Fixing my condition

By: Yanis Juárez Rojas

After the doctor told me that in order to fix my condition I would have to undergo a long and arduous surgery, I decided it was not for me. This is my story with Brachymetatarsia.

Brachymetatarsia is much more than the lack of development and growth of the metatarsals, the bones in your toes. For me, it was a concept I learned when I was 20 years old. “Toes of the same size” was what I entered on the search bar from the comfort of my own home. Afterall, this is what my podiatrist said I had and how I responded when people would ask me what I had. 

Having differences of appearance when you are a teenager is not easy. I was fortunate enough to go through this stage unscathed, free from critics, uncomfortable questions or even teasing since I decided to hide my small defect in any way I could. I avoid going to social events that call for being barefoot, like sleepovers and if I go, I always wear socks. I also avoid the pool and dip my toes into the sand when I am at the beach, that way in case someone takes a photo, they can’t see my difference. To this day, I avoid certain activities that involve showing my feet, I don’t use flip-flops or sandals that show my toes, and even though I would love to do it, I don’t feel ready to show my difference to everyone else.

I am aware that having this insecurity comes in part from my idealization of certain parts of the human body, like having straight hair or perfect skin, not having any hair or having small feet with perfect nails. These stereotypes not only make me feel insecure, they also cause huge consequences to the entire population, in particular to boys and girls that believe that everything they see on TV is the correct way of looking. When kids realize they don’t look the same as models, emotional, psychological and educational problems arise. 

Even though I am the only person in my family that has this condition, I never felt any difference. When my mom realized that I had this difference she took me to the doctor and he told us that the only way to “fix” my condition was with a long and arduous surgery. Thus, we decided not to go ahead with it. Overall, I have always felt a lot of support when coping with my difference and I couldn’t be more appreciative. My family and friends filled me with confidence and if I could meet 10 year old Yaris I would tell her physical differences make us unique, perfect in our own way and definitely, stronger.

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La braquimetatarsia es mucho más que una falta en el desarrollo y crecimiento de los metatarsianos, un hueso de los dedos del pie; al menos para mí es un concepto nuevo que surgió de pensar como a mis 20 años no sabía el nombre de mi condición, por lo que, en una reciente de búsqueda en internet desde mi casa, escribí “Dedos del pie del mismo tamaño”, que fue el diagnostico que me había dicho un ortopedista a mis 9 años y si alguien me preguntaba lo único que sabía responder era eso. 

Tener diferencias físicas en la etapa de la adolescencia en definitiva no es un proceso fácil y pude salir ilesa a críticas, preguntas incomodas o burlas ya que decidí ocultar mi pequeño defecto de distintas maneras, desde evitar reuniones sociales que pudieran involucrar el no usar zapatos, ir pijamadas y  en todo momento usar medias, hasta no querer estar en una piscina o  mantener mis pies cubiertos de arena cuando estoy en la playa porque de esta manera, en caso de que me tomen una foto, estos no se van a ver. Al día de hoy, todavía evito ciertas actividades o alguna demostración de mis pies, por ejemplo, no uso sandalias que no cubran mis dedos y aunque me encantaría poder hacerlo aun no me siento preparada de mostrar mi diferencia a los demás.

Parte de lo que me hizo llegar a esa inseguridad fue la idealización que se le da a ciertas partes del cuerpo femenino, como tener un cabello perfecto, una piel lisa y suave, no tener vello corporal o tener pies pequeños y con uñas perfectas. Estos estereotipos, traen grandes consecuencias a toda la población, pero en especial a niños y niñas que piensan que todo lo que ven, es la forma correcta de lucir y al ver que ellos no son iguales a estos modelos, se pueden producir problemas emocionales, psicológicos o educativos.

A pesar de ser la única en mi familia que posee esta condición, en ningún momento sentí ninguna distinción y mi mamá en especial al notar este desarrollo entré en control médico donde nos indicaron que la única forma de “arreglarlo” era con una cirugía con una recuperación larga y dolorosa, por lo que decidimos no llevarla a cabo, sin embargo, siempre recibí todo el apoyo para sobrellevarlo y no puedo estar más agradecida con ellos y mis amigos de llenarme de seguridad y confianza y si le pudiera decir algo a mi yo de hace 10 años llena de miedo, confusión e inseguridad es que todo estará bien, las diferencias nos hacen ser únicos, perfectos y en definitiva más fuertes.

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