Sightings 7
Home Stories Sightings

These sightings have sent by Sevdali Bulut.

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In Turkey, there are many limp ladies, some of which are due to untreated cogenital hip dislocations, hip dislocations or bone shortenings due to trauma, growth problems and the like. They rarely use corrective orthopedic shoes. Most, even avoid having a slight heel lift. If the leg length discrepency is not high and there is no problem with the hip, they devise ingenious ways to walk without a limp. If leg length discrepency is high, they limp helplessly, but still take numerous precautions to reduce the limp.

Their clothing and shoes are in a wide spectrum too. While some wear loose clothes to hide the gyrating hips due to dislication, others wear tight ones to show the motion. Some wear long skirts to hide their legs, others wear trousers or mini skirts to expose them. Some wear comfortable flats while others walk on stiletto heels.

In my words, you will find their stories: Turkish Limping Ladies.

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Miss G

She is one of the rare examples of Turkish ladies using a shoe lift. She was at high school, and used to cross our street every morning. She used to wear a navy school uniform, white tube socks and navy, build up shoes. Her left leg was about 5 cm (2") shorter. The left shoe had a complete platform, with a rocker sole. The levels of the socks were consistent with the short leg, the left one rested 5 centimeters above the right one. Her body was in shape and she had an appealing face.

After graduating high school, she gave up wearing those built-up shoes and tube socks. She started to wear appealing female shoes with 5-7 cm (2-3") heels and nylons. She started limping too. She was on the toes of her left foot when walking, and tilting her pelvis to hide her short leg when standing still. Soon after, I started seeing her with a boy, and they engaged. I suppose they got married. I have never seen her again.

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The Cab

When I first saw her, she was standing near a cab, waiting for her boy friend to pay the the driver. There was nothing unusual with her, except the way her feet rested on the pavement. Her toes were pointing outward and the angle between her feet were close to 90 degrees. This was a clue for me and she might have some kind of an anomaly. When she started walking, I recognize that my suspect was true. She had bilateral hip dislocation and also some leg length discrepency. She had a waddling gait and was springing her left toes to compensate the leg length discrepency. She was late 30's, wearing a tight blue jeans which exposed the uncontrolled gyration of her hips. She did not have socks or nylons and was wearing a pair of wedge heeled espadrille slides. The wrinkles on her left sole could be seen when she was on her left foot. Although many people with hip dislocation hold their friends for easy walking, she walked a long way without any help from her boy friend easily, including climbing some stairs.

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Miss Unbalanced

When I saw her, she was staring at a lovely dress in a shop window. She must be around 20, with a nice figure and lovely legs. She had a completely flat white pump on her right foot and a very high and rather thin heeled counterpart, without any platforms, on the left. Her left knee was above her right at the same distance as her heel rested. I was excited to see her walking. After a few minutes, she walked into the shop. To my surprise, she still had a very noticable limp and was springing her left toes. Although I waited long to see this exceptional girl again, she did not come out, she must have used another exit.

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Secretary with A Limp (1)

When I started my university education, I saw her immediately. She had a congenital right hip dislocation which resulted a shorter right leg and a noticable, charming limp. She was in her early twenties. We were taking the same bus every morning and waiting for the bus at the same stop. She used to dress as most of the girls in her age, sometimes a lovely skirt, exposing her shaped legs, sometimes a tight jean exposing the uncontrolled motion of her hip. She had a wide spectrum of shoes too, tennis shoes, sneakers, slides and pumps. She mostly preferred flat to medium heel height. The reason was evident, she was tiptoeing quite well and reducing her limp. It should be emphisized, however, that she was not trying to hide her limp. Since her limp dated back to her early childhood, and I suppose she never used corrective orthopedic devices, her left knee had a noticable hyper-extension and she had a slight scoliossis which only can be noticed by a careful eye when she wore tight clothes.

