I bought a walking cane today. It was an item that I had been told by literally every single person who meets me in person and sees my horrible limp. I have been putting it off for so long I just came to accept the constant throbbing pain in my foot as a part of life. Now I finally have some relief I am dumbfounded why I put it off so long.
It goes back to the day I broke my foot. It was 2 a.m. there was booze and weed involved. Let’s just say I was chasing a girl who was out of my league, I got high with her to impress her then broke my foot. The rest of the story is irrelevant. What is important is when I felt the snap I immediately crawled the 25 feet from the ditch I fell into to the house where I lived with my nephew at the time. Once inside I found some ice and went to bed.
I walked in excruciating pain on that broken foot for three days before I realize what had happened. I drove all the way from North Texas to Southern Nebraska to attend my uncle’s funeral. While sitting on the porch at my grandmothers nursing home I couldn’t stand the pain any longer so I took my shoes and socks off for some sweet relief. To my horror the foot was black and purple. My dad sprang into action driving me to the nearest ER and getting it x-rayed. It was put into a boot and I was prescribed pain meds.
I wish the saga ended there. I was still pre-cracked egg hiding so deep in the closet I was still pretending to be tough. It was only a week into the broken foot before I realize the very same girl had stolen my pain meds. I figured out it was her because she was my roommate at the time and had tried to sell them back to me one night after I complained about the pain in my foot. I didn’t report her to the police but I took joy in running her mug shot in the newspaper where I worked a few weeks later after she got caught selling drugs.
Long story short because I had inadequate insurance at the time I failed to get the surgery I needed to fix my broken bone. The doctor said it hadn’t healed correctly but it was safe to take the boot off if I wanted. I asked if the surgery was necessary and he said only if I don’t want to walk with a limp. He then told me it would require rebreaking the foot and inserting a metal pin to hold it in place. I decided it was too much trouble so I opted for the limp.
That was in October 2015. I have limped along ever since. I had gotten used to walking with the limp for so long I forgot what it felt like to not be in pain. Five minutes walking with the cane and the pain in my foot already began to subside. After a nice comforting hot bath soaking the foot I now feel pain free for the first time in six years.
If you want the truth at first I resisted buying a cane for vain reasons. As a male-presenting person I didn’t want to risk being clocked by doing something unmanly as admitting I was in pain. After transitioning I put it off due to dysphoria. I was afraid if I bought a cane it would look too manly. It took my girlfriend talking me into before I finally gave it a shot. Now that I’ve had a few hours pain free I really regret letting societal pressures push me into accepting pain as normal. It is also a sharp reminder how broken our healthcare system is. If I would have had proper insurance at the time I could have gotten it fixed 6 years ago.