“The future for that foot is bleak,” Dr. Burns said.
It was a blunt statement from my podiatrist that caught me off guard this week, however true it may be. I first learned this reality at 23 years old, with a freshly mangled left foot, and a newborn baby.
I’ve spent the last 15 years rehabbing myself and trying not to let this injury define me. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m active and health conscious. I’m acutely aware of my limitations and try to listen to my body when it’s speaking to me; especially my left foot. I care about this foot so much, it has a NAME for God sake.
My eyes instantly welled up when hearing the word, “bleak.” My breath caught. This is not breaking news but I was stunned to re-learn my fate. I was only in for a routine x-ray and now I wanted to cry.
I’ve become so used to downplaying my injury. It’s hard to convey the severity of my foot because people look at me and think I’m fine. Even those closest to me. I don’t share the story very often, but when I do, it’s usually met with comparison to their own ailments. I know people are trying to relate to me but it just minimizes my pain and experience.
It’s not the fucking same, people.
If someone is willing to share their story with you, don’t insert yourself. Listen and let them know you care about what they went through. Even people who appear strong and resilient need this.
This week I was reminded that as hard as I try, my foot will never get better. No amount of Pilates or yoga or rest or massage will change my fate. The arthritis will and is setting in throughout my foot. This causes daily pain, but the most heartbreaking part to me, is the imminent loss of mobility in my already stiff foot.
My doc said it may eventually turn into a solid block of bone once everything becomes fully arthritic.
As of now, I have about five degrees of mobility in my foot and ankle. As long as I have my shoe mods, I can dance, walk long distances, teach Pilates, travel, etc. I live my life without much obstruction.
The thought of dragging around a useless foot was terrifying. Amputation has been thrown around many times over the years and that could be my fate as well.
As of this week, I have a 12th surgery on the horizon.
I know there are many millions of people who have it worse than I do. I don’t want to come off as ungrateful. I am thankful for how far I’ve come and how much my body allows me to do. That is the main reason why I typically don’t break it down like this on my blog.
However, this week I was sad and needed a place to vent.
I don’t want to bring down the grateful spirit of the season but I had to keep it real this Thanksgiving…and apparently so did my doctor.