I Am Deformed


Wow! It’s been a rough couple of weeks here at I Do Things. I’ve been hurt, scarred, and now deformed. But don’t worry, my young friends. It’s not the bad kind of deformity (ie, Elephant Man-itis). It’s just my foot.

Next week I’ll be undergoing a dangerous procedure to remove that gross bump under my toe. See it up there? It’s a bunion. Gross!

I’ve had this damn bunion for almost 10 years, and until last night, I couldn’t tell you what a bunion is. I finally looked it up:

A bunion is a structural deformity of the bones and the joint between the foot and big toe, and may be painful.

I’ve had this procedure scheduled for several months, and until last night, I couldn’t tell you what it involved. A hack-saw? Futuristic laser tools? A melon-baller? I finally looked it up:

  • removing the abnormal bony enlargement of the first metatarsal
  • realigning the first metatarsal bone relative to the adjacent metatarsal bone
  • straightening the great toe relative to the first metatarsal and adjacent toes

No mention of saws or lasers. Hmmm. Suspicious!

But wait! That’s not all. I also have a bone spur on that same toe. Inconvenient! Or is it? No. The bunionectomist will just saw off both at the same time.

The bone spur is apparently causing more problems than the bunion. When my bunionologist told me about it, I glared accusingly at my foot, looking for a huge outgrowth of bone poking its way up through my toe. But I couldn’t see it. I had to look at an X-ray magnified, like, 1,000 times, because this bone spur? Is the size of a fetus’s baby toenail. STUPID!

Bone spurs are smooth bumps that form over many years. They are most prevalent in older people and . . .

SHUT UP! I’m not an “older” person. But more upsetting news was to come:

A bone spur forms as the body tries to repair itself by building extra bone. It generally forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.

I’m bothered by the fact that my body is secretly and without my permission building extra bone. Who told you to do that? Stop it! You’re not helping, you’re only creating microscopic bone spurs that are messing up my life.

Well, I hope you’ve learned something today about bunions and bone spurs. I know I have. Please think of me next Wednesday, when I’m under the melon-baller.

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51 Responses to “I Am Deformed”

  1. 1 Maureen

    Oh, yuck!!!

    I have learned the hard way, never, ever, ever, look up medical stuff on the Internet; I guarantee you will feel worse than you did before.

    And why does the body create extra bones? If it does, why can’t it just build extra leg length to make me taller and spread out my body fat more???

    Good luck next week… gah, shiver….

    Maureen’s last blog post..Nearly Wordless Wednesday

  2. 2 flit

    well gee, thanks for that…

    I have enough problems….glad to hear I don’t need to be deformed as well :)

    Best of luck on Wednesday…doesn’t sound at all like fun to me.

    flit’s last blog post..Signing up for new courses: Editing Modernism in Canada

  3. 3 The Incredible Woody

    Damn spurs! Have ‘em in my heels. Had one in my shoulder that required surgery. Damn them!!

    The Incredible Woody’s last blog post..The Drive

  4. 4 Kathy

    If you call that deformed, count your blessings. My feet? I think I’ve described them before as five gnarly potatoes on each foot. And that’s being kind.

    You will be fine in your surgery. Last I heard, they only use hack saws for brain surgery.

    Kathy’s last blog post..The Day After: I Said What?

  5. 5 Canucklehead

    Well, you’ve certainly managed to prevent any chance of me having a foot fetish so I didn’t have to, which is nice. Whether they just remove that hideous bump or the entire left foot, I’m sure you’ll be all right!

    Canucklehead’s last blog post..NBA Jam

  6. 6 Lola

    Eww! I’ve never seen a bunion before. (Thank goodness!)

    I had a bone spur on my shoulder. Almost the most horrible pain I’ve ever had. I initially thought I had carpal tunnel because it started out as wrist pain. Turns out it was a bone spur in my shoulder and the pain was radiating down my arm. Eventually I had pain in both my wrist and shoulder. Anyway, if they give you a morphine pump after surgery, take it easy on it cause morphine hangovers are THE worst.

