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.

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