained to treat these specific conditions, I could not stop what was happening to my own body. Running and jumping was out of the question, and walking and standing could be excruciatingly painful. As both the patient and physician, I became desperate to solve this problem. In my mind, I thought I was trying to identify, understand, and ultimately treat the cause of my chronic pain. I know now that I was getting ready to meet Theta…
Becoming The Patient
Leading up to the time when I first identified Theta, the final motivating factor, was when I became the patient. As a physician I did my best to help my patients, but when I became the patient, the motivation was really there. It caused me to use every skill I had and pay attention to every detail, for as long as it took. I was desperate to stop the pain and still remain active.
The only thing I had observed that decreased the pain was to get off my feet. That’s when the research began…
*Come back later for the next part in this story in the second episode!