This is the first time I’ve ever shared my story, at the age of twenty nine I am finally able to wear my disability not as a scarlet letter but rather as my badge of honor because I have been through so much, when I was born I was diagnosed with Congenital Talipes Equinovarus or more commonly referred to as clubfoot on my right leg.
At birth my leg was not straight like it is today, it was completely curved inwards…I endured many painful surgeries, scars I will never get rid of, years of nasty comments and mean people saying stupid things, pain on a daily basis now that I’m getting older, casting and braces (I learned to crawl with a cast on my leg), shoes that don’t fit because my feet are different sizes and more doctors and specialists than I can count…my disability (I hate that word) made my life hard to say the least and it has taken me twenty nine years to be brave enough to share my story but finally, here it is.
I learned that children can be cruel but even as an adult when I wear shorts I sometimes still catch people pointing and giggling or hear an occasional whisper about the way I walk. The pain in my back, leg and foot have gotten worse over the past few years and I have been diagnosed with “severe arthritis”, I also have nerve damage from previous surgeries that has paralyzed my big toe. I have noticed that the other toes have started to curl under and, although I haven’t spoken to my doctor about it, I just know it’s because of my clubfoot…it’s gotten to the point that there isn’t much else that the doctors can do to help me other than recommend custom orthopedic shoes (which I really don’t want because I’m a shoe lover and I love wearing all kinds of cute shoes and my Husband doesn’t understand why it upsets me so much) or giving me pain medication that really doesn’t help very much.
I also recently saw a urologist because I thought I had been experiencing flank pain but apparently my kidneys are fine and the pain is apparently because of the leg as well, a recent CT scan showed that I have “mild scoliosis” which I had never heard before so I have an appointment with my orthopedic doctor in two weeks to discuss everything.
I have a three year old Niece who is my pride and joy, it’s hard to run and play with her because of the pain and when my Sister tries to explain to her that I’m not able to play she doesn’t understand and it breaks my heart, I have shed so many tears throughout my life and I have tried all my life to accept my leg for what it is but that’s much easier said than done, I just want to be like everyone else.
I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it and none of my family or friends understand, if you’re in the same situation and you need someone to talk to please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, sending love and hugs to all of you!!