71 years of Bilateral Clubfeet

I was born with severe bilateral clubfeet turned toward my face. I had 12-14 surgeries 3 mo’s. -12 yrs., 1946-1958, no Ponseti method but quite successful both ankles are fused for stability. I lived a charmed life in the ’50s when children didn’t bully, ask questions or comment. However, everything was “in a closet” in those days. No one told me but I knew my feet and surgeries were private family business. We had no insurance. My parents both worked hard to pay my bills. They never asked for assistance. And didn’t expect any. When the surgeon’s last bill was $500, they borrowed from my aunt. It was much more than others, outrageous.

I was enabled to walk, tromp around Europe after college graduation, travel between numerous sites for work. I do not think clubfeet are a deformity, disability or a defect. People are not produced on an assembly line as perfect or defective like toys, auto parts etc. I worked until a normal retirement age in my field in spite or rheumatoid arthritis at age 41. Some thought I’d retire early on disability. Not me! I had a brain and could still provide speech and language therapy to my students. I’m. very fortunate. I also had 3 neuro surgeries around age 1 yr. My fontanels were closing and hardening too soon (soft spot on head). They seem to be related to the feet, genetic disorder autosomal chromosome 1st trimester. I was expected to be blind and/or brain damaged!

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