AMC Ladies – Let’s Talk Shoes

I know many of us AMCers struggle with shoes.  

You may have clubfoot.  Or one foot that is stronger than the other. Maybe your foot is stuck in a flexed forward position so having a flat foot is merely a dream.

Maybe you’re like me and each foot has its own set of shoe rules and sadly, they want different things… Continue reading

behind elevator doors

Many of you who know me seemed surprised by the blog name. Maybe it’s because you quickly identified when we first met that I was not wearing a cast and saw signs of physical weakness and/or disfigured joints… Maybe it’s because you have known me forever and so the question just seems ridiculous…

I am happy to report I did actually break my leg when I was younger. I was in physical therapy on a three-wheeled bike with my feet strapped to the pedals. My older brother was along and we were having fun, him chasing me on his bike. I’m sure I was squealing and driving crazy which led to the big crash.

For as long as I can remember I have been asked if my leg is broken on a daily basis. The frequency of this greatly increases in the winter. I know it is partially due to the weather and the slick sidewalk banter that’s quick to come to mind. My personal theory is that with sweaters and jackets, my hands are more hidden and it must be harder to tell.

When meeting new people or “friends of a friend” I secretly hope that my friends gave them the heads up that I have a disability. It sounds kind of pathetic but it prevents them from asking what happened, having to explain my disability and the awkward silence that follows.

Honestly, how can one appropriately reply and save face, “Oh that’s cool…” doesn’t really cut it. Apologizing adds to the uncomfortable situation, they are sorry for asking and then I’m sorry that I made them feel bad. 

The elevator is the hot spot. They ask, I answer, things get awkward and those darn elevator doors can’t open fast enough.

How I answer is typically a case-by-case scenario depending on my mood, where I am and my own first impressions of the person asking. (yeah, yeah so I make assumptions too. *ducking head)

CURIOUS PERSON: “That doesn’t look like fun. How’d ya break your leg?” 
ME: politely smile and say, “oh it’s a long story”

***EPIC FAIL: Often they won’t get the hint and will push for more “come on tell me, I have time.”  It just gets weird but I still use this line. This is my default “I wish you’d leave me alone”  or “you’re a drunk person pestering me at a bar/festival/etc” reply.

CURIOUS PERSON: “uhh ohh now what did you do?” 
ME: “Nothing, I use them permanently” 
***awkwardness follows

If my husband is with me we also get random jokesters who say things like,  “oh boyyyy, was he being rough with you again?”  I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor but there are days when you just don’t want to hear it.

My most effective response is typically, I was born with a disability and always use crutches to walk. I usually get an “oh, I m sorry”  response and I offer up my, “don’t be, I’m asked a lot and you didn’t know.”   I toss them a quick grin and the elevator doors open…

I’ve been encouraged to have some fun with these encounters and make up wild leg breaking stories. It’s super tempting but I know my poker face is pretty terrible. One look at me and I’d be busted.

Going forward I plan to test out the new response I’ve added to the collection.
“Nope, I didn’t break my leg, but you should totally go to my blog to learn more!”

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Clubfoot Stinks

High-Heel-SandalsClubfoot should be a crime. It’s cruel for us girls who love shoes.  I have a small pile of shoes that I thought would work.  They were cute, I NEEDED them but in reality I can only wear them if I don’t move.  Sometimes I just try them on for fun, admire their beauty and then whip them back to the deep dark bowels of my closet.

Some of you are asking, “ummm, what’s clubfoot?”  Let me tell you!

Clubfoot is a common congenital disorder of the legs. It can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid. The condition occurs in about 1 out of every 1,000 live births.  The physical appearance of the foot may vary. One or both feet may be affected. The foot turns inward and downward at birth, and is difficult to place in the correct position. The calf muscles and foot may be slightly smaller than normal. Treatment may involve moving the foot into the correct position and using a cast to keep it there. Treatment should be started as early as possible — ideally, shortly after birth — when reshaping the foot is easiest.  Gentle stretching and recasting occurs every week to improve the position of the foot. Generally, five to 10 casts are needed. The final cast remains in place for 3 weeks. After the foot is in the correct position, a special brace is worn nearly full time for 3 months. Then it is used at night and during naps for up to 3 years.

I had casts on my legs at birth and went to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago at 3 months for my first surgery.  The process went on over the years.  That’s how I scored those snazzy braces. Not just anyone can have a pair of those babies!

They did a good job but it comes with a cost.  My feet are flat and straight but I’m assuming the lengthening was a trade off for muscle.  I can’t rotate my ankle or flex my feet.  I remember bringing home my son as an infant and watching in awe as his perfect little feet would stretch, flex and tiny toes would curl. He was two days old and already mastered something I would never.  It was a really weird feeling.

There are rules to buying the perfect shoe…Need a strap to keep them on. A little heel because my left foot isn’t completely flat.  Not too big of a heel because my right foot is weaker and can’t handle it. If only my feet would be on the same page.

I can walk through the shoe department and select my options in a matter of seconds.  I am always on the lookout for a cute Mary Jane style shoe.   What have you found that works?  Any good links you could share would be great. I am starting up the chat forum for this topic and will pass on a few of my favorites.