Wednesday, December 5, 2012

a break from unique

i had surgery on my left foot 1 1/2 years ago to fix a birth defect.
it was an attempt to get me off my heel and take away some of the flexibility i have in my foot,
thus, relieving heel pain.
it worked well in the beginning,
but not so much now.
every time i go to this amazing doctor he reminds me how unique i am,
reminds me how no one else on earth has a foot like mine and if there is it's only like 2 people,
reminds me how "one of kind" i am.
this has always made me feel special,
and made it easier to overlook the fact that my foot hurt or that it felt & looked so different.
i had to go back to this amazing doctor today.
my foot has gone back to its pre-surgery state.
my achilles tendon is all stretched back out.
that special party trick i have where i can bend my foot almost to my shin,
well, it's back.
i went back today hoping that he would have thought of a miracle solution to fix it for good.
i was so hopeful that he would know how to make it normal.
he reminded me again of how unique it is.
he reminded me of how he specializes in "weird" feet & has for 20 years but has never seen anything like this.
he told me he has conversed with more doctors about my foot than any other patient he has ever had.
he said he has even called his doctor friends in NYC & San Fran but they couldn't even imagine what he was saying.
they had never seen anything like it.
this poster child pep talk didn't have the same effect on me today.
i didn't want to be special,
or one of kind.
i just wanted to be NORMAL!
i wanted him to tell me that i wouldn't have to wear 2 sizes of shoes anymore once he performed this "magic" formula,
or that i would be able to wear high heels,
or learn to dance and be a ballerina because i would be able to stand on my tiptoes,
or be able to run without my foot flopping around,
or that i might actually be able to run a race and not look different or have my foot hurt afterwards,
or that no one would ask me again if i hurt myself,
or that i wouldn't be so intimidated to play sports or go to a yoga class,
or that i could have a muscle in my calf so my legs would match and when i wear skinny jeans it won't be tight on the right and baggy on the left,
or so i could wear shorts or short skirts without looking like i have one baby leg and one adult leg,
or that i wouldn't have to think so hard about balancing & the mechanics of my foot with EVERY step i take.
that's really what i wanted to hear  more than "you are so special".
i have always had amazing perspective about my foot,
knowing that this was how i was intended to walk this earth.
i haven't really let it slow me down,
and my personal suffering about it has managed to stay within me.
i haven't spent my life complaining about it.
but today i want to complain.
i want to be bitter about the things i haven't been able to do or wear.
because guess what?
it's more than that.
it's letting go of the hope that my foot would ever be normal.
my doctor told me bluntly (but kindly) that my foot will never be normal.
any attempt would just be a shift away from one problem but to a new one.
i could wear a brace to hold into tightly in place,
but then think of how limited i would be on shoes or how different i would look then!
or i could fuse my ankle and create a solid platform,
but think of how it would feel to never be able to bend your ankle again!
the dream of being a ballerina would definitely be gone.
and the high heels?
i could do a muscle transplant and have it not work because the muscles won't fire together.
or i could leave it just how it is and deal with these problems.
no matter what, it will never be normal.
all that childhood and adult hope is gone.
it's more like today is a bit of a mourning day for me,
the beginning of a lifelong acceptance that it is different and will always be different,
and that is not such a good thing.
at least not today.
tomorrow or the next day will be better.
i will feel that pride again about being a one of a kind.
i just wish i could be one of a kind and normal all at the same time.


katwalk said...

sorry for your sadness and are more than normal to me. as always sometimes it's the little things, tha makes us who we for. different than others....yes you are...are you normal? yes you are.....if you were different you may be perfect...always remember you are who you are. just the way you are, has refined you into the person you are today..a wonderful person...very special just like your foot.

Ganny said...

Wonder if Tony is still around, maybe he could make you a new one. Sounds like a brace might help. You are almost too"old" to become a Ballerina anyway.beautiful, and graceful though. I remember the clerk in the shoe store, that cried with us when he was unable to fit you with shoes. I remember the Red Patent shoes, that were deserving of your special feet. Some teachers like Derinda Martin, and Kyle Karnes, Suzi Stewart were so special. Others like Coach Rhonda Fields were so cruel!!!! Remember how scared Tara was when she dumped you out of your wheel chair after surgery.
I remember PaPa in his many hours of seriously considering options. He shed tears when he said I want Jennifer to always have money to buy her shoes. many thanks to Nordstroms for the deal they give to you. I prayed that you would meet someone that would love you as who were, including the
"special" foot. Then Pete came into your life, and met the criteria. He never came perfect though, with his "special" heart. You two are indeed a "special" pair. I have decided to quit complaining when my neck hurts. All your life, you have been an inspiration to me. Love Ganny

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