    Lola’s last blog post..Think Thrifty Thursday

  7. 7 Daisy the Curly Cat

    I hope it is not too hurty! My Daddie had some kind of bone growth on his heel and a partial tear in his achilles tendon. They had to un-attach the tendon from the heel, saw off the excess bone, and then re-attach his achilles tendon with some metal hooks. He wore a huge surgical dressing for about 2 weeks, then a cast for about 6 weeks, then a walking boot for a few more weeks. The only good thing was he got a temporary handicapped parking sticker. My Daddie refused to use it for a while, until he saw how hard it was to get around on crutches while trying to carry anything.

    If you have to avoid water for a while, they sell some really fantastic watertight cast covers. You put it on and then a little handpump removes all the excess air and you can shower with ease without using a big trash bag to cover it up with. You can even swim with it!

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Harley Wears a Hoodie

  8. 8 Jackie

    Even with your deformity, your feet are still prettier than mine!

  9. 9 absepa


    absepa’s last blog post..I Get the Best Ideas in the Shower

  10. 10 Babs - beetle

    Oh that sounds yuckie! Do you think you might take your own bed to the hospital for future visits? You seem to be there a lot lately ;O)

    I’m so glad you are doing this so I don’t have to.

    I love Maureen’s comment about adding to the leg length!

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..Look what we got!

  11. 11 Shieldmaiden96

    “straightening the great toe relative to the first metatarsal…”

    I shall henceforth call them The Great Toes. None of this ‘big toe’ nonsense.

    “Husband! Come and adorn The Great Toes with this vivid crimson polish! Then make me a sandwich!”

    He won’t, but it’ll be fun to say.

    Shieldmaiden96’s last blog post..Febru-wha?

  12. 12 Stephanie Barr

    You mean I’m deformed and I didn’t have to be?

    /Slaps head

    What a waste of so many deformed years.

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..Thieving Thursday: Under the Wire

  13. 13 Puglette

    wow…childhood traumas, and now foot surgery! you need another vacation!
    i have those stupid bone spurs too on my feet. mine are on the top of the arch and it makes wearing most shoes painful. :o(

    happy friday!!

    Puglette’s last blog post..Childhood Memories

  14. 14 Margo M

    I’ve been wondering about this. My feet have been failing me a bit the past few years. I had “plantar fasciatus” (no clue how to spell it, so just added a few vowels). I don’t like all those feet words like “plantar” and “bunion.”

    Margo M’s last blog post..We, the People of the Dog

  15. 15 JD

    Maureen: You make an excellent point about this mysterious bone growing. Do something useful, body! I don’t need extra bone on my toe, thank you! I regret looking it all up. Not only is it harder to believe it’s all done with lasers, but I saw a lot of gross photos.

    flit: You’re welcome! So glad I could be deformed for you. I’m looking forward to getting un-deformed with as little fanfare as possible, so your good wishes are much appreciated.

    The Incredible Woody: OW! My brother had heel spurs that jutted out from the back of his heel like small shelves. And then they just disappeared on their own! I guess the body can grow bone and take away bone. A shoulder spur sounds v. painful. Sorry you had to have surgery.

    Kathy: Phew. I’m relieved to have that latest info on hacksaws. So are the toes on your feet like overgrown “eyes” on a gnarly potato? When you were young, did the other kids play “Mr. Potato Head” with your feet? (Funny that we both have foot-related posts today!)

    Canucklehead: Foot fetishists creep me out a little, so I’m glad you are in no danger of becoming one, at least around my feet. They can have my left foot. Then I’ll make a movie called “My Left Foot,” in which I describe all the things my left foot can do without a body attached to it.

    Lola: If you have a strong stomach, you should Google “bunion” and see just how pleasant-looking mine actually is. There are some BADLY deformed feet out there. Ow, ow, ow! Incredible Woody (above) had a shoulder spur too. This is the first I’ve heard of them. You’re OK now, right? Man, if they give me morphine, hangover be damned. I’m gonna PUMP that thing!

    Daisy the Curly Cat: I don’t think it will be too hurty. And if it is, I’ll get some good hurty pills, so it’s a win-win situation. Your Daddie’s injury sounds very painful—I hate to hear the word “tear” in relation to any part of the human body. Yow. And thank you so much for that advice about the cast covers. I do have to keep my foot dry for at least a week, so I will look for those!

