Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Left Foot

I have admired the acting abilities of Daniel Day-Lewis from the time I saw him in My Left Foot, the story of Christy Brown in 1989 up to and including his academy award winning portrayal of

Abraham Lincoln in last year's Lincoln. In my opinion, he is one of the all-time great actors.

But this post isn't about the actor or the films he has been in. It is about my left foot (and knee and shoulder and eye and ear) and how I always felt so different from my brother and sister and those kids I went to school with at Jasper # 2.

Back around when I was this age - about nine or ten - I decided during those long, dawdling walks home from school that as long as I felt different, I would strive to be different. One of those ways was whenever I was given the choice in a coin toss to choose odds or evens, since almost everyone else would choose even, I would always choose odd. (Duh, because I thought I was odd.) The other thing I would do was favor left over right. No, I wasn't left handed, but I started wishing I were. What was it they said when men began getting an ear pierced back in the 80's? Right is wrong and left is right?

It was around this same age I became aware that my left foot was a half size larger than the right foot. Perhaps Mom had already realized there was some difference, but it was clearly visible when my feet were placed in the shoe fitting fluoroscope at the local 'Bootery'. I remember being so excited that I finally got to put my feet in that exotic looking behemoth. I could see my feet through the porthole on my side while Mom and the shoe fit salesperson could look through the two portholes on the other side. The difference in the length of my feet was obvious.

Up until then I had been measured for shoes using the Brannock Device which measured length and width. It was kinda' fun to be measured this way, but not nearly as exciting as seeing my feet in that fluoroscope. I do remember some difference between the right and left foot being noted while being measured this way, but Mom and the shoe salesman thought I just didn't have my heel clear back against the end as I was supposed to.

When I first needed glasses around age twelve, it was because of my left eye. The same eye in which I developed Cystoid Macular Edema after cataract surgery last fall. Wearing glasses most of my life, I have always been aware that they had to be fitted what I termed, cock-eyed, in order to fit right. It was only recently that I realized it is because my left ear is larger and higher.

When I had to have shoulder replacement three years ago, it was my left shoulder. And now that knee replacement looms nearer, even though both knees give me fits, the left one bothers me the most.

Oh, yeah, and that stroke I had last April - it was on the left cerebral cortex. Ten-year-old me just didn't realize what favoring her left side meant, did she?

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