When I was in my early teens, I started having foot problems and they worsened as I became more active. By my twenties and early thirties, I had massive bunions and deformities in both feet. I was born with a second toe that was shorter than normal that caused Hammer Toes and my toes to overlap. I suffered severe pain with my bunions and arthritis. Finally, after suffering both physically and mentally with this deformity and pain, I saw Surgeon #1. I was young and wanted a quick answer. He told me to take a couple of weeks off of work and he performed surgery in his office so I would not have to be put under anesthesia. He put pins in both feet and allowed me to walk out of his office in two surgical shoes.
After my recovery period, I realized that he had cut my other toes too short to make up for the deformity in my second toes. What a nightmare! Now my third and fourth toe were also mutilated and stuck up. He sent me to Surgeon #2 who operated on one foot but could not do anything with the other. However, even after this, my bunions were back and my feet were a mess. The pain was just as bad and I could not find comfortable shoes.
I went to Surgeon #3 who also performed surgery on my feet to try to correct the third and fourth toes that Surgeon #1 had cut too short. During a second bunion surgery on one of my feet, Surgeon #3 over-corrected so my big toe stuck out instead of going towards my foot: Another nightmare.
As my pain worsened throughout the years, I even saw prominent Surgeon #4 in NYC. She was willing to try to correct the bunion on one foot but could not figure out what to do with the other. She did not accept health insurance and warned me that if she operated, there was a good chance I could lose one or more of my toes. She stressed that fact and was reluctant to operate at all because of the high risks but said ultimately, it was my decision.
So, after 7 or 8 surgeries with many recovery periods and much time out of work, I found Dr. Leavitt, by chance, right in my own state of Massachusetts. I wrote to him and sent him a picture. His response finally gave me some hope. "All feet are special and yours no less. It would be a pleasure for me to see you and reconstruct those feet, especially the right one. I'm already developing plans in my head. I'm sure we take your insurance. Call the office and please come in." After all these years, God sent me a caring surgeon who truly wanted to help and seemed to empathize with my situation. When I met with Dr. Leavitt, the office was full of people on a Saturday. No one was complaining about the wait and everyone sitting there seemed grateful to even have a chance to be seen by Dr. Leavitt. Many had similar stories of feet that were in worse shape than mine and had experienced multiple unsuccessful operations.
Dr. Leavitt performed two surgeries in one year. I used the knee scooter to get around my house, working from home. It was worth it. I can truly say that I have no more arthritis pain and I'm able to fit into shoes comfortably. My feet look better and feel better. My Hammer Toes are gone. As Dr. Leavitt said, this is a long-term relationship and he'll see me again to make sure he's done everything that he can with my feet. He even saw me on a Sunday morning after my surgery. I couldn't believe that a doctor would work the whole weekend after seeing patients and performing surgeries during the week. He truly is blessed with a gift from God and I realized he desires to help as many people as possible, even if he has to make sacrifices in his life.