Friday, July 10, 2015


Hello Everyone!

It was my intention to write a post about the surgery I just had on my right foot BEFORE the surgery actually occurred, but that just didn't happen. There were too many good things happening in my life and the time just disappeared. Not to worry though, now that I have a giant blue cast on my foot, I have plenty of free time to write a post.

To recap, in December 2012, I had surgery to correct the deformity in my left foot caused by Charcot Marie Tooth. This surgery included an Achilles tendon lengthening, triple athrodesis, and first metatarsal osteotomy. The Achilles tendon lengthening helped my toes and foot lift up more toward 90 degrees, the triple athrodesis fused my ankle in a proper alignment and restricted it to forward and back movement (preventing lateral ankle instability), and the first metatarsal osteotomy helped lift the inside of my foot allowing it to sit in more of a flat neutral alignment. After what seemed like an endless amount of physical therapy, the final result was visible. Damn, was I impressed. My foot was more flat, stable, and very strong.

So naturally, my next question was "When do we do the other foot?" I was so happy with the result of the first surgery, I couldn't wait to get the second surgery out of the way and be left with two good feet. So we scheduled the surgery out way in advance for the summer between undergrad and graduate school. I figured this would be the best way to ensure I had a proper chance to recover. It had always seemed so far away until bam, I was sitting in pre-op waiting to go into the operating room wondering where the time had gone. Welp, at this point, there was no turning back.

So I groggily woke up with my foot wrapped up an an ace bandage. Once again, they shoved so much padding around my ankle that it was the size of a basketball. I looked so attractive. At this point, I still had a nerve block and so I didn't feel any pain (I didn't feel my leg at all for that matter). According to the doctor, it was a success. He did the exact same surgery as last time, but was fairly confident he got an even better result in terms of ankle alignment. My first surgery had great alignment, but he was determined to get it perfect this time. So far, it appears he did.

Side note: If any of you get nervous about dating with CMT, date a doctor (or med student). Not only do they know what CMT is, but they come, cookies in hand, to visit you at the hospital. On top of that, they lay with you in bed until you fall asleep. I'm starting to realize this has nothing to do with him being a med student, but rather that he is just a remarkably wonderful guy.

So anyway, dealing with the pain, I headed home from the hospital. Turns out, I don't get along with narcotics (that's a story for another day) so I just took some Tylenol and dealt with it. A few days later, I went in to the doctor for him to check on the healing progress, and to get my hard cast. They took some x-rays, and confirmed that everything looked great. So that's where I am currently. I go back in about a week to get my stitches out and to get a new cast. Six weeks after the surgery date, provided the surgeon notices substantial fusion in all the important places, I should begin to bear weight in a walking cast. From there, physical therapy starts. I'll keep y'all up to date as things progress!

Take a look at some of the pics below. One is of my left foot (2012 surgery) and the other is my right. And then, last is that wonderful guy I told you about. :)

Until next time, y'all.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Thoughts from Rome

Hello all!

Its been a while since my last post and a lot has happened! First I got my degree. I can now say I am a graduate from The Ohio State University AND that I am an official Mechanical Engineer. I'm so excited for graduate school next year. It feels good to close this chapter of my life and move on to a new one.

Next, I'm in Rome! I've spent the past few weeks traveling in the UK on a study abroad trip. I'm now on my ten day journey home which includes Rome, Paris, and Iceland! The experiences of this trip have been incredible. As my first time abroad, I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed, but quickly settled in and I am loving it. I've seen astounding things, eaten spectacular food, and met some unforgettable people. London was beyond impressive and I can not wait to go back.

Third, it's almost my birthday! I'm going to be 23....I feel old. But I get to spend it in Rome, which should be plenty fun. Although, along with my birthday comes the fact that my next ankle reconstruction surgery is only a few days away. Soon I'm going to be in that cast, on one leg for like three months. While I'm not ready for that, I am ready for the pain to stop. It's astonishing how good my post surgery foot is now. I can walk for miles and it doesn't hurt. I can balance so well on it. I'm really hoping this next surgery does well to help my feel better pain wise, and more confident in my appearance in the way that I walk.

