Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 134

Today we talk about feet (again). We discussed my Mum's flippers quite some time ago, but I need another flipperfest because today is the day she has the bricks at the base of her legs turned back into feet. Today Mum has foot surgery to shave, file, mould and shape her feet into a less painful and more shoe friendly version of their former selves.

There's no big story attached to the foot phenomenon, just that she was born into a family that had a genetic flaw in the physics of the foot. Apparently she inherited Aunty Beat's feet (whoever Aunty Beat is) which included an extra large knuckle that comes out the side of the foot around the base of the big toe, and if not properly cared for the extra large knuckle might grow a bunyon and "shock, horror" the extra large knuckle turns into a freakin' ginormous and very painful knuckle. Well, Mum was enjoying youth at the peak of the pointy shoe fashion, so let's just say she didn't care for her knuckle, and years of forcing Missy Piggy trotters into little dainty shoes has led to today's reconstruction. As I stare at my own feet I fear I may be following the same hoofish path. My knuckle is quite clearly growing ...

So the big challenge here is not the operation itself today, but how Mum is going to survive her recovery phase as a disabled house-bound retiree. She retired two weeks ago so not only is she without her regular routine and purpose, she has to learn how to live a life without feet! And let's not even talk about how Dad is going to cope as the carer for his footless flame. Or how Mum is going to cope having Dad as her carer. Or how Dad is going to cope having to hear about Mum and her useless carer. Or ..... well ..... you get the picture.

Feet are really important. They carry the weight of your physical world. Without them you can become a puppet. Mum isn't the only one who is gearing up for a physical challenge. Chelsea broke her foot in a motor bike accident four years ago. She ended up with a Lisfranc fracture (Google that) which without the marvels of today's modern surgery options, would have resulted in amputation in the old days. She had titanium pins holding her foot together for a year and with youth on her side it seemed she was going to be near normal. But unfortunately her foot is starting to fall apart again which requires removing bone from her ankle to fuse onto the midfoot region. This of course will mean she too will be disabled in the next few months.

Yes, a life without feet. Can you imagine a life without feet? These are both temporary versions of the story but there are plenty of people out there who are actually permanently footless. I often think about Gill Hicks as I do hills sprints at boot camp. Gill is the Australian woman who had her legs blown off in the London terrorist bombings. One minute she was travelling on The Tube to work, next thing she is fighting for her life in the carnage that followed. Gill's amazing story of survival and rehabilitation is outlined in her book "One Unknown" which documents her journey from the bomb to walking down the aisle 6 months later on her prosthetic legs. Yes, an absolutely fantastic story in human survival, determination and positivity. So when my legs are burning from over-use on those ridiculously steep dawn hills, I chant to myself "I'm so grateful I've got legs, I'm so grateful I've got legs, I'm so grateful I've got legs ...."

Perhaps that can be your mantra for today. Forget yesterday's valentine, it's totally over-rated. Let's look at something that is very "under-rated" instead. Stare at your feet and say "I love you feet". They may only be a foot long, and get all stinky, and grow crusty bits from time to time, and get nail rot, and grow bunyons, but they're kind of important and your life would be extremely challenging without them.

"I love you feet!" Now, where's that heel balm ....


  1. My Mum had foot surgery last year and it was a long, slow recovery but she's doing beautifully. Best of luck to your Mum :o)

  2. Hi Leanne and thanks so much for the award, just gotta link mine like you have yours. Have a great day.

  3. I don't quite know how you are managing a post a day but if you could let me in on your secret I would be forever grateful!

    Hope your Mum makes a quick recovery. I don't mind my feet. They have all the right bits in all the right places! te he xx


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