My Maybe Bunion

Nothing is ever wrong with me.

I am one of those people don’t say hypochondriac who wakes up one day and her finger hurts and she thinks hmmm…maybe I have finger gout! and thinks about it and thinks about it and even tells people she has finger gout and learns all about finger gout so she can explain it when people ask why she’s holding her finger all sideways like that. Then one day the finger stops hurting and she is forced to acknowledge that maybe there was nothing wrong. Maybe – just maybe – there was no finger gout. Maybe it was a bruise incurred while she was sleeping. Maybe she slept with her hand under her pillow – sometimes she does that – and her finger got bent funny.

Fear not, I am not a tax on our health care system. I hate going to the doctor, in large part because nothing is ever wrong with me. (in small part because I haven’t met a non-assholish doctor in many, many years) Even with the most alarming things, when I tire of self-diagnosing and speculating and eventually go to a physician, invariably that physician will nod politely and say, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

A few years ago I had a startling heartbeat issue. I would be running or swimming or just sitting there and my heart would speed up and then go back to normal. It took several instances of this for me to go to the doctor. He said, “I think there’s nothing wrong with you. If you WANT, I can sent you for a bunch of tests. But probably, they won’t turn anything up.” While I was unemployed at the time, I was not bored enough to go through needless medical tests so I just left it alone. Guess what hasn’t sped up since then? That’s right, my heart!

There are people for whom this is not true. They go merrily about their lives and the doctor surprises them by saying, “You have high blood pressure” when they go in for a checkup or “you have German measles” when they’re sure it’s a rash from a new detergent or “you have pneumonia” when they thought it was just a lingering cold.

But with me, the following applies: If there’s something wrong with me, I’ll know. Like when I electrocuted myself in 3rd grade. I plugged in the film projector and the plug wasn’t protected and I did a backwards somersault and got a little freckle-like burn on my hand and freaked out my teacher. Or when I put my right index finger through the meat slicer at my deli job and blood geysered everwhere, including on the walls and that poor man’s capicollo. Or when I had a fever of 104 and it turned out I had sinusitis. It’s just like when you’re in labour, you’ll know. In the last two weeks of pregnancy, all the was that a pain? and is that my mucous plug? was just a useless waste of energy. I could have been baking chocolate chip cookies and filling the freezer but no, I sat around and googled “belly twinge + 39 weeks.” When I was in labour, I knew (well, mostly because I had been induced but if I’d had those pains at home? I’d’ve known) and when my water broke during labour – whoah, I KNEW and when I lost my mucous plug during labour, despite the pain I had to laugh at how earnestly I’d been analyzing my knickers all week because that, THAT RIGHT THERE was a mucous plug, make no mistake and all earlier, hopeful attempts to identify bits of lost mucous plug were just that: hopeful attempts.

At the moment, I have a foot-ache. My right foot on the outside edge, just below the pinky toe. You remember Edith, my pinky? OK well, the part of the foot below Edith is sticking out somewhat and it hurts when I put pressure on it. Actually, since I’ve been thinking about it, it hurts when I just sit here. Ow.


So maybe it’s a bunion. All sources say that a bunion is exactly this BUT only when it is on the big toe side. But Foot Pain Explained says that the “Tailor’s Bunion” is what you call the bunion on the outside of the foot. I will, of course, be going to a doctor soon (ish) and will ask him about it. (Har dee har. Whole other post.)

See, I don’t really WANT a bunion. Really not, now that I’ve seen the photo at Foot Pain Explained. That shit is ugly. And I’m sure it would be a huge annoyance. And it hurts. And I have big enough feet without making the right one an inch wider. But there’s a little part of me that does want a bunion because then there would be something wrong with me.

How psychotic am I!

Let’s look away from me. Go read some instructions for battery consumption!

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