Until a few days ago, I’d never really known what bunions were. I correlated bunions with wrinkly old lady feet jammed into uncomfortable leather slip on shoes. I also knew bunions could be relieved with spongy, donut shaped stickers. But what were they exactly? I never really cared to know, until recently.
About a week and a half ago, I realized that I’d injured my right foot while running. The pain ran from the top of my foot at the base of my pinky toe down along the outer side of my foot, stopping just before my ankle. Instead of giving myself a break from running, I threw on my sturdy Asics in lieu of my 5 Finger Vibrams in hopes that the stability would ease the pain. And it did; however, my injury never got better. Being unemployed, uninsured, and concerned over the increasing pain, I had no choice but to use Google to diagnose this injury myself. I found many people with the same problem, but never any solid answers. After days of searching, I came across a thread where one of the commenters gave five words of support. These words ultimately did not solve my injury, but still managed to turn my world upside down: “Sounds like a Tailor’s Bunion.”
Of course, the first thing I did, was Google “Tailor’s Bunion,” and I was shocked to discover my “6th toe” disfiguration ALL over the internet! (No, I don’t really have a 6th toe, and before you go and Google it yourself and start thinking that I have those horribly disfigured feet that you see plastered all across your screen, do me a favor and please click HERE first to see a picture of what mine looks similar to.) Also referred to as a Bunionette, this gem of a disfigurement is basically the 5th metatarsal bone jutting out while the rest of the toe bends inward. Supposedly it’s really painful, but I’ve never had any problems. That’s probably due to the fact that mine doesn’t stick out as much as those you see in pictures.
As subtle as it was, I never really saw it as a disfigurement, and I played it off as another thing my little brothers could make fun of me for, and thus, my “6th toe” became a joke among us. I think I was in a state of shock when I discovered it was an actual disorder! I couldn’t stop laughing and feeling taken aback. After living thirty years thinking one way, and then discovering everything you thought was wrong, is the weirdest, and creepiest feeling ever!
Despite the internet making it extremely clear that I have a Tailor's Bunion on both my feet, I still don't think of myself as someone with a bunion. Even though I now know better, I can't drop my preconceived notion that bunions=old lady feet. I don't have any of the problems associated with Bunionettes, so I prefer to just push the thought from my mind. Besides, they're the feet I've always had. They're my 6th toe jokes. They're my feet. And they're not a disfigurement. So there!