Bunion is such an ugly word. I had never spoken it aloud before. Just thinking about it conjures up images of mangled old lady feet for me. When I was little, my mom had big bunions on both of her feet. She had considered getting them fixed, but stories of a barbaric procedure and long, painful recovery that left you out of commission for months on end sounded too awful for her to take seriously.
“Back when I was a resident, patients used to be completely out of commission for as long as eight weeks. And only then did they slowly begin the rehabilitation process,” Dr. Livingston explains. Thanks to medical advancements that include specialized fixation—screws that help hold the bone in place as it heals and allows for weight bearing forces earlier than before—people are much more eager to have their bunions fixed, he says. Like my mom, who at the age of 59 opted for the surgery—first the left foot and then the right—and became my inspiration.
With my 40th birthday looming, I decided to give myself a gift. I had suffered for so long. And now that I had a secure job and kids who were relatively independent, the time seemed right—my dream of pretty, pain-free feet now within reach.