Congenital Talipes Equinovarus

Finally I can tell my story

I’m 56 – and finally ready to share my stories with others like me, as well as a bunch of strangers. I hope this is not too long and boring.

When I was 3 in 1963, my parent knew there was something wrong with my right foot, as the baby bar did not help. They took me to countless local doctors, who couldn’t help. My parents met Dr. Leo Mayer of Mt Sinai in NYC. He was 83 years old at that time. I was the youngest in a test study group of 10 people. At 3 going on 4. 3 operations 1963/64/65 – Many casts years of PT.
My parents never told me the truth of what this was until I was in my 30’s.

It took me all my youthful years to learn how to walk, skip, and I hated those dreadful
saddle shoes and braces. When I was in High School, my mom had my shoes made for me so I could be in somewhat of style. In the late 1970’s Disco Punk and Techno were popular and so were flats.
I Thank G-d every day for these years. I danced and danced and danced and it built strength
and muscle in my right foot.

I had a scar of 350 stitches and my right foot was a size 8 or 8 1/2 my left foot the normal foot was a size 9. I never touched my right foot, still to this day I don’t. As a Teen, and in my 20’s I was a beach gal always tan, My right foot was always 4 shades darker especially the scar – People were nasty just nosy, and ask me all the time what happened. Me being a beach girl always had strangers can you believe actually strangers asking. My answer was made their mouths drop, I’d say an MTA train ran over my foot in the tunnel when my boyfriend was writing graffiti. That shut them up. During these important years of college, my sales job, dating and trying to be stylish for the 80′ and 90’s I hated tied shoes Hated wearing my Orthotics. All I wanted to wear was a pair of Candi Clogs and High Heels. I was thankful, that I learned to ride a bike, I did venture with my dad’s help and tried skiing and icing skating, not for me.

I was 35 newly married, and my mother gave me a very large folder and about a 100 x-rays the old-fashioned kind and fully explained what I had, How hard it was for her and that I was actually written up in 3 AMA journals. My surgery had been the first test group of it’s kind. My self and another woman, who would be about 60 were the old (2) to have some form of success.
It’s been drilled into my head since my youth, do not fall, slip especially in the winter, Do not sprain this ankle or do any damage as I may never walk again.

Over the past 20 years, I have felt many changes to my foot not by looking at it, but just by knowing how I walk. I have gained weight lost weight worn the right shoes the wrong shoes,
have slipped in the snow twice and fell on my knee. I had luck on my side.

I dread the fact that one of these days I will need to go for a follow-up. Lately, as it’s getting colder for the first time, I have pain in my foot?

I’m glad to have found this page, and it took me a while to think about writing my story but after reading many others, I knew it was time

Thank you for allowing me to share

Posted in Clubfoot Stories
2 comments on “Finally I can tell my story
  1. Marcella says:

    Hi K Ostby, I was born in 1952 so I know what you mean, no, Club foot was not talked about back then. There definitely was not a club for it. I had 5 surgeries until I was 12. And then one to straighten out my toes when I was in my forties. I grew up very ashamed of myself and hated my feet and leg which one was smaller than the other. I am now 65 and am finally living an authentic life. I love myself and my feet and legs. It took a lot of training, compassion, and self-love to get where i am today. I am grateful.

  2. K Ostby says:

    I’m 15 yrs. Older than you are, but I have a very different experience which I’ve shared here before. I know all about keeping it quiet, living in a closet. In the ’50s and part of the ’60s, people were not open about a lot of things. No one told me, I just knew. I did know I had clubfeet but the type and reasons for my 14 surgeries in 12 yrs. We’re never explained. Children didn’t need to know. I never spoke about my feet or 3 neuro surgeries until I was 68. I want to live an authentic life during my last years. Now, I need people to listen. I’m part of a family that says “we don’t talk about things like that.” In my 50s, I began to get questions from other adults, inappropriately. I always had looks from my students or others but no questions until I was close to retirement. They have changed from my early years.

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