Surgery and Side Effects

I had major surgery last March to reconstruct my ankle. I have CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Atrophy). It has destroyed a lot of nerves and muscles in my feet and hands. There is no cure and no treatment but new advances can help correct the damages of the disease. Because of the weakness and instability in my ankles, I was walking mostly on the side of my right foot. They cut a bone, straighten the ankle and screwed everything back together. It has been a long year. I no longer have constant pain in that foot and now walk on the sole and not the side. Thank God.

I was prepared, somewhat, for the post surgery pain. I wasn’t prepared for the depression. Facing limitations have always been hard but facing a future with a crippling disease was something I wrestled with this past year. Besides having the surgery, in the last 2 years I have lost the use of my little fingers and most of my ring fingers. This might not seem like a big deal to most, but as a writer it’s hard to adjust to typing with five fingers instead of nine.

I was also following the blog of Julianna Yuri. A precious, precocious little five year old. Her mother wrote her outrageous, hilarious comments. I enjoyed her wit and wisdom. Julianna also had CMT. Probably the worst case known. The sweet child passed away this past year. I felt her loss as if I were a close companion.

But with all this year has thrown at me, I am alive and will continue to go on and adjust when it’s needed. I will try not to mourn the losses ahead but be creative to overcome them.  I face reconstruction of my other foot in the fall but know it will give me more mobility. I wish my dad could have had the advances that I am enjoying. I also know some great writers only typed with two fingers. God is still in His heaven and all is well with my soul.

Please read the article on Charcot Marie Tooth  Atrophy.

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Charcot Marie Tooth Atrophy

The photo is my foot after reconstruction.

This disease is named after three doctors who were able to describe it in 1886 – Jean Martin Charcot, Pierre Marie and Howard Henry Tooth.

It is hereditary caused by a mutation in chromosome 17 which causes defects in neuronal proteins. This disease damages nerves and also the myelin sheath (which surrounds the nerve). It effects 1 in 2,500 or approximately 2.8 million people.

Symptoms include: High foot arches; curled toes; foot drop; weakness in legs, ankles, feet; weakness in hands and arms; hearing loss. Extreme cases can effect eyes; speech; swallowing; and breathing.

Some people who have the CMT gene mutation have no symptoms at all.

There is no cure for CMT but researches are getting closer to a procedure to try to break the CMT continuing.

For more information go to