It’s that time of year again. No, I am not talking about bikini season. I’m talking about bunion season.
I did not even know I had a bunion until fairly recently and now, every time I start wearing sandals again, I am reminded that I do. I imagine it was growing on the sly for years before my husband, Peter, brought it to my attention.
“You have a bunion,” he said.
“I do not!” I immediately answered—because I had no idea what it was.
“Yes, you do. Right there, on your foot.”
“That’s not a bunion. It’s always been like that… I think.”
“No, that’s a bunion. That’s what they look like.”
I had heard the word “bunion” before, but had no idea what it was. For some reason, I associated it with old women in cottages who raised sheep and made cheese. I googled it and learned it was nothing nearly so romantic.
As I read up on bunions, I learned they were very unlikely to afflict a young person. Since, on most days, I still regard myself as a relatively young person, this was more than a little deflating.
“How did this happen?” I asked, shocked to learn that I had joined the ranks of the little old cheese-making women.
“It just happens when you get older,” Peter informed me. Peter is older than I am and, occasionally, he lords this over me, as if there is a wealth of information about getting older he is withholding for my own good.
I was not at all pleased about this bunion. I asked the doctor about it at my next appointment. She was completely unimpressed.
“Does it hurt?” she asked.
“Then I wouldn’t worry about it.”
This seemed to me a highly unsatisfactory response. If young people got bunions, I have to believe they would be taken a lot more seriously. Doctors would say, “We must find a treatment for this bunion or this young person’s foot will never fit properly in their sandal! They might experience discomfort and embarrassment and never find a mate!”
By my age, no one cares. The doctor shrugged. From this, I gathered that she did not think I would live long enough for my bunion to become a genuine problem worthy of medical attention.
I told my sister that I had a bunion, wondering if she had one as well. She is younger than I am. To my slight disappointment, I learned she does not. Yet. But my sister said she had a friend who had her bunion fixed.
“Really!” I said. “That’s wonderful!”
“No! It was terrible!” my sister said. “She had to have it fixed because she was in pain when she walked.”
“What did they do?” I asked, all ready to do the same thing myself.
“They operated on it, but then she couldn’t move—at all! She had to stay in bed for two weeks. She couldn’t even get up to pee!”
I will tell you right now that I have not verified this information. If it is incorrect, don’t write to me—write to my sister. She’s the one doing the fearmongering. Whenever I’m told about somebody who had to pee in a bottle, I already have more information than I want.
So it appears my bunion and I will have to learn to live with one another. It does not hurt. All it does is make my foot look funny in sandals. Luckily, I’m not easily embarrassed and I already have a mate, so maybe I shouldn’t complain.
But now I have.
Till next time,
– Carrie Classon is a freelance writer and author and lives in New Mexico. Her columns appear each week.