High Heels and Socks

One morning as I was walking to the bus stop, I saw her among other people. I could see her shoulders and head only, and recognized immediately that she was limping more than usual. I thought she had a problem like twisting her ankle, so she she could not tiptoe as she used to. I increased my walking speed to see what happened to her and in the meantime I started making plans to help her while getting on the bus. When her legs and feet are in my sight, to my surprize, she was wearing a pair of rather high heeled pumps in which she could not tiptoe any more, and a pair of lovely socks. I reduced my speed and watched her limping. In the bus stop I stood behind her. She hyper-extend her left knee and tilted her pelvis and stood with her right foot completely on the pavement. Many men passing by watched her lovely legs and high heeled pumps, mostly without knowing she had a limp I suppose. When the bus came, she boarded before me. She stood in the aisle and greeted a friend of her while I took a seat on the left side of the bus, near the window. I was watching out through the window as I heard her asymmetric heel clicks. She came to the empty seat near me, stood on her good leg while crossing her right leg in front of it. Then she sat down, with her legs crossed. She repositioned her right leg with her hands. She was moving her leg, as if the vibrations of the bus was causing it to move and dangling her high heeled pump. I could see the rather high arch of her foot and the rounded heel on which she rarely steps.

I was expecting her to drop the pump but she dangled it so carefully that it did not fall off. When it was time for her to get off, she put her dangling shoe on, with a motion of her toes, then put his right foot on floor, by the help of her hands and stood up. Without showing and sign of pain or paralysis, she limped through the aisle and got off. I suppose it was the dislocated hip joint which necessitated help when crossing and uncrossing that leg. I never saw her in such high heels again although I saw her many more times, which are worth relating here.

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My Friend's Mom

They moved next to our home when I was 6 or 7. They were a family of 3, dad, mom and a son of my age. Not later than one week, the son was one of my best friends. Dad was in his mid 40's, working, mom was in her early 30's and she was a house wife. On a rainy day, son invited me so that we could play in their house. While we were playing, his mom served us hot milk and cookies. At that time I recognized that she had a slight and charming limp and was tiptoeing when she is on her left foot. My friend told me that she suffers from rheumatism at her left hip joint. She had lovely high heeled pumps without any lifts and she wore them with nylons when she's out. She had a single pair of slides for out too, the left heel was raised 2 or at most 3 cm (around 1"). With these slides she was not limping at all. At home, she was wearing a pair of rubber flip flops. The flip flops were blue wedge heeled (1 cm toes, 3.5 cm heels), with a very thin white layer of rubber on top and had rubber cross straps. Although they were very popular for sea shore or pool at that time in Turkey, nobody wore them on street or at home. I heard her saying "oh my comfortable flip flops" manty times when she was back home. She used to kick her lovely heels off and put on her flip flops. It was a great show for me to watch her coming into my friend's room and watching us in her stylish clothes, nylons and blue flip flops. After resting for a while she used to put on her causal clothes and socks.

She had some interesting habbits too, which I witnessed. She had a little pillow in kitchen. She used to kick her left flip flop and stepped her left foot on the pillow. I suppose the pillow was firm and thick so that she could distribute her weight equally between her legs.

She had a special device to pick the things on the floor, since she cannot bent down. She used to wax the insole of her left shoe with a candle to avoid her heel popping out when tiptoeing.

One day, when I was at most 8, I saw a pair of new flip flops, exactly the same kind she used to wear when I entered their house. I was very excited because the old ones might be in the trash container and I might take them when returning home. As we were playing together, I had to go to bathroom. The old flip flops were in the bathroom. I locked the door and slipped her flip flops on. The right one was not worn much but ion the left one the big toe had indented the rubber such that the rubber thickness was less than a few millimeters. After a few minutes, I had to return to our game leaving the flip flops in bathroom.

As years passed by, she bought a pair of new flip flops every year and never throw away the old ones. Her slight limp became mild. She occationally wore her built-up slides and her limp was quite noticable even with them.

When I was 12, I first heard that she was complaining the pain at her left hip. When I was 13, I saw her cutting the left heel of an old flip flop and attaching it to a new one. My friend told me that his mom was going to have a hip replacement surgery within one year and this would bring the left leg more or less to its original length. Therefore she was preparing herself for that. That winter she had a lot of pain and mostly stayed at home. When she first stood up, she was applying gradual weight on her left leg first. During the first few steps it was common to hear her screaming too. The gait of this lovely woman was really terrible. At the beginning of that summer she was hospitalized for the surgery. My friend told me that they would replace the tip of the tigh bone with a prosthesis. After hospital, she stayed in a nursing home for about 1 month and when she was back home, she had a very slight limp. She did not wear flip flops at home any more but she continued wearing her heels. Two years after the hip replacement surgery, she passed away due to a sudden heart attack.

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Page Updated 25 April 1999