A Journey by Foot
A secret revealed, and it’s never too late for surgeons to learn about nutrition.
As I approach my one year recovery journey I have a story to share with you.
Last October (2016) I finally surrendered to the reality that I needed to ‘do something’ about my chronic foot problem. About 20 years ago I injured my right foot in 2 places which resulted in a fairly severe arthritic joint in my big toe. In fact, when the orthopedic surgeon saw me for the first time and looked at my foot, I heard him say under his breath…’wo’. Obviously, this is not something you want to hear a surgeon with a lot of experience cutting on feet say. The chronic pain, especially in cool damp conditions, along with the limited shoe options and sharp shooting pain up my foot if the shoe rubbed in the wrong spot were indeed problems for me. The biggest problem that made me finally surrender to the knife was how my gait was affected. In effect, the arthritis had fused that joint so that I didn’t walk properly. The result was chronic issues along the right side of my body, all the way up to my neck.
I said to the doctor, “I’ll deal with the pain, but I can’t deal with my right sided chronic issues anymore”. In the end, we decided on a December 23 date. He was going to ‘clean out’ as much of the arthritis as possible; shave down the bone spurs that were a consequence of the chronic joint fusion, and shorten the second toe which had become abnormally elongated over the course of time.
The recovery went well. There were no complications except for the consequences of becoming a couch potato for a couple of months. I think that the older we get, the harder we fall when we don’t adequately maintain our activities.
With that said, I had to return for follow ups 4 times over the first 3 months of the recovery. The amazing story I want to share is about the pin he put into my right toe. In the surgery, he cut the bone of the right second toe and stuck a 3 ½ inch ‘pin’ into the toe, through the bone in order to allow the bone to fuse itself back together. Even though the big toe joint was the culprit of my problems, the pin in the toe was the nemesis of my recovery.
About 6 weeks into recovery I returned to have the pin removed. Now here is where it gets interesting. I was terrified, but the doctor assured me that it wouldn’t hurt. He tried to reassure me that, in actuality the pins slides out, and even comes out on its own sometimes. In my case, it did not. In fact, when he began the ‘pull out’ process, the pin didn’t want to come out. It reminded me of the pulling of a tooth at the dentist. Because of the numbing you don’t feel the pain, but you do feel the discomfort of the pulling sensation. My doctor had to tug steadily and twist a bit to finally get the pin out. I was squeezing my poor husband’s hand as if my life depended upon it. Just before the discomfort entered the pain zone, and seconds before I was ready to cry out ‘stop.’ the pin saw the light of day.
The doctor said that, that was a first. The good news was that it indicated that there was an atypical amount of healing at that stage of the game. In fact it indicated that there was more bone formation around the severed bone than was typical at 6 weeks. When I returned 2 weeks later for my last X-ray, he called the resident in to look at the foot and the x-ray. “Check out this X-ray” he said to the resident. “It’s COMPLETELY HEALED.” He had not seen a bone reconnect and heal that quickly before.
I share this story with you because it’s remarkable and I want to highlight for you the miracle of optimum nutrition. The only explanation we had for the rapid bone healing was due to my nutritional status. This is where I reveal my age to you. I’m 63 years old. I do not take calcium supplements. I do not drink milk. The last thing you’d expect to find in my profile was quick bone healing.
So as the doctor and his resident were gazing at the X-ray, I shared my 10 year nutritional journey with them. I explained how I improved my nutritional status and also how I figured out how to bridge any nutrition gap that remained with a concentrated blend of fruit and vegetable and berry powders. The calcium that was concentrated in the green vegetable powders was optimally absorbed into my body and my bones.
They were intrigued, and the physician even gave me his personal email so I could send him more information. Here’s what so awesome. In his helping me, I was able to help him support his patients even better, because now he knew my secret. And I encouraged him to share the secret.
As for the overall foot?
It’s a new normal. Foot surgery and arthritis are always complicated. I still have some pain but most importantly, my gait has significantly improved. My chronic right sided issues have resolved nearly 90%.
I’m starting to purchase a new shoe wardrobe.
And most importantly, I was able to wear that 2 inch heel and dance at my daughter’s wedding last month.