Sorry to learn about the loss of yoy=ur big toe, Scott. I lost my second and third toe on my right foot. As the fourth and fifth toe are not functional, I have only one working toe on that foot, the big toe. I often walk with a stick because I have some balance issues, but that may not be entirely related to the loss of some toes. I had not much pain associated with the foot as it healed, but had to stay off my feet a lot. I can’t walk very far, and walk like a drunk, but I can drive and do most things I need to . I am thankful that I still have my big toe as it allows me to push back. I’m afraid that for us, maintaining tighter control will be a bit like locking the stable door after the horse has fled. Between you and me, I’m not convinced that tight control is a complete solution. I’ve known diabetics who lost limbs even though they followed all the rules.
I try to maintain a sense of humour about this, in public. In private, when I stagger across the room or fall against the wall or do a little dance to maintain my balance because I stepped back from the kitchen counter, it isn’t funny. It’s really wearying. Gone are the days when I could run faster than a speeding bowling ball, or leap over small fences at a single bound. It’s been a long (13years) painful odyssey to get to where I am, but for now I am not in pain, at least.
For me, the challenge is to work within the limitations that my body is imposing on me. I already use a wheelchair when negotiating an airport, or a convention or show or art gallery, etc. If I have to use one full-time, then OK, I’ll use one full time. Recently I had to have assistance from two strong men to get me into a small boat. It’s embarrassing, in some ways humiliating, but I’m stuck with it. As long as I can make people laugh, and not at me, I’ll be OK.