Not many, if any at all, except for my family and relatives know of my handicap. Today's post is not Dolly or toy related, and I'm not asking for sympathy, nor is it to glamorize any part of it, but mostly because I have learned to accept my handicap. And my hope is, that others who have the same condition, may in some small way or another, be guided by my experiences or feel at least that they are not alone, from reading my post.
I was born in the early 70's on Guam. My mother and father were told by the doctor that I was born with a congenital birth defect called, "Clubfoot". Of course my parents were worried and asked the doctor what could be done at the time that would help me or correct the issue. To give you somewhat a visual, basically, both my feet were turned inwards with my ankle being the part of my foot I would step onto if it weren't corrected. I have all my toes, its only the formation of my feet and bones that was abnormal. It is stated, that because of the way I formed inside my mother's womb, is what caused my feet to have this condition. Interesting, because my Mother used to blame herself and for going bowling while pregnant with me, is what she believed caused my condition... I believe it was just God's will, and what was meant to be...
So, the a plan was given to my parents, to follow in order to help them, help me recover and live what the doctors told them would be a normal life, hopefully. At the time, and I'm told by many doctors nowadays, that this was the course of action they believed would best help me. Now, this is my Mother's account of the story and what she shared with me most of my early life, as I grew up trying to understand, why I was different. My Mother said, that when I was two weeks old, I was brought back to the doctor and a casts were placed on both my feet. The plan was for these casts to be left on for a few months in hopes that it may help correct my feet as I grew from a new born into a toddler. My Mother shared that I was heavy with the casts on and though I cried early on about them, in time, they didn't bother me. After the casts were removed, she said, that I was quite normal, and learned to walk with no problems. The casts definitely corrected the major part of my feet being twisted and now, my feet were straighten a lot more. But, I was walking mostly on my tippy toes, like a ballerina.
I know my Mother felt so sad for me, I even recall her saying, "Never mind, don't wear them. I don't want you to suffer." So, she didn't force me to wear them, and I didn't. Today, I wish she had, but at the same token, I don't think there was anything more those shoes could've done to correct anything else that the casts had already done for me.
As I got older and was in Middle and High School years, it was harder to fit in and act normal. PE was the worse, I loved it, played like regular kids and did the activities, even though at times I was in pain. Yup, there was pain. You see my feet was able to support my weight, but certain kinds of movements, like a lot of running or long walks or standing long, would make my feet ache at night. So, I used a lot of Bengay ointment to sleep at night. That wasn't all, I had to wear only certain types of shoes, tennis mostly, I couldn't wear heels, and some flats were impossible, because my heel was too small and they'd just fly off my feet as I walked in them. the front half of my feet was wide, my bones had compensated for my weight by spreading out to support me. My shoe size was not normal, my feet are actually a size 8, but I had to always buy a larger size to fit the widest part of my feet, so it was a size 9 or 10, that I bought. Ugh.
I had to make do with what I could wear and what my feet would allow me to do. When, I was thirteen years old, my Mother took me to a foot specialist. This time the consensus was for me to have surgery. The plan was, this would correct the rest the my feet by removing the extra bones in my ankle and some tissue to help form a more normal foot. The doctor warned that the surgery may correct it, but I had a 50/50 chance of walking again or not. I looked at my Mother and said to the doctor, in front of her, "No. I don't want the surgery." At the time, all I could think of was not being able to walk anymore. If that was the case, I told myself, I would rather live with my condition.
So, go on stare, and watch the way I walk. It's okay by me. But, know this, I am tippy-toeing my way through this life, and having a blast at it! Ha.
Thank you for reading my story! ~ ggsdolls