Yes, I have congenital clubfoot in my right leg and for a long time I found it hard to accept myself like that. Many a times I try to convince myself that nothing is wrong with my leg, but, the moment I notice someone looking at my leg pitifully seeing the way I walk, the reality dawn on me again that I have clubfoot.
Although my parents tried to correct the leg when I was small but it was not completely corrected. I remember always wearing “boots” orthopedic shoes as a child up to my teenage years. and I will ask my mum “what happened to my leg”, she will reply “nothing is wrong with your leg”. I just didn’t understand why she will not talk/explain what it was. I found out the name “congenital clubfoot” later when I was to go for my compulsory One year youth service camp after graduation. And from then on.. I decided to search more.
In life, the comfort and acceptance from your home and family can’t be compared anywhere else at least for me. I grew with so much love from my siblings that I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I walk. As a matter of fact, I never knew my walk was not balanced until my Year 2 in the University when someone who had known me for a while just asked me “sorry please, why are you walking like that, did your shoe spoil?” apparently he hasn’t seen my leg before because I always wear long dresses be it trousers, gown, or skirts.
Clubfoot is a foot abnormality/deformation/birth defects in which a baby’a foot is twisted out of shape or position (culled from mayoclinic.org) It could be very painful but can be managed. thank God for improved technology today as I have learnt from my research that it can even be completely corrected without traces if the parent of the child can do whatever it takes. Mine was not fully corrected and I even feel there was a relapse. Anyways I am deeply grateful to God for everything.
Although I have learnt to adapt to the fact that I can’t just wear any type of shoe as an adult my shoes must be extremely comfortable otherwise I will end up in pains. But, the pains is nothing compared to acceptability of the person by people you come in contact with. I don’t have much friends but the few I have are genuine and deep. They have become my family. There are times I meet new people and I try to be friendly as much as I can but I do feel they are not too comfortably walking with me, So, I get comfortable with myself and make myself happy as much as I can.
I have encountered some situations and experienced somethings that just makes me conclude that there is no place like home/family. And mind you they might not even be your blood, but, if you find someone or people who love and accept you just the way you are without feeling sorry for you, now that is “home”.
Presently, I want to join in the awareness of people living with clubfoot and see how I can use my own situation and experience to help people especially babies/children. To enlighten parents and guardian that “clubfoot” can be corrected. And for those that propabably old or can’t afford, they don’t have to go through life feeling inferior for what they have no control over. They should rather learn to accept and appreciate themselves the way they are. That way, they will never feel out of place no matter what life or people throw at them.