”Polydactyly or polydactylism (from Greek πολύς (polys) “many” + δάκτυλος (daktylos) “finger”), also known as hyperdactyly, is a congenital physical anomaly in humans, dogs, and cats having supernumeraryfingers or toes.” – Wikipedia
That’s my feet you see up there. See my right foot? It has 6 toes instead of 5 aka Radial or Preaxial Polydactyly. It has been like that since I was born. I know many people who are ashamed of being polydactyl, but I can honestly say I’m not one of them – thanks to my big brother’s reaction when he saw my right foot for the first time; he was 3 and I was 2, and one day we were sitting with our legs stretched out, he saw and pointed to my right foot and screamed, “Mummy, Mummy, look at Ella! She can glue her toes together!!! I can’t, but SHE CAN!!!!!!!” Mum said he tried so hard to “glue” his toes, but of course he couldn’t.
Growing up, Mum would tell me that story whenever I was feeling down and it never failed to put a smile on my face. She said, “Oh I will never forget his face when he was screaming hysterically about it – as if you were a superhero or something! And you should see your face – my, my, you looked so proud!” Now combine that reaction with the words my parents instilled in me: it’s okay, it’s not something you should be ashamed of, it’s an extra gift from God because you are extra special in His eyes. An old family friend even said that it brought good luck to my family. So you know why I never feel ashamed of being polydactyl.
When I was little, some doctors suggested operation, but my parents declined, as long as it did not affect the way I walk. And I walk just fine. As I grew older, I also learned the medical facts and clinical studies about polydactyl. Nevertheless, nothing’s changed.
I know some people who have the same case, but they never wear sandals when they go outside because they don’t feel comfortable when people can see that their toes are “different”. Me? I wear sandals as much as I like. I couldn’t care less about people’s reactions.
I’m so, very blessed to have my brother’s reaction and my families’ support. But if you don’t have those, I just want to say:
1. God NEVER made mistakes. When He made you, He thought you were perfect. He still thinks so, you know.
2. If someone tells you you’re abnormal–a mutant even–NEVER let it get into you. If they just want to see you from the outside, it’s their loss for not knowing the awesomeness in you.
3. ENJOY your life. Being polydactyl is not the end of the world.
God made each person different, in and out. Thank Him for it. Can you imagine how BORING life would be if all men and all women looked the same or shaped the same way? Geez. Thank God He loves variety!
I’m aware that we can’t blind ourselves from the fact that some differences are shown, while some not. And I’m not against people who opt for operation to remove their extra finger or toe because it’s a personal choice and I respect that. But for those who don’t, I believe we should do our best to accept and live with it – in a positive way, of course.
God has a purpose for everything and He’s way too great for us to understand. All we have to do is trust Him. He knows best.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9 / New International Version (NIV)