Bum Foot

So, I’m apparently 29-going-on-70.  Why?  I mean, aside from the knitting and quilting?  Because I’ve been going to a podiatrist.  Every time I’m in there, I feel like I pull the average age down about a decade.  Anyways, I have a bum left foot.  I noticed over the summer that my foot really hurt when I wore sneakers.  Turns out, I have a tailor’s bunion.  Essentially, a sort of mal-formed bone in my foot, which then has caused a lump or cyst on the outside of my foot, making the balls of my feet much wider.  Hence, the foot pain in sneakers but not flip-flops.  Anyways, we’ve tried a few things to get the lump to go down, but it’s just not happening, and it also doesn’t deal with the root cause of the problem: the bad bone.

I have two options.  One option is to just live with it, work around it.  I could try getting wide-width shoes, but of course I only would need it for one foot.  Hrm.  I have one pair of shoes (other than flip flops) that I can wear (very similar to these).  But the reason I can wear them is that they have little cutouts, one of which is in precisely the right spot for my lumpy foot.  Those cutouts are going to prove a problem once it snows.  And they don’t exactly go with anything other than shlumpy jeans.

Option two is having an outpatient surgery to fix both the lump and the root cause. It’s a one-day, local-anesthesia kind of thing, so the procedure itself isn’t a huge deal.  However… it means I would be in bed or on crutches for probably a week, and then in a removeable cast for 1-3 more weeks.  Does anyone else think that doesn’t sound especially good for a stay-at-home mom who is the primary caretaker of two toddlers?  Yeeeah.

I’m a little conflicted.  On the one hand, it’s by no means a life-threatening condition. I could go about my business wearing inappropriate shoes in cold weather.  It hurts a little sometimes, but not all that bad.  Do I really want to go through a possibly painful surgery and very inconvenient recovery period for something so minor?  On the other hand, it has become clear that it isn’t going to get better on its own. It may not get tons worse, but it definitely won’t get better.  Should I just fix it once and for all?

I’m leaning towards getting it done.  But the childcare issue is a major one.  What might work out the best is to have it done right before Thanksgiving.  Then M will be home for the long weekend, and hopefully my mom can come out after that. We’ll see…  Bleh, bleh, bleh.  What a pain in the ass.

On a positive note, we tried out a new playground after the doctor’s office!  [You like how I threw in a gratuitous photo of my kids, there?  Yeah, baby.]  The trouble with being a SAHM and having no family around is that you have to bring the kids everywhere, including miscellaneous podiatrist appointments.  Playing at the park for a while seemed only fair.

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12 Comments

Filed under Illness and Injury, Just me

12 responses to “Bum Foot

  1. oh no, that really is a pita…good luck!

  2. Good luck deciding. I had two double bunionectomies before getting pregnant. There was no way I’d be running around with kids with those sore feet! The incredible and unexpected side effect of the surgery was that my back pain also went away. It turned out that my super-duper-extra-wide feet had my posture all messed up.

    I couldn’t imagine the 6-week recovery process with kids to care for though. Eeek.

  3. My mom has horrible bunions on both feet as a result of many years of ballet (and toe shoes!). She can’t wear Danskos (gasp!) or any other type of shoe that I deem half-way cool…and I am not any sort of fashionista as you might know. The thing was…it wasn’t always this way. It gradually got worse and now she has to go to one of those speciality shops to by her shoes. It’s ridiculous.

    She lamented about getting the surgery done as well…her job requires lots of hours on her feet and walking and she just couldn’t afford to take the time off. I know that if I called her right now and told her your story, she’d say DO IT!! There has to be some way you can find a caretaker for your babes. I mean, they’re cute, right? Who wouldn’t want to hang with two cute kidos?!?

    Hang in there! The way I see it, it’s going to be painful no matter what. And I rather you have 6-weeks of recovery (with good drugs, of course) vs. a lifetime of pain.

