Tuesday, November 30, 2010

From the Simplest Things

As I believe I have mentioned before, I wore braces for nearly the first three years of my life in the hopes of "fixing" a malformed left hip (the fix didn't take well). One of the byproducts of the braces is that it has screwed up my toes for life. Not only are they bent and crooked, but I have been bedeviled ever since with very painful ingrown toenails.

It seems no matter what I or my doctors do, the nails in both my big toes grow into the quick. We cut them out and try to channel the growth in a different direction, but invariably, the nails are jabbing the quick in no time at all. Consequently, the simple act of stubbing either big toe is more than a nuisance; it tends to send me to the floor writhing in pain.

I certainly don't begrudge the doctors who dealt with my malformed hip as a child. Utilizing the best available medical knowledge of the time, they did their utmost to insure I would be able to walk. But, for all their attention to my hip, they neglected to consider how their remedies would impact other parts of my body. I ended up sacrificing the wellbeing of my toes to save my hip.

Of course, as I've reported in this space, they didn't actually save my hip either. It has been a chronic problem all my life and I will need hip replacement surgery sometime in the next 2 - 5 years or so.

For me, this situation in my life only underscores the fact that humans often either neglect or simply don't understand the impact of our decisions. The ripple created from the strategy to place me in braces as a young toddler has turned into a wave that has adversely affected my quality of life ever since. This was not the intention, but consequences and intention often don't meet on the same street corner.

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