The Tale of the Bad Foot Gone Worse

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*Apologies to podophobes around, as I am one, a post about a foot is so unappealing to us, I know…but it is a tale that needs told. A warning, if thou will. Once upon a yesteryear I was a dancer. Tap, jazz, ballet. Group dances, solos, I even taught the young’uns how to dance. I started dancing at the age of 3, started teaching at the age of 10. In middle school I choreographed our musical. I loved to dance. I plan on reclaiming that love, but that is a post for another day. This post is about my feets. As a dancer, my feet took a lot of abuse. Not as much as say, a prima ballerina in pointe shoes all the time, but they took abuse. On top of that I have a genetic quirk I get from my mom. My big toes have been crooked from day one. Instead of sitting straight, they turn in. I know, big toes turn in a little, is normal…but no.  Mine turned way in. Like, it nestled beneath the second toe all of my life. This natural “quirk” meant I have had ever-growing bunions from the teen years. For many years they did not cause me pain. In fact, my running joke was that most people have to jam their toes into the points of heels, but my toes naturally had that shape. They didn’t hurt…until they did. In 2012 I first saw a podiatrist. He said we could fix the foot, but if it didn’t hurt, he suggested just watching it. So we watched. Then I started working in places where I stood on hard, unforgiving, concrete floors for 40 hours a week. Then the pain edged its way in. In 2013 I went to the podiatrist again. We scheduled a surgery. One week before Christmas I went under the knife for the worst of the two feet. For six weeks I painfully remained off my feet, then painfully returned to walking. My podiatrist did not send me to physical therapy, just told me walking would return the flexibility to normal. So I walked. And I waited. And I walked. And I waited. And the pain never got better. I would be “okay” one minute, and the next the pain would spike through my big toe like you wouldn’t believe. I had no flexibility. Yoga (which I LOVE) was painful. I waited three years. The pain wasn’t going away. There was no flexibility. I didn’t know what to do. Worse, my other foot was hurting me in ways my right foot never did. So I went and found another podiatrist. We sat and talked a long time about  my options. What surgery was possible. I had to choose between my left and right foot. The right foot would be a corrective surgery and in the doc’s words, “I don’t know what the last doc did, so I won’t know until I get in there what I will have to do for sure.” Hubby and I talked it over, and finally decided to have corrective surgery on my right foot. I was not about to risk surgery on a perfectly good foot when my right foot still hurt. So in 2016, I had a corrective surgery done on my right foot. Afterwards I had high hopes. The pain was far less for this surgery. My surgeon had me walking pretty much immediately after (in a cast). Things were looking up. Then they took off the bandages and my toe was straight!  My foot looked like a Franken-foot…but dang, was that toe straight! I went to Physical Therapy and did everything he told me to do at home. Hope was high. Then the high began to wear off. Because of the wire he installed in my second toe, there is no flexibility in it. I can’t point it. Because (I would find out at a follow up appointment) of doing TWO surgeries on my big toe…I would, forever, have pain…because the double surgery caused arthritis (which I was not warned about). In fact, instead of lying under the second toe, the big toe now having crept back toward crooked now pops up over top of the wired-stiff toe. I don’t have as much pain as I did, but it’s still there. My toe is still not straight. I have lost all forward flexibility in two toes…but I can do yoga. So there’s that. I guess. Long story short…no one is touching my left foot. Ever. I want to dance again…and I might be able to do it with one bum foot. I won’t be able to if I let them near foot number 2. Read more »