  4. I’d also vote to go for it. If you have the resources and the time, why not fix it now? Who knows what’s going to happen in the future? It’s not ideal but I don’t think there’s ever an ideal time for surgery.

  5. I would have to say go for it – if it’s financially possible. True, it’s not terrible pain – but who knows how it will develop. It will be a hassle and an inconvenience, but it only has to happen once.

    Good luck!
    🙂 Becky
    p.s. too bad people can’t babysit over the internet – you’d have tons of volunteer helpers. 🙂

  6. Nothing tempers less-than-pleasant news like a new playground! 😉

    So sorry you are having to deal with this…as I type flat on my back (after getting the kids to school) I can empathize with the “aging before our time” reality!

    Good luck whatever you decide!

  7. Lisa

    An old boyfriend of mine had this exact surgery done over the Christmas holiday just last year, and from his experience, it was debilitating for 6 weeks. He could not place any weight on his foot for that amount of time. He told me he had to back himself on his butt up and down the stairs and he stayed at home for most of that time. He is single, but has tons of friends, so they all came over to help, had meals ready, take him to the doctor b/c he wasn’t allowed to drive, etc. He put off this surgery for over 20 years and finally bit the bullet and did it–he said he is very glad he did and wished now that he had not waited for so long–but he also said the recovery was worse than he had anticipated–mainly because of the no weight restriction. Also, he mentioned that his doctor recommended that he lose 30 lbs prior to the surgery to help with his recovery and he did that a few months before the surgery. He was not too overweight, but the doctor said the less weight on that foot, the better.

    I personally think you should have this done, but you will need help for several weeks with the kids and if one of your parents, aunts, etc., cannot come and stay at your house, then I would not attempt it. Would it be possible to travel to Chicago to get it done there and stay for 6 weeks? You would have a lot more hands to help out if you did that. Could M work from Chicago? Would it be easier on you to wait until the kiddos are in preschool?

  8. If as Lisa suggests your recovery could be longer can M take family medical leave time? Not that he doesn’t already but he’ll definitely appreciate what you do every day if he has to do it himself for more than a weekend at a time!

  9. Marci

    You should do it – I can’t imagine running after two kids is any fun in flip flops – sneakers might become a necessity soon enough. The time off will suck but maybe your mom or other relatives can all visit and pitch in some and if not, you can probably hire a nanny from a reputable temp service for that time. It’ll cost you, but it is temporary and you’re there to watch so I would imagine fit with the family, etc. is less important than with looking for a permanent nanny.

  10. I agree – you should do it, but is there a possibility to wait until the kids are in school? Seems like a long way off, but it’s not really as far as you think. Just a thought.

  11. Oh, Liz, seriously, please get this done. My mom has the exact same condition, only she found out about it a few years ago. At the time, she was taking care of my very ill grandmother and was not in the state of mind to take care of herself. Also, since she lives out here in SoCal, wearing flip-flops year-round was not a big deal (plus at the time she was mostly homebound with my grandma). Anyway, what was occasionally painful has now become SUPREMELY painful, to the point where even putting weight on it hurts (and my mom is very petite, so there’s not much weight to put on it in the first place! The slightest pressure hurts). Also, her foot looks deformed because of the protruding bone. She’s going to get the surgery done now, but it will be a bit more serious than if she’d just done it in the beginning. Anyway, this was not meant to alarm you, just to say — if you can at all arrange for M or your mom to be at home w/you, OR if you could do like Marci suggested and hire a temporary nanny (or even a college student as a mother’s helper?), I think you’d be doing yourself a favor.

  12. Emily

    Oh, I hear you on the age thing. I’m 29 with the same bunion issue and it makes me feel ancient. It’s so good to hear that somebody else, not in her 60s or 70s, is going through this. Just the word makes me feel decades older.

    I just stumbled on your blog while researching. I’m expecting twins this spring and am stocking up on resources for survival.

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