When I was born, way back in 1980, I was born a month early. I should have come on December 27th. Instead, I was impatient. Not much has changed. I decided that November 27th was a much better day to come into this world. Such a good day that my mom had to leaving the holiday cooking and her two pumpkin pies. And even though she reminds me that she couldn’t have her pies, (I was a C-section baby), I still think that she was ok with me coming into her life a month early.
But not all was great. I was born with club foot. I was born 5 lbs. 10 oz. When I came home from the hospital my feet were adorned with tiny casts on my feet. I only weight 5 lbs. coming home. Nine months later I had corrective surgery.
For years I had to wear corrective shoes. And back then, they were not the least bit cute. Not to say they are today. Corrective shoes haven’t come very far, design wise. And in those years I went through all types of teasing. I’ve come to hate my feet. They are completely unperfect.
There is a little extra skin that comes over my big toe. Of course, I could have cosmetic surgery. But really? Who has the money to waste on that? I have a little mole on my right big toe. My pinkie toes curve underneath my fourth toe. My feet have high arches and wide circumference. They are completely unperfect.
When I was in 11th grade I thought it would be cool to ditch school with friends. We’d decided that spending a day in class was nothing compared to spending the day at a pool. I suggested we walk right out the front of the school. What could be easier? But the boys. Sigh. The boys decided it was safer to climb the fence by the continuation school and walk the block and a half to the pool. That particular day I was wearing overalls. Overall clips are dangerous. Mine got stuck on the top of the fence. Rather then scale the fence slowly, as I was making my way to freedom, I decided to jump. Unfortunately I jumped down too hard and shattered my right foot.
Fast forward a few years later. I was playing softball, with my then boyfriend, at an army base. You’d figure an army base would have well trimmed baseball fields. But alas, they don’t. As I was playing left field I went for a fly ball. I ran. And ran. And then my right foot got stuck in a gopher hole. My foot went one way, my body the other. I can still remember the feeling of that tendons tearing. My ankle dislocating. And the warm rush of blood that went to my face.
It’s been six years and my foot isn’t the same. I can’t walk on the sand, or any uneven surface, without the pain. I can’t walk for long periods of time. (I’m a complete drag at the fair or Disneyland.) And every morning I want to scream to the heavens. There are times when I dream of finding an African medicine man to heal my foot. Sometimes I ask Shawn to hobble me, like in “Misery”. Yes, the pain is that bad.
So finally, (bear with me, I’m almost done), I found a Dr. that will be performing a miracle. Tomorrow. Yes, I know. Short notice. I do apologize. Tomorrow this miracle man is going to put a pin into my ankle joints and fuse them together. This will straighten my foot, stop my joints from rubbing each other, and it will, virtually, eliminate the arthritis. I won’t be gone for long, a day or two at the most.
The healing is what will be the hardest part. I will be in a cast for 6-8 weeks. Three casts, mind you. And then in a non weight bearing walking boot for about three months. Then physical therapy. My hopes are that I will be able to walk in the next six months. Without crutches. Without a wheelchair. Without a cane. Without the help of someone else.
Just with my unperfect feet.