One notable physical trait I inherited genetically: small hands and feet. I wear gloves meant for children and have small feet approximately US 4.5 at true size, but I always wear bigger shoes in part due to buying convenience – small-sized footwear, as with abnormally large-sized footwear, are rather difficult to find.

With small feet comes a remarkably painful disadvantage – poor balance. This was not evident at a younger age when I did not indulge in activities requiring much balance, but problems emerged when I picked up netball, a sport requiring a fair bit of nifty footwork. I started spraining my ankles often, at an alarming frequency of once every few months. That was about when it was pointed out to me (by a medical professional) that I have feet smaller than a regular person even of my small stature, and that I’m flat-footed on the left, causing me to be even more unbalanced.

It’s years since my netball-ing days and I do try to keep both feet as firmly on the ground as possible when I walk, to avoid the pain of going through another sprained ankle. But one could never be careful enough – I still do hurt myself once every couple of years. Yesterday happened to be one of those days; a second of inattention, a missed step, and loads of pain. Fortunately in the left foot and that driving an automatic car requires only the right.

Where sprains are concerned, I firmly subscribe to the Chinese methodology of Tui Na (推拿) as opposed to the Western of cold compress and rest. Acupuncture treatment was also administered with the promise that it will help the ankle recover quicker. Anything to help regain my mobility faster, so long as it does not inflict more pain in the process.

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