Hello! My name is Lynn. I am 56 years old and I never met a person like us until my son was born with bilateral clubfeet…..then my granddaughter and grandson.
I feel like I was lucky when my son was born. Having been born with the same condition I knew what was “wrong” with him and although I knew it would be a long road I was thankful he was healthy otherwise.
But let me back up. I was born in 1964 while my father was in the Marine Corps. My father actually reenlisted in the service because of my feet. He wanted to make sure I could get the medical care I needed. I had casts on both feet but only needed surgery on my left foot. It is about two sizes smaller than my right foot but it has a bit of a moon shape to it so I need the extra width.
Growing up I had the ugly orthopedic shoes, braces, kids teasing me because of my limp and scar and the terrible pain after running around and playing like my friends and siblings. My mother would rub my feet, put different creams on them, take me to Shrines to put my feet in the water all in hopes of relief.
I did try to live without complaining as I was taught there are people who have worse problems than mine. I did make the volleyball team in high school. My foot, ankle and leg would hurt so bad. Finally, my knee was swollen and hurting. They determined that my foot was causing a poor alignment so they sent me to physical therapy but I never went back to attempting to play any sports.
I got married and had eight children over 21 years, I put on weight over that time and that has not helped my feet. I worked in the restaurant industry for 16 years as a manager but it got to the point that I couldn’t walk when I would first wake up in the morning. I had to crawl to the bathroom, take Motrin followed by Tylenol two hours later. At 32 years old I was told I have arthritis.
By the time I was 42 I couldn’t work on my feet anymore. I had orthopedic shoes and huge orthotics. I was getting cortisone shots in my left ankle and my doctor said I just couldn’t continue on like that.
I got a job as an office manager so that I do not have to be on my feet and that helped a lot until about a year and a half ago. I would always have pain if I did any walking but for the most part, it was worth it. I would know if I chaperoned a trip to the zoo I would pay for it later. Now I just can’t do it. I stay home when my family does anything that requires walking. They offer to get me a wheelchair so I can go but I just can’t do it! I cook, grocery shop, clean the house, take care of my grand-kids but I am in pain all the time.
It is beginning to cause problems with my hips. Years ago they talked about fusing my foot/ankle but there was no guarantee that that would be successful so I did not do it.
So, that brings me to today. I lost my mother two months ago. She was the only person I had in the world that understood my feet. My only person to talk to. That is why I started looking for a support group. I could not believe there actually is such a thing!! I am excited. 🙂