    Jackie: Aw. That’s just because the picture is blurry! Also, you can’t see the bottoms of my feet, which are hideously callused. The toenail polish is left over from about a month ago! But thank you.

    absepa: HA! PIDDIES! Yes, and Kathy wrote about her piddies, too!

    Babs – beetle: I loved that comment, too! Why are most body changes for the worst! This procedure isn’t even AT a hospital; it’s just at a doctor’s office, and I don’t plan to be there more than a few hours. I hope my own bed won’t be necessary.

    Shieldmaiden96: HAHAHAHA! I love “The Great Toe,” too. Like “Big Toe” is too non-medical-sounding. Please DO let us know your husband’s reaction to your imperial command. I’d love to hear it.

    Stephanie Barr: I’m sorry you didn’t find out until now. If I’d known, I would’ve made this my very first post!

    Puglette: Ouch. Do you wear orthotics or anything? I’m almost glad I have this dang ol’ bunion, because I can’t see going thru surgery for a stupid little bone spur. But I guess just a little piece of bone can really mess things up.

    Margo M: I think the feet get some of the worst terms. Corns, bunions, plantar fasc . . . thing, hammer toe, gout. I would love to know how they came up with “bunion.”

  16. 16 Jay

    Hmm, that doesn’t look like too bad a bunion to me – does it hurt? I would (*ahem* .. will) get surgery ONLY if it was crippling me. Right now I can walk okay, so I just buy wide shoes. U h h h … I would buy wide shoes IF I had the bunions. Um.

    Oh, alright. I have incipient bunions. Okay? I think they’re hereditary. I feel pretty put-upon actually, since I’ve never even worn pointy shoes or heels, but there you go.

    I hope the surgery goes well for you! Sending good thoughts your way! :)

  17. 17 Regan

    Oh noes! Surgery can’t be good! But to remove something the size of a baby fetus’s TOENAIL? That’s what they invented….
    Well I can’t think of some witty comment about some tool that was invented for that. I’ll be sure to comment here if I do.
    Can we see the picture of the bone spur?!??!

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  18. 18 Natural

    i got a little queasy reading this. now that we know what a bunion is, how do you get one? from shoes? are you walking on tiptoe. fred flintstone had the right idea. no shoes at all.

    please tell them not to put you to sleep. you have to document everything that happens and then share it with your peeps. that would be us.

    in your honor, i will not wear any shoes at all next week.

    Natural’s last blog post..Incognito

  19. 19 The Hawg!

    Good luck! You spend about as much time at the doctor’s as I do.

    That’s a shame!

    The Hawg!’s last blog post..Fun with license plates

  20. 20 Tiggy


    My dentist told me the other day the reason for my crowded teeth was because the jawline contracts “as you get older.” Older? What was he implying? I’m not “older”! Older than what?

    What is with these medical people?

    Tiggy’s last blog post..Tiggy’s Shopping Bizarre – X- Jangle Magic Cure-All Bracelet!

  21. 21 Lola

    When I refer to morphine hangover, I’m not really talking about the wicked headache, I’m referring to the vomiting. Terrible, bad, awful just when you think you couldn’t possibly do it anymore.

    I had a CT a year and a half ago, just before my other problems and the doc said I had some impingement (fancy pants for pinched nerves), but no spur. He said he could prescribe physical therapy, but I’ve been so busy with my back physical therapy that it just gets forgotten. I still have the shoulder pain from time to time, but like I tell my kids, I’ll live.

    Lola’s last blog post..L Television

  22. 22 Corrina

    OMG your poor feet! Or foot, as the case may be. Glad you’re having all that so I don’t have to. :-) You rock.

    Corrina’s last blog post..I’m Cold!

  23. 23 JD

    Jay: No, it’s definitely not a bad bunion. It does hurt, tho. And the doctor says if I wait too much longer, the surgery will be more complicated with a longer recovery time. Bunions MUST be hereditary, because my mom had them and I never wore bad shoes either. I wouldn’t say it’s crippling me, but I have enough structural problems, and I figure being able to walk correctly can only help things. Thanks for the good thoughts!!!