Although with as much crap as we, as people, tend to give each other for being self centered or inconsiderate, I have been impressed with people lately. I've met a lot of new people and my CMT has come up. The reactions have been fantastic. One guy was so considerate, he continually asked if we needed to slow the pace, or take a break or something similar. What's more impressive? He didn't even sound condescending when he did it. It was almost like he actually, ya know, cared. It was good.

Anyway, I'll update you all soon about new happenings, my surgery, et cetera. As always, thanks for reading. It means the world to me.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dichotomy of Feelings

Hello all!

Here goes another post, I love that you all are interested in the happenings of my life!
This is an interesting time for me. Have you ever been in a situation of extremes in your emotions? It’s quite bizarre because in most aspects of my life, things are going incredibly well. I am nine school days away from graduating college, my new significant other, and I’m having my other ankle reconstruction surgery on June 25. So that is the good, and there is a lot of it.

Now for the bad…school is terrible. I have never been so completely and utterly done with something in my entire life. Moral of the story: group projects suck big time. It’s amazing how some people don’t even realize that when they completely ignore their responsibilities in a group, everyone else has to pick up the slack. In this case, it has gone past unequal contribution, past annoying me, past rude, and has finally landed on totally absurd. I’m normally a reasonable person, but right now I just want to yell at the kid to grow the hell up and do his work. I take my school work very seriously and I’m quite disappointed in the outcome of our project, despite the incredible amount of effort I have invested.

It’s weird, the only other time I've felt so hot and cold with things in my life is with my CMT. When everything is going well, CMT is still with me. When things couldn't possibly get worse, CMT is still with me. I’m trying to get through this school nonsense, so I’m just taking things one minute at a time. However, CMT has taught me perseverance, so I have no doubt I’ll be just fine.

Thanks for reading my quick life update! Stay tuned, as soon as school is over, I’ll finish my comprehensive post about my upcoming surgery.

I’ll be back soon!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015


This post has nothing to do with my CMT, but stay tuned, there are some CMT related updates coming quite shortly!

So this post, "Excitement," follows my terribly boring, generic single word title scheme. Eventually I'm going to run out of good words and my titles are either going to have to get more specific, or gain a number like "Honesty 2.0." Both of those are sort of lame options in my opinion so like everything else in my life, I'll just push off making a decision until its absolutely necessary. :) But for real, there are many happenings in my life which merit a great deal of excitement, so I think I'll share.

Okay so the first (and probably least exciting) thing is that I'm going to Europe in May! I've never thought I'd be the type to do a trip like that, but since I'm staying for a master's degree, it is really a vacation veiled as a study abroad program. The official study abroad program will take me through many of the castles and cathedrals of England and Wales. After that, I'm going to stick around London for a few days, fly to Rome and Paris for a few days each and return home to Ohio. I couldn't be more excited about the trip, I've never been abroad before! For you international readers (I see viewing statistics for this blog, haha) if you are in London, Rome or Paris, let me know! We should meet up and get lunch or something!

Okay moving on to something which is a little more long-lasting, in 19 school days, I graduate with my Bachelor's of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering! Hoe-lee cow, I'm not sure how I am finally to this point! It's such a mixture of happiness, excitement, fear, and sadness that many of my friends will be leaving. However, as I mentioned earlier, I'll be staying for my Masters, so this is a bit of an anticlimactic graduation. It's still quite meaningful though. It is the culmination of endless hours of homework and studying, a general lack of a social life, and quite a sizeable sleep deficit. I'm excited to finally be rewarded for my work and to move on to the next phase of my life!

Lastly, for you regular readers, I went to the doctor yesterday for my ankle reconstruction surgery consult. I'll be in touch very soon about details and a surgery/recovery timeline!!

Until next time,


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Evening thoughts

Hi Everyone!

Sorry that it has been so long since my last post; engineering school has been quite demanding recently and most of my energy has been devoted to trying to keep myself from going completely insane.

My life these past few months has been a whirlwind. I got accepted to a study abroad program, I just bought a car, I'm tentatively looking to have surgery this June... It's been wild. Not only that, but I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster. CMT has played a huge part, but so has dating. Maybe my stress about those two things is completely related. Anyway, tonight's post is not about that, but rather, it's a positive post.

