Posts Tagged ‘Toes’

Wicked Urge!

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Sometimes, I get the wicked urge to make an appointment with my former podiatrist. To just tell the scheduling clerk something banal like “I’m having trouble with callouses”, and then watch the podiatrist’s face when I unveil my new feet. O.K. – they’re not “new”. They are officially almost 15 months old, but the urge to use them as a “teaching tool” grows ever stronger!

It’s not the podiatrist’s fault. When years of Rheumatoid Arthritis had dislocated my toes and set them all at weird angles that shoes could no longer encase without severe pain, I sought her out. She was the daughter of a trusted physician, newly set up in practice with her surgery-schooled husband. I received sympathy, custom orthotics to ease my stride (which they didn’t) and, eventually, braces attached to both shoes with knee-cuffs to minimise my spectacular falls (which they did). Pain and mobility were still issues, however, so I kept pushing the young pair for a better fix. At my last visit to their office, I was told that the only solution was “drastic surgery” that “shouldn’t be considered until I was older”. That made little sense to me at the time (it was 2004 or 2005); if it was drastic surgery, shouldn’t we do it when I was younger and better able to recover? They wouldn’t answer that, so I didn’t visit them anymore!

My new feet (the result of bilateral amputation of all ten toes) occurred due to a happy coincidence in July of 2008; I broke the little toe on my right foot (no big deal) and attended an already scheduled appointment with our family physician (who thought it was a huge deal). Due to medical delays (documented in earlier blogs), I didn’t have the “drastic surgery” alluded to in 2004-05 until October 2008. The change in mobility, in balance, in quality-of-life has been so marked that I keep getting a wicked urge to go startle a couple of doctors into a different mind-set! Have they already learned, do you suppose? Somehow, I doubt it!

I KNEW they'd do that!!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

When I had my post-op checkup, the surgeon told me to go see the orthotics/prosthetics group and have them fabricate toe fillers & carbon fiber shanks for me. Uh oh! The toe fillers (prosthetic toes) will prevent the front part of whatever shoes I wear from curling up like Persian slippers in short order. O.K. – preventing curling is a good thing, but the alarm bells went off.

I have been visiting the wonderful, caring staff at HK Orthotics & Prosthetics for several years now. They are a terrific bunch, and I like them immensely. However, I delayed for two days before calling for an appointment because I knew what they would have to do! When I whined about it at home. . . .”They’re going to have to take molds of my feet. They’re going to press down on the stitches (and the rest of my feet) to get a clear mold in semi-rigid foam!”, I was met with ‘comforting disbelief’ by family members. “Maybe not.”, “You don’t know that.”, “I don’t think so; this is different.”, etc.

Yeah, well. . . . .I made the appointment, and DH took me to the clinic yesterday afternoon. When my name was called, I took him in with me – to meet the crew, to provide moral support, and to prove that I know what I’m talking about 🙂 My technician was a bit taken-aback; the file mentioned amputation… it didn’t say all ten toes. He gently tested my mental & emotional reaction with, “Um – is this a ‘Good Thing’ ?” (Read: “How’s the adjustment to two deformed feet going?” Hehe, they were deformed BEFORE he surgery!) Once we got past introductions and surprise. . . .out came the semi-rigid foam mold blanks! My tech was as gentle as he could be. . . which means he had to push slowly but firmly, on both incision lines, until he got a useable mold. Ow, ow, OW!!!!!

Apparently, the carbon fiber shank will not only keep the toe piece in place, but will “put a spring in my step”. Hehe – – -translated, that probably means I am going to fall flat on my face trying to learn to walk with the prosthetics!! It’s all good . . . . . .or will be as soon as my feet quit hollering!