    Regan: If I can get my doctor to e-mail me the X-rays, you will be able to view the baby fetus toenail bone spur all you want. I do agree: it’s ridiculous to need surgery for something so small, but it must GO!

    Natural: I’m so touched by your vow to go shoeless. Sob. Thank you. Some people think it’s bad shoes, but most believe now that it’s just some stupid hereditary thing. And I think they have to put me to sleep or else I will grab the saw and start hacking people. But I’ll write down as much as I can. Too bad they won’t let me video it . . . or will they?

    The Hawg!: Boo! I know. And I don’t share nearly as many doctor stories as I could. This isn’t a medical blog, after all!

    Tiggy: I know! They’re crazy and have a skewed perspective on people’s ages. We know we’re not older. See, and this jawline contracting is another example of the body rebelling—just like growing more bone. Why is it doing those things?

    Lola: Oh. I guess I’ll just hope for my usual Vicodin then. That type of hangover does not sound too appealing. I wish, tho, that you didn’t have to live with your shoulder pain. I know PT is a time-suck and doesn’t always help. Seems like there oughtta be something you can do.

    Corrina: Thank you! Weirdly, I think I’ll miss my bunion. It’s been a part of me for so long. It’ll be weird having a normal foot again.

  24. 24 Jeff

    Owie! How long will you be off your feet… er… foot?

    Jeff’s last blog post..Everyday Conversations – Food Crisis

  25. 25 Tippy

    Thank you for trying to take one for the team, but I have already had the bunion removal surgery, complete with purposeful bone breaking, pinning and tendon relocationing!

    I was only 26 at the time; clearly it’s all a matter of blaming your parents/grandparents and a little something called DNA, so it’s not an age thingy!

    My tips to you are as follows:

    1. Watch your pain medication levels as it’s much harder to get up off of the floor with a cast on your leg and crutches wrapped around your arms.

    2. Don’t assume that you will be able to walk when the cast comes off…you won’t.

    3. Make sure no one is around when the cast is removed…picture hairy chicken waddle…that’s what your leg is going to look like.

    They did mention about the cast for 6 weeks, right???

    Silver lining: my foot doesn’t hurt anymore, my leg works just fine and I have some super cool scars whose story of the origin is an ever-evolving tale (usually involving me and Johnny Depp on a beach and well…you know…me falling over rocks, him saving me…*sigh*)

    Good luck! You’ll be just fine!!

    : )

  26. 26 ann of thejunkdrawerblogfamily

    Too bad you can’t use Kathy’s Ped Egg to remove your bunion. I wish you luck. Oh, and I’ll forward to the post-bunionectomy post. Cheers to a lovely dose of anesthesia…..you won’t feel a thing….til later….

  27. 27 Steve | Trade Show Guru

    Hi JD,
    My first thought on seeing this post similar to Ann’s above, that it, “What is it with you and Kathy and feet?”
    Anyway, I could have told you about Bunion. I learned that in first grade. He had a pet ox named Babe the Blue Ox, he carried a big ax, and his first name was Paul. Oh, maybe that was a different Bunyon.
    Anyway, good luck on the surgery. If the pain gets too bad, drink a Red Stripe. ~ Steve, the keep-you-shoes-on trade show guru

    Steve | Trade Show Guru’s last blog post..Do Trade Show Giveaway Pens Work?

  28. 28 HappyCampers

    Ohhhh….I have a bunion too that is exactly like my mom’s! It hurts often and I’ve been afraid to look into surgery. I can’t wait to read an update on how your surgery went!! Good luck!!!

    HappyCampers’s last blog post..A Walk To Remember

  29. 29 Angi

    So apparently my oral surgeon was wrong many years ago when he left a small chunk of one of my wisdom teeth behind.

    It was killing me and I went back to see him and he declared, “Oh, you have a little bit of a bone spur back here, it’ll just take me 2 seconds to pull it out. [And a pair of pliers, and a lot of blood, and screaming, and did I mention no anesthetic for this one, and then I'll laugh and say 'It's just a little one!' while you bawl like a baby.]”

