At this point in my life, it sometimes seems as though if I didn’t have doctor appointments, I would have no social life whatsoever. My sister Bec and I commiserate during our frequent FaceTime conversations.
“What are you doing today?” I ask her. What I should be asking her is, “What doctor appointments do you have today?”
“Well, today I have to get some blood drawn and then see the dermatologist,” she might answer. “What about you?”
“Well, today I have a mammogram and I’m accompanying Bill to his cardiologist appointment.”
I recently had a podiatrist appointment to discuss my bunions. I didn’t even know what a bunion was up until about five years ago. This, despite the fact that I had actually had bunions for about two years prior to that. It was, in fact, my pedicurist who diagnosed me, though I had been to my primary care doctor annually since, well, a long time ago. He, like me, apparently disregards my feet. My sister Bec and I were getting a pedicure together, and I was complaining about the fact that I always had terrible calluses on my feet, and wondering why. My manicurist looked surprised, and said, “It’s because of your bunions.”
That’s how little I pay attention to myself. For at least two years, my left foot had looked like this…..
…..and I didn’t even notice that something was wrong. Or wonder why my shoes didn’t fit any more. Please let me know if my right eye starts bulging or my nose starts having big red veins, because I won’t notice it myself.
Anyhoo, Bec looked down at her perfect little twinkle toes and said, “Well, you know, Mom had bunions.” I’m pretty sure she wiggled her toes at me at that point.
I didn’t know that Mom had bunions. I didn’t know what a bunion was until that very moment. I always thought a bunion was like corns and calluses. And, while I like that I look like mom, and that I inherited her mouth and her chin and her blue eyes, I could have done without inheriting her feet.
So, for two years or more, I have endured my ugly feet. While I went years without noticing I had bunions, now I couldn’t keep my eyes from looking at my feet. Finally, I decided to visit a podiatrist and talk about bunion surgery. I opened my insurance company’s website, looked up podiatrists, closed my eyes, and picked one. No big physician research for this patient.
I went to the doctor’s office. He walked in, looked at my feet (I have a small bunion on my right foot as well), walked out, and announced his retirement to his staff.
I’m just kidding. But he did agree with me; I have bunions. Should be a simple fix, he told me. He sent my off for an X-ray. When I returned a week later, he came in and announced that my X-ray indicated it would, in fact, NOT be simple surgery. It would be rather complicated surgery and I would be non-weight-bearing for two months. And THEN he told me he was going to retire. And that’s a true story.
Yoiks. You can’t say that I do things half-assed. If you’re going to have foot sugery, you might as well make it difficult.
After much consideration, including envisioning going up and down the staircase in our Denver home on crutches (and undoubtedly falling down and breaking my crown), I have concluded I will have the surgery in AZ, where the sun shines bright in January and doctors are plentiful. Best of all, there is nary a step in our little ranch home.
But back to doctor’s appointments. As it turns out, Jen requires knee replacement on the knee they didn’t do a year-and-a-half ago, and plans to have it in the fall. I will then come along and have bunion surgery in January. As for Bec, she will be our nurse.
I hope she doesn’t retire like my podiatrist did.