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    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Freakish Feet

    Mr. Sign and I were comparing our body parts to how they used to look. He remarked about how big my knees were compared to his. He wasn't being mean, just stating the facts. I didn't realize that he didn't know that I had braces on my legs as a child and corrective shoes until I was in my teens (which did nothing for my condition).

    Knock knees is the term my dad always used in referring to my leg problems. I always hated the ugly corrective shoes that cost my parents over $500 a pair (in the 70's).

    Because my tibia and fibia were rotated to the outside of my legs, my feet followed. When I walked, my feet were turned at 45 degree angles making me look like a duck when I walked. This condition was also complicated by the fact that my feet are as flat a pancakes and have an extra bone in them.

    My maternal grandmother was embarrassed by the way I walked and always yelled at me to walk with my feet facing forward. I tried hard, but after a while I would grow tired and my feet would go back to their natural position.

    When I was 13, I was taken to the University of Michigan's Children's Hospital to have my legs and feet looked at. I saw three different doctors the first of which was amazed by how flat my arches were. He took pictures and told me that my feet would be famous in medical journals (lol).

    One of the doctors decided that the only way to fix my legs was to break both of them and reset them. Another doctor told us that because I was past puberty, it was too late for me. His diagnosis was that I would be wheelchair bound by the time I was 18 (I guess I proved him wrong).

    It wasn't until I was 14 that this whole deformity bothered me mentally. I was at a football game walking by myself and three very popular older guys were walking behind me quacking and making fun of the way I walked. I was devastated but took that energy and put it into teaching myself to walk with my feet forward. It was one of the most painful things I've ever done. At first I could only do it for a little while because my legs would get so tired. Over time, I was able to totally retrain myself to walk almost normally.

    Mr. Sign never knew this story or the reason why my feet tend to stray outward when I get tired. I guess it was something I wanted to leave in the past, but it's part of what makes me who I am today.


    Suze said...

    Jenn, you are an inspiration to others. It shows that with determination and courage you can change things for the better.

    I think you have cute feet or is that just me. ;)

    Manny said...

    Looks painful.

    lime said...

    wow, you really are a person of strength, my dear. that could not have been easy at all.

    Crabby said...

    AHHHHHHHHHH! No way! I walk like a duck too. (no I'm serious. Ask Manny.) Both my feet turn outwards and I can NOT point them forward to save my soul. It feels un-natural. I've been teased about it but I just normally shoot those folks the bird and keep waddling along.

    How weird is this? See? I told you me, you, and barman, were separated at birth.

    PS. suze is right. You DO have cute feet.

    I think we should have our own personal greeting for each other since we're both different. How about....quack? LOL! After all, I'm still a waddler. A defiant waddler but...waddler just the same.

    Fridaysweb said...

    I have an odd fascination with feet. It's not a fetish, I just think feet are cool, because everyone's are so different. I would never have teased you. In fact, I rarely teased any kids while I was growing up (and still, today). Our differences often help us find bonds.

    oh, and I walk on the outsides of my feet...all the time. It makes my arches awkwardly high. go figure.

    barman said...

    That's me too. My feet point out. It sure makes cross country sking both interesting and tiring. Maybe that is why I never had any luck with downhill sking. Anyway I am sure I was picked on plenty but I never knew about it. So yes, I can join the waddle club if you are looking for members.

    OK, I need to find pictures of feet. Found them. OK, for me instead of freakish bone on the side, I have freakish bone on top of both feet that kind of look like the ankles sticking out. Yep we are all unique in one way or another. Just sometimes it would be nice not to be so unique.

    Oh and my Sister got to be styling while she was growing up too with a pair of those corrective shoes. I am sure I could have used some but there is a limit to what one can afford. My Sister and I was not cheap growing up for sure.

    Chrissie said...

    I think everyone has freaky feet! Feet are just... weird lookin...

    The turning out... my middle daughter was pigeoned and they kind of turned up... like she was sitting Indian style in the womb... when she was born... The ped told me to turn them at the ankles and face them forward and hold it that way several times a day... we did this for about 2 years... she is still a little clumsy lol... but like you its really only noticeable when she is really tired... Its funny but I just told HER about this like a year ago lol... so no one has ever teased her for walking funny I guess, without the braces or shoes no one noticed... so yay Dr.Huang!

    Now.. Danny1 also had this issue and bow legged-ness... but he comes from good Tx Mexicans who don't believe in "real" Dr's... SO.. his grandmother tied his legs together at the ankles and knees every night until he was 4! LOL

    cadbury_vw said...

    i "duck walk" with my feet out

    i have feet so flat that you can't slip glossy paper under the arch

    (you are not alone)

    my stbx used to point to my "duck walk" as an example of my failure to measure up at a genetic level - that and allergies


    but no extra bone thingy

    you're on your own there

    G-Man said...

    I know why your feet spread outward!!! Hehehehehe...

    Big Pissy said...

    feet are just not pretty.


    I'm sorry you went through so much....you're a strong woman.

    jillie said...

    You have nice feet so there...for as flat as your feet are...I have arches up to my ass! lol

    Feet are a pain in the ass...is that possible?

    Kudos to you for what you did.

    Queenie said...

    Gosh, I feel relly proud to know you, you inspire me!