By Bill Herland
I first started seeing doctors about my feet when I was 5 years old. I was diagnosed with flat feet and a few years later was fitted for orthotics, which I have been wearing until I met Dr. Leavitt. I have always been very active in athletics playing all sports thru high school and soccer thru college. I stayed very active after college with activities including soccer, tennis, golf, and running. My "flat feet" were a continued source of pain after my daily activities and each morning it took several steps and stretching to get my feet to function.
As the years progressed and I moved into my thirties I noticed that my feet were starting to deform creating additional discomfort. I continued to stay active but had to moderate some of my activities because of my feet. With the change in my feet I started to see podiatrists, they diagnosed severe flat feet and put me into rigid orthotics, had me wear hiking boots for added support and suggested I might want to consider other activities. Having a family history of high cholesterol and heart problems my activities and running workouts were a fixed part of my health regimen and I visited other podiatrists to see if there was anything to be done. Only one suggested surgery as a last resort and one told me my feet were the second worst he had seen in his practice.
As I turned fifty I had to minimize the time I spent on my feet and eliminate running, as my feet would not support me for any length of time and the deformities continued to worsen. In June of 2003 I ruptured a tendon in my right foot kicking a soccer ball. At the time I did not see a doctor. I lived with the additional pain and my foot would slap down when I walked. My wife encouraged me to see a doctor, but since none had been able to offer much hope for my feet, I chose to live with my feet as they were.
In September of 2003 my wife heard through a friend about a women who had severely damaged a foot in an auto accident. Her foot had been surgically reconstructed by a doctor and she was able to resume all normal activities after recovery. My wife made some calls and found out about Dr. Leavitt.
At my appointment Dr Leavitt examined my feet and, after several minutes of looking from all angles, his only comment comment was "Fascinating". He gave me an excited grin and told me he knew what the problem was and he could help me! He proceeded to order x-rays and take several pictures of my feet while he explained to me the progression my feet went through and why, this matched my experience over the years. I knew I had found the right doctor.
Dr. Leavitt was always a step ahead of me and had the answer to most of my questions before I asked. His enthusiasm, competency and professionalism gave me complete confidance in the challenge we both were facing and made me feel part of the team in my treatment and recovery.
My first surgery lasted about 6 1/2 hours with the added complication of the ruptured tendon. My wife was amazed when Dr. Leavitt came out at 8:00 PM after a long day of surgery just as enthusiastic as he went in, to share the news that everything went well.
My recovery went extremely well and Dr Leavitt had me prepared for all challenges I faced during that time, including helping me coordinate a vacation at Disney World with my daughter, where they were able to accommodate my temporary handicap.
I had surgery on my other foot four months later. Today a little less than two years from my first surgery, I have been able to return to all my former activities including running, skiing and tennis. Each day my feet are still strengthening and improving and I have no pain in my feet and look forward to each day with no restrictions on what I do because of them. Finding Dr Leavitt gave me a new lease on life. Instead of dreading putting my feet down on the floor in the morning, I now look forward to getting up and enjoying the day.
I have complete confidence in Dr. Leavitt and would strongly urge anyone with foot problems to see him. I have already referred several friends to him, and also have had both of my daughters visit him as patients.
As difficult as the past two years have been I would not hesitate to do it all over again if I had to. My recovery started the first time I met with Dr Leavitt, as it was obvious from the first time he saw my feet that he knew what I had been going through and he could make it right. I actually looked forward to my visits with him because he made me and my feet feel special and I knew each time was a step closer to where I am today. I could never thank him enough for what he gave back to me.