I've just been so impressed by the people in my life recently, and I want to share my happiness. Let's face it, the real world sucks sometimes. Every freaking thing is a competition; at school, at work, if you're not ahead, you're behind. But with friends and family it's completely different. I feel like I've pared down my friends and I've only kept the good ones. The ones you can depend on. There's nothing more comforting than knowing people have your back.

If CMT has taught me anything in this life, it's how to be myself. I got really sick and tired of trying to be someone I'm not, to try to fit some mold so people would like me. Screw that. There are people in the world who love every annoying, loud-mouthed, short tempered, funky footed aspect of me, so why waste time on anyone else?

My feet are strange, annoying, weak, unstable, painful, and half-metallic, but guess what?

I don't care.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My love/hate relationship with snow

Hi friends,

So I am sitting here inside while the polar vortex descends all around me. Columbus, Ohio is slowing finishing its transformation to Antarctica. Anyway, I thought this might be a good time for me to rant about how much a hate the snow, but love it at the same time.

First of all, nobody can reject the plain and simple fact that fresh snow is amazingly beautiful. Engineering side note: snow is super fluffy and therefore absorbs sound really well, so it makes snowy nights super quiet and peaceful. I love that.

Okay now on to the rant. Snow (second to sand) is like THE most irritating substance to try to walk on. My freaking feet are unstable enough on solid ground, let alone the solid/liquid (soquid? haha) death that is snow. It literally wears me out. Most days, my feet are fine until the walk back to my car when they start to get tired and begin to hurt. On snowy days, however, I can't even make it out of the parking lot in the morning before I am ready to just call it a day and go home. I guess the question I need to be asking is whether or not it's socially acceptable to wear snow shoes whilst walking to classes on campus. Probably not. :(

Anyway, I hope all of you are staying warm, wherever you may be. Until next time....

Joey :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Blog inspiration and a few other thoughts

Hello again,

Today, I wanted to share a few thoughts which have been on my mind. Be warned, the tone of this post is probably a bit more serious and less upbeat than my usual. Who knows, maybe it is because I'm spending Valentine's Day sitting in a computer lab on campus. #engineering :-P

First, I wanted to talk for a moment about unity and togetherness, especially between people with chronic illnesses. I'm not sure how many of you have read the short bio on the right side of the blog, but in there it talks about my motivation for starting this blog in the first place. While I was on an intership, I was in a meeting where it came up that I had a chronic, incurable (at the moment) disease. I don't remember how exactly it had come up, but that is not the important part. The important part is when one of my coworkers, John, talked to me after the meeting about my CMT. During the course of our conversation, John revealed to me that he had Cystic Fibrosis. If you know what CF is, you know it is quite a scary disease. He said he felt comfortable talking to me about it because I had CMT, like we had a sort of bond because we've both experienced the hardships of a broken body. At first that caught me off guard, because I had never thought about it that way. However, the more I thought about it, the more I knew he was totally right. Turns out John has a blog where he talks about his CF, networks with others who have CF, and generally shares his life story. What an inspiration. One day, he finally convinced me to start this blog, and now because of him, I'm hooked. I invite you to take a look at his blog here.

Anyway, please note that I'm not trying to say that CMT is comparable to CF (not in the least), but  I am trying to say that my experience with CMT has given me more insight into the way someone like John might think and feel. However, I don't think you need to have struggled through a disease to have those insights. Sometimes I think we spend so much time thinking about hiding our problems, or running away from them, and it's easy (for me, at least) to forget that people have all sorts of hardships in their lives. Similar to the materialistic mindset of "If I just had this new gadget/car/phone/thing, I would be more happy in my life," I think it's easy for people like me, or like John, to think that "If I just could cure my CMT/CF, everything in my life would be great!" For the lack of a better term, this is complete bullshit.

Okay, now let me discuss that for a moment, before you get angry. Am I saying that curing CF or CMT would not be a good thing? Absolutely not. Would it be nice to not have CMT? Of course. But would it make me happier? Probably not.

I'm not trying to be de-motivational here, please understand that. I encourage everyone to face their problems head on, and believe me, I am going to fight CMT until my dying breath, but we just need to remember to live our lives along the way. The path to happiness is not a new TV, it's not a mansion with a 10 car garage, and it's definitely not a disease-free body.

I hope y'all have a good weekend!