Travelling Cabbage Patch Mania

Everyone is talking about it these days, thanks to the Black Friday madness surrounding a few certain toys. 31 years ago was the Cabbage Patch Craze, frenzy, nightmare for parents whose kids really wanted those dolls!! My parents…were one of the unfortunate many. I wanted a cabbage patch. I wanted it BAD. Just like everyone else on the planet. For weeks my mom searched, every store in the Buffalo area (where I grew up), was sold out. The phenomenon had made it impossible to find a Cabbage Patch doll in the Western New York area, it seemed. She got so desperate to make me happy, she made me a homemade version of a Cabbage Patch (that I still have, actually). At the same time, my brother played hockey. A lot. On a travel team with a group of kids, at least one of whom would become an Olympian and eventual Pro Hockey player. That travel team aspect meant I was dragged along all over the east coast and Canada to go to stupid hockey games. I got to see a lot of neat places, but I had to watch stupid hockey. One one such tournament we were somewhere in Canada. I can’t say for sure where, because honestly at the time I didn’t care. I was trapped where I didn’t want to be, with annoying teenage boys.  I did have my books, that was good. It kept me pretty occupied, ignoring the chaos in the hotel halls of the boys playing hall-hockey (what? You never played? It’s fun! Mini-sticks…wait, I’m digressing). One afternoon we were all hanging around in the hotel room, bored and waiting on the game to start in a few hours. For once, the hotel was pretty quiet, I’m not even sure why. It was…until suddenly a voice BOOMED down the hallway: “THERE ARE CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS AT THE TOYS R US ACROSS THE STREET!! I REPEAT: THERE ARE CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS AT THE TOYS R US ACROSS THE STREET!” My mom took one look at me, another at my dad, then threw on her coat and joined the MASS exodus from the hotel. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, made a mad dash and bought out the Toys R Us across the street from the hotel. That, my dear friends, is how I got Daisy. The first in a string of Cabbage Patch Dolls. Did you have one? Do you remember how she or he came to live with you? Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

50X50 – The Updated Bucket List

Some years ago I created a 45X45 list of 45 things I wanted to do before I turned 45.  Over the past six(ish?) years I’ve revised it several times…adding things and taking others away. This year, I turned 41. I’m creeping up on 45 faster than I like to think about, mainly because I didn’t feel I had enough of the items on the list done. Of course, there were a few things I wanted to add as well. So I sat down with my list, looked it over. Once again I did some trimming, cut a few items, then I added some more. I’m super excited to tackle the list. There are at least two items that I get to cross off within this next month, which will be really cool. The solar eclipse is a given, and I’m going to where there will be 98.99% coverage, so bonus! Then, at the end of the month hubby and I are heading to Disney World (which we will return to in December…woot)…which, since I went to Disneyland in May, will put me in both US based parks within a one year span! After that…there’s a lot of options ahead of me. Take a look at my new list:   50 X 50 Take a real vacation. (Not to Buffalo, not w/ the kids) (Done 4/23/12) Take my kids to Disney World. (Done, thanks to Make-A-Wish 10/28/14) See my name in print (get published, e-zine, paper-zine). (Done 6/24/12 – Sirens Call June 2012 Issue) Have a novel published. (Done 2/8/13 – Changing Tracks & 17 more times [so far] by 7/18/15) Get my Dominion Falls books series in front of a producer. Completely tidy my house [w/reference to KonMari]. (Started w/  my clothes. Lots left to do) Take a photography class (or 2 or 3) Perform on stage again (done 12/4/15 – Violet Grey in A Charlie Brown Christmas) See Colorado Camp – really camp in the Rockies See Yellowstone Go skydiving. [Yes, I feel slightly insane here] Go to a blogger’s conference. (done 4/23/12) Sit at a book signing. Get on a regular exercise regime & stay on it for more than 3 months. Hand craft (knit, sew) 1 item for ME for a change.  (DONE 4/1/12) Make a complete Victorian era dress from skin out. (underthings complete, corset 50% complete) Get some crazy color in my hair (purple, blue, pink highlites/streaks) Done 2/11/12 Read the Harry Potter series aloud to my girls. (2/3 of the way through by 8/4/17) Sing Karaoke  Get up close with the wolves & photograph them at Wolf Park. Move to Florida. Pay off debt. Get a car that is less than 2 years old Run a 5k. Done 9/22/12  Do something daring (paragliding, zipline, etc.) Done 7/14/12 See the butterflies at the Indy Zoo (Done 3/19/13) Learn sign language. Go on a road trip with a girlfriend Go on a hot air balloon ride See Cirque du Soleil (Done 6/27/2012) Ride a horse – not a trail horse. A real ride on a horse. Volunteer Stop drinking pop Visit Disneyland (Done 5/2/17) Get a tattoo (Done 7/16/11) Go on a Cruise [preferably Alaskan, but I’m not picky] Go on a wine tasting (Done 10/16/10) Get a Henna tattoo Take my husband to swim with sharks Fly first class Read at least 50 of the 100 Greatest Novels (I am saying the book can be from either of the 2 lists there. In total I have read 8/50 at this point) Have a real spa day (Done, thanks to Hubs, 7/2014) Visit a real haunted location (Done 7/16/16) Sell a photo Visit Salem, MA Visit both US based Disney Parks in one year. See a solar eclipse. Have one of my pictures on the Indianapolis Zoo website. Go through a sweat lodge ceremony.   So, I have to pick one to do next.  Which would you choose? Read more »