So many things in life make no sense at all. I don’t need to fill in those blanks for you. No doubt you have a bunch of your own things in mind.
The illogical is part of our existence here. What we do with it is what defines us.
Meghan’s right foot stopped growing a few years ago. I didn’t notice for a little while. She was already wearing a size 9 in the 5th grade.
She had had 5 surgeries to embolize an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in her right knee. At some point they theorize that by slowing the blood flow to the AVM, the blood flow to her lower leg and foot also slowed, stunting its growth.
Now, on the surface that may not sound like a big deal, and I guess for a while it wasn’t. Most people have feet that are slightly different sizes, many a half-size off. Most people are still able to fit them into one pair of shoes.
But the left foot kept growing. Right now it’s stalled at a 10. We can’t be sure it it’s done.
The ramifications of this began to have far-reaching effects. The different foot size adjusted her entire stride. The smaller foot is weaker, and naturally over pronates. There began to be back and shoulder pain…
There was one more knee surgery last May – to clean out some residual blood and quarterize a few spots in the knee-joint. That proved to make the knee even a little weaker.
There came a point where each foot needed its own pair of shoes.
Keeping her in a pair too big would compromise the weaker AVM leg. Putting her in a pair that was too small was just impractical. So we began to buy shoes in a 9 AND a 10.
Now we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to buy two pairs of shoes at a clip. We have only one child, and I find good shoes to be a wise financial investment. Buying the two pairs is never what bothered me.
My trouble came with what to do with the other shoe.
I threw some away, but that didn’t feel right.
People, not thinking it through, directed me to odd shoe websites. But, the odds of me finding a perfect match were slim to none. It didn’t make sense for us.
So, the shoes began to stack up in the basement.
Some internet searching brought me to National Odd Shoe Exchange (N.O.S.E,) And a million bells and whistles went off. Here was a real, 501c3 charity that accepts “in kind,” or actual SINGLE SHOE donations. They pair them with actual people. They work with amputees. They work with real people, registered in their database, and they send them shoes! History of NOSE
And, since they are a registered 501c3, our donation, as well as any postage, are fully tax- deductible. An added, unexpected bonus.
So, today I mailed a box to Arizona.
In it were three “pairs” of shoes. 10s for the right, 9s for the left, just the opposite of my girl.
And somebody, somewhere, or maybe even several “somebodies” will benefit from Meghan’s adversity.
It seems almost ironic that as I write tonight we are nursing a left shoulder that “froze” today, more than likely the result of the
“off sides” stride.
It locked up in the pool. During the last practice before the big meet this weekend. She has trained so hard. She fights every obstacle head on.
Feisty. Tenacious. And in pain.
Tomorrow there will be more ice. More stretching. More anti- inflammatories.
There is no pause for this young lady. Life keeps careening from one obstacle to another. Yet, she walks straight and tall and with her head high through it all. Counting her blessings. Growing up too fast.
So many things make no sense at all.
But for us, tonight, the knowledge that in a few days time 3 “pairs” of brand new shoes will be available to someone…
Well for us, that is a bittersweet way to find some sense in this big mess.
2 thoughts on “N.O.S.E. an Acronym that Makes Sense!”
love that you are able to put those “odd” shoes to good use…;o)….x0
Great article. There are more people than you may think who have odd-sized feet (some estimate it at around 10%). There are also number of websites and Facebook pages that cater specifically for odd-feeters and amputees in addition to the great work that NOSE do.
Oddshoefinder.com is an online marketplace that since 2007 has helped thousands of odd-sizers and amputees find matching shoes, and allowed countless others to sell or donate their shoes, rather than have them waste away in the closet or in landfill. It’s similar to NOSE, but online. There are no fees to buy or sell, so it’s really just done for the love of it.
I hope this this is of interest to you.