    Oral surgeon liar jerk…

    Angi’s last blog post..Friday Freak Show: I Wish I Wrote This One

  30. 30 JD

    Jeff: I think I’ll be up and about right away, but in a special shoe and no working out for a while. Then I’ll have a normal foot!

    Tippy: Wow! Thanks for sharing your ordeal. I really don’t think mine is going to be that involved. I’m sure the doctor said “hard shoe,” not a cast or crutches. Yikes. I hope I heard right. I know bunion surgeries can vary. Whatever happens, I’m totally stealing your Johnny Depp-scar origin idea. Thanks for stopping by and for the good wishes!

    ann of the junkdrawerblogfamily: HA! Oh, my god. Why didn’t I think of that? Of course, the PED EGG could probably shave off my bunion! Sounds a little painful, tho.

    Steve | Trade Show Guru: I know! Kathy and I should’ve coordinated things and done some kind of special, linked post. I s’pose we are a bit obsessed with our feet, but I promise: no more gory foot pictures after the surgery. And the pain reliever I have in mind is probably just a TAD stronger than Red Stripe, but thanks for the recommendation!

    HappyCampers: I’m sure it’ll go fine. And if yours really bothers you, at least go see a podiatrist. He or she might have some nonsurgical suggestions to at least help the pain. Thank you!

    Angi: WHAT? “A little bit of bone spur”??? The hell? What difference does it make HOW big it is if you’re pulling it out of my head with no anesthesia?!?!?! Geez.

  31. 31 Baron von Rochester

    Oh, dear. I’m so glad you’re doing this so that I don’t have to. I mean, I’m not glad you’re doing it, but I am glad that I don’t have to. Or, whatever.

    Baron von Rochester’s last blog post..Because You Just Never Know

  32. 32 Susan

    I may never be able to look at my melon baller quite the same way.

    Susan’s last blog post..My Blackberry Travels With Me….

  33. 33 brooke

    My feet are deformed too my big toe jerks out and my little pinky toe curves behind the other one.

  34. 34 Bratwurst Recipes

    So that’s what a Bunion looks like, urghh not something that I would want, *knocks on wood*.

    Bratwurst Recipes’s last blog post..Horeseradish Sauce

  35. 35 JD

    Baron von Rochester: I understand. It’s my duty to do these things so you don’t have to; luckily, I HAVE to do this one anyway.

    Susan: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to give the melon baller a bad association. I’m pretty sure they won’t use one. Well, fairly sure.

    brooke: Ew. That’s not normal. Should I schedule your surgery while I’m there?

    Bratwurst Recipes: NO ONE wants a bunion. But sometimes you have no choice.

  36. 36 Marie

    Oh sweetie, I am SURE everything will be fine!!! It will over before you know it and you will be SOOOO happy with your new feet!

    And if you want to make yourself feel better, you can read the harrowing tale of my shoulder fracture at my blog under “The Accident” (A Tale of Breaking in Four Parts).

    Nothing is ‘only’ when it involves the word ‘cutting’ as applied to your very own skin. But you will be so relived to have a bunion instead of a broken shoulder.

    I will be thinking of you. :)

    Marie’s last blog post..Nourish is One Year Old!

  37. 37 sandy

    Thank you so much once again for doing this for us… I would NEVER want bunions…. that has to be horrible.

    sandy’s last blog post..Need a Stupid Gift?

  38. 38 Lin

    Dang! I could have saved you from doing this one! I not only had bunions, BUT I’ve also had the surgery! On both feet! At the same time! When my kids were little! Aren’t I brave?!!!

    You will be sooooo glad that you had this surgery! Your shoes will fit better and your feet won’t hurt anymore. If you neglect these things, your toes start doing that “reachy” thing and go towards their other toe friends, and that isn’t good. So, just get them done, wear the big shoe thing, and be over it.

    Make sure you put sunscreen on the scar because most people don’t think about putting sunscreen on their feet. But it will keep it from getting icky and thick and you’ll hardly see the scar after a while. (This kinda stuff is important to me, I guess)

    They are hereditary too. Usually from Grandma. Be sure to thank her.

