I don’t know when the last time is you went to the podiatrist. For me it was Monday. Nothing has made me feel quite as old as this did.
When I hear the word podiatry, I think of eighty-year-olds. I remember hospital rounds with my dad and old guy toes with nails so long they were curling in spirals at the end of his feet.
In retrospect, feet sticking out of a hospital bed were just about eye level for 7-year-old Jessica. No wonder that memory is here to stay, even if on a good day, I feel lucky to remember my name.
After answering numerous sports-related questions, I’m guessing people younger than 80 go to a podiatrist. I can get over myself, or continue on with a whole post about my feet. You’re welcome.
Twenty-five ish years ago, probably the year I grew 4 inches all at once and had no idea where my body started and stopped, I fell going up the stairs. I don’t know what I did. Broke a toe? Dislocated a toe? Whatever it was, it hurt BAD, but I wasn’t going to tell anybody and risk not being able to go play.
I had always been fond of that toe. I loved that it looked it like ET. It healed kinda funny and I was left with one ET toe, the counterpart on my other foot.
After the original injury I could never bend it again, but it’s also never given me any pain. So c’est la vie. Or so I thought, until a few weeks ago I wondered, is it growing? Nah.
Then without me mentioning anything, my mom asks,
“Is your toe getting bigger?”
YES! I think it is! In general I’m the opposite of a hypochondriac, but now it was a little hard not to worry. As far as I know, my toes should NOT be growing.
I make a podiatry appointment. I feel awkward. They ask,
“Was there an injury?”
“Yes? Twenty-five years ago.”
I head in for my appointment. It’s a hot, beautiful day and I’m in a new sundress and flip-flops because why not? This getting out and about thing feels so novel.
As I’m waiting for my x-rays, I overhear the technician speaking to another patient,
“Oh wow, look at all those necklaces! We’re going to have to take them off.”
I can only imagine this being said to someone under 5 or over 80, which may confirm the podiatry demographic.
Once in the exam room, the doctor walks in, takes one look at me and walks right back out. I hear him tell someone in the hall,
“If they’re wearing a short dress, I need you to cover their legs.”
“Anything above the knee.”
I’m grateful for that clarification, because even if I don’t consider myself podiatry old, I feel a little old for a “short” dress. Also I don’t define a dress above my knee as short.
With my legs properly covered, the doctor starts off with the good news,
“Looks like arthritis.”
“Is it normal for it to suddenly grow like that?”
He makes a face. I realize,
“Has it been growing all along and I just noticed it?”
“Your warranty expired when you turned 35.”
So it did.
“It’ll keep growing and if it ever starts to bother you, we can shave it down.”
“Shave it down?!!” I’M GOOD. “Is there anything I can do to stop it from growing?”
“Flip flops aren’t great.”
“Never mind. Not sure why I asked, if I’m not willing to make any changes.”
I take my toes and unwarranted self out of the office. The receptionist calls after me,
“Hope you feel better!”
“Thank you I feel great!” If just a little bit closer to 39.