The first photo shows my sad and crooked foot BEFORE. Below is my corrected foot with a screw through the top that may or may not set off the security alarms when I get to those metal detectors. We will see.
Getting through this has involved many weeks of not using this screwed together foot, and it’s impossible to hide what I let that doctor do while clomping around in public.
The sensation of attracting attention reminds me a little of being 9 months pregnant with a belly out so far that people can’t help but see it. I am temporarily disabled. Total strangers pretend not to notice but I can still feel their eyes. Friends and acquaintances ask what happened to me, politely glancing at the foot and then back up at my face. And children, I think, have the most interesting responses of all–probably because they haven’t yet learned all of society’s rules.
After my foot surgery, I have been down the halls of my son’s school for various reasons. If you ever want lots of attention, try hobbling into an elementary school on crutches with a cast.
Children STARE. My disability attracts them and they often cannot peel their eyes away. Something about my physical difference draws them in. Few of them are able to look up at my face or at where they are going.
But one day early on in my crutch-and-cast phase, I was sitting and waiting in the hall for the teacher to send my son out. My friend Diane was driving me to the doctor’s for one of my many check-ups and I needed to collect Quinton early.
While I waited, a young girl with a sweet face looked for a long moment at my propped up foot in a cast and then looked straight in my eyes. She stopped walking and asked if my foot was okay, the concern in her voice so touching that I’m still feeling the warmth of it. I reassured her that I would be fine and thanked her for asking. She looked relieved and went on with wherever she was going.
Life is a little better because people are out there like that little girl. People who see and really care about complete strangers when no one is looking to approve or disapprove in the hall of an elementary school.
Some things are really right with our world.
May you find that little girl out there, too-