The wonky feet saga 

By | March 7, 2018

Its a strange feeling, knowing that this time in six weeks I’ll (hopefully) be at home, recovering from what should be my last operation on my feet, affectionately known as #scarfeet on the blog.

Trying to imagine how things will look under the bandages and hoping that I’ll have “a matching pair” of feet, to quote my surgeon.

The journey to this point hasn’t been easy, it’s taken just over two years so far from my first appointment and there are times when I wish I hadn’t gone through it, not just for me, but because it’s been the cause of so much upheaval to my family (and my children crave routine and don’t cope very well with sudden change) and also it’s greatly affected my emotional (as well as physical) wellbeing.

Part of the reason for me writing this down is that I want to look back once I’m all healed and know that it’s all been worth it, blood, pain and all.

So, it all began in February 2016 with a referral to – don’t laugh – a “deformities clinic” at the local hospital. I have what is known as hallux valgus (or crooked big toes) which affected not only the big toe but also the second toe on both feet.

You might think “stupid cow, that’s down to ill-fitting shoes” but I promise it’s not in my case, I’ve always worn flat or barely-there heeled shoes as anything else was too painful and I was also acutely aware of how awful they’d look in sandals. It’s hereditary. 

I saw a surgeon who agreed to operate, breaking the big toes and re-position them and I asked to have both feet done at the same time, thinking it would be less disruptive for T and D.

Hollow laugh time, how wrong I was! 

The initial funding request from my original surgeon was refused and we had to submit an appeal. By this time I was in constant feet pain and feeling that I’d be stuck like that, I’d resisted seeking help for so long as I didn’t want to disrupt T and D with operations and such-like until I felt sure that they could understand that I’d be having an operation and that they really definitely shouldn’t step on my feet afterwards!

I submitted an appeal and as it was now in the summer holidays of 2016, there was an anxious wait whilst we’d get an idea of a date when the panel would meet, only to find out that the quorum (minimum number of panellists required to debate and make decisions) hadn’t been met.

Eventually we heard that funding had been approved and a date was set for October 2016.

This was both good news but at the same time really quite petrifying as I had home-school transport for D to organise and plenty to sort out at home to ensure that T and D’s routines were affected as little as possible.

The day of my operation came and I was mega stressed, D’s school transport had also had to go to appeal and they had agreed to it but that she would be collected at a stop 40 minutes walk away and they not only expected her to get there on her own but also that to get there she’d be going past her school – yes, I didn’t understand that logic either – and the day before my operation I’d had a very stressed phone conversation about it all with someone in school transport who had a “computer says no” attitude.

I went into having the general anaesthetic administered crying because of fear and the transport situation.  

It was a relief to wake up afterwards but also a feeling that I’d done this to myself and things were so uncertain for D.


The next day saw us at A&E as one foot would not stop bleeding and our local GP wouldn’t send someone out. To expect someone to hobble into A&E still bleeding from feet operated on the previous day just didn’t seem right! 

Sorry about the pic!


Things then got worse the following night when I was hit by the worst period I’d ever had (which I’ve since been told is a stress reaction to a general anaesthetic, nice!) and well, let’s just say I was very weak and losing a lot of blood, not ideal with the foot situation. I remember vividly being in the bathroom and not having the strength to get back to bed, feeling that everything was ebbing out of me and knowing that my head was feeling weaker and I was then struggling to breathe. It was horrible and I knew that if I did not get back to bed and get my legs elevated, I might not make it. That sounds dramatic but to feel your body trying to shut itself down felt very very real. 

Fast forward a couple of weeks, with D’s transport finally getting sorted and lot of sleepless nights and it was time for the bandages to be removed.

The operation hadn’t worked.

At a follow up appointment a few weeks later, I felt so disappointed and pointed out to the member of staff that they looked the same (albeit very swollen) and was told “you should be grateful, look what we’ve done for you”. Hmmm, demoralising or what? 

You can imagine, not only was I in pain from the operation sites and struggling to walk but I also had nerve damage all over my feet. It wasn’t good.

If I’d had soft tissue damage  damage, there would have been a way forward via Accident Advice Helpline Direct but I now had to wait to be referred on to a specialist surgeon to correct the operations, but one at a time this time.

Last August (2017) I had the first remedial operation on my right foot, metal in the big toe, my second toe was pinned straight (with the longest pin ever!) and it was a total success as you’ll be able to see from the pictures.  

I’m not sure where the stand-in-front-of-your-finished-crochet-in-patterned-socks started but these are the first such pictures I’ve done like this. 

“Wonky left foot” and “straight right foot” as D calls them. Something which she referred to in her Christmas card to me last year.

Having two feet of different sizes has made for challenges, I’m living in my trusty Skechers furry boots or trainers as I still have a lot of nerve pain in my wonky foot.

I did try a fitflop sandal on my straight foot a couple of weeks ago and was absolutely delighted at how it looked.  


Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll have a (pain-free) matching pair, it will have taken a long time to get there but it will be worth it.

I’m very grateful to the second surgeon for agreeing to remedy my feet issues and Hubbie who has been a dab hand with rubbing Vaseline into my wounds and coping with quite a down wife at times! X 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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