    I hope it all goes well! My feet are sending positive bunion-less vibes in your direction…..

    Lin’s last blog post..Recovery Mode

  39. 39 JD

    Marie: Aw! Thank you! You’re so nice. And I know you’re right: I’m gonna be so glad to have this done and have a nice, normal, non-painful toe. OUCH! Your story sounds awful and painful, but I WILL read it. I’m pretty sure a broken shoulder trumps a stupid old bunion!

    sandy: You’re welcome. It’s not so bad. There are worse things. Like . . . CORNS!

    Lin: THANK YOU! My feet are responding to your feet’s positive vibes by tapping merrily. And thanks for that sunscreen tip—you’re right, I would never have thought of that. It’s finally hitting me how HAPPY I’m going to be to get rid of this bunion. In less than 48 hours, I will be bunionless!

  40. 40 Jennifer

    Bunions are the worst! I’ve been living with mine since high school.
    I’m glad I found your blog. Now I realize you’ll be having the surgery for me so I don’t have to!!!

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Happy Birthday, Oscar Baby Man! (plus Artwork)

  41. 41 lunaticg

    Is that process of removing that bunion hurt?
    Wish you will be OK.

    lunaticg’s last blog post..Malaysia coin story

  42. 42 Eric "Speedcat Hollydale"

    A melon baller??? Looks like I have all the tools I need to open up my own Clinic here at home …. but wait, I don’t have to.

    Best wishes from The SpeedyCat ;-)

    Eric “Speedcat Hollydale”’s last blog post..Wordless Chicken Tuesday 200th Anniversary (Sculpted Kikins)

  43. 43 JD

    Jennifer: YAY! I’m glad you found me, too. The more bunion sufferers I can help, the better. Tune in for the post-bunionectomy . . . post.

    lunaticq: Thanks! It probably will hurt, but I plan to be in an anesthetized coma. I also plan to be given plenty of pain meds.

    Eric “Speedcat Hollydale”: No, you don’t! But it’s nice to know you could if you wanted to.

  44. 44 Florida Girl In Sydney

    I’ll be anxious to hear if the surgery was very difficult to recover from and how painful it was– boy I’m just a barrel of laughs here making you feel better right?

    I have hallux limitus– it’s like a bunion in the same area just on top of your foot instead– from an injury.. I was supposed to have surgery but heard it is not always successful, can be a long recovery, etc, etc.

    I’ll be waiting…
    Oh, and you should really check out those MBT shoes– and/or Chung Shi shoes– great for these foot problems!

    I’m wishing a speedy and painless recovery!

    Florida Girl In Sydney’s last blog post..Jesus Rocks the House

  45. 45 JD

    Floriday Girl In Sydney: Oh, I’ve heard of MBT shoes! Maybe this is my opportunity to get a pair. Hallux limitus—what will they think of next? I hope that’s not too painful. My surgery went really well, and there’s some pain, but it’s not too bad. Of course I’ll be blogging about it! Thanks so much for your good wishes!

  46. 46 Grog

    I have them as well. I heard it is one seriously painful recovery to have them removed.

    Grog’s last blog post..What Is Dengue Fever?

  47. 47 fragileheart

    Wow. I have learned something today… that’s for sure. I’m glad to hear the surgery went well enough that you came out with both feet in tact (via twitter). Can’t wait to read about the actual surgery.

    fragileheart’s last blog post..100 random things about fragileheart – Part 1 of 4

  48. 48 brooke

    No thank you, I’ll pass.

  49. 49 JD

    Grog: You know, I am finding that out. Luckily I have some good drugs.

    fragileheart: I wish I’d been awake (but sufficiently numbed) during the surgery. I did wake up in time to see the doctor stitching up my toe.

    brooke: OK. Let me know if you change your mind!

  50. 50 Maureen

    Glad to hear you’re okay… and glad to hear you were out so there will be no photos of the event taken….

    Maureen’s last blog post..I Gots Note-ified

  51. 51 JD

    Maureen: But there WILL be photos . . . you can be sure of that!


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