As I’m sitting here typing these sentences to you, dear readers, it is mid-December, and I am laid up in bed taking advantage of the downtime by getting a jump on blog posts for 2021.
I just took my first shower in five days, I haven’t seen the downstairs of my home since my first day post-op, and while there isn’t much going on right now (Hello, Coronavirus), I’m still antsy as all hell.
And I have no one to blame but myself: I am bedridden because of an elective foot surgery I opted into almost exclusively for financial reasons.
How I Ended Up Getting Bunion Surgery at Age 33
Bunions run in my family. Usually, they’re genetic. Both my mother and my grandmother have/had them. I started seeing them first sometime in my mid-twenties although I can’t be super specific about the timeframe.
All I know is that after the birth of our son, they were suddenly much larger and more painful than they’d been in years prior. A tailor’s bunion on my left foot grew so big it was hard to find footwear to accommodate the growth.
So, I’d resigned myself to a life of sneakers and Birkenstocks (and maybe buying two different sizes in a pair of shoes – one for the left, one for the right) when my primary care doctor recommended I see a podiatrist.
I mean, they were bad. But how could I handle being off my feet for two weeks with an infant crawling around the house?
All The Reasons We Opted Into the Bunionectomy
The podiatrist agreed I would need surgery and sooner rather than later would be best. Most bunions can only be corrected with surgery and if you wait they only get larger and more painful. Charming.
I came in with a list of excuses about why 2020 just wasn’t the year to do this surgery.
To which the doctor said, “There’s never a good time for foot surgery.”
And then the biggest “pro” on the list came into play: Mason’s delivery meant we’d already met our deductible for the year and the procedure would be 100% covered by insurance.
Free Foot Surgery. Free Bunion Correction.
Deductible – a specified amount of money that the insured must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim.
The fact that the surgery would only be free for a few months longer in 2020 outweighed figuring out childcare and having my husband pick up all of the responsibilities for both me, our baby, and the house for 2-4 weeks. In order to save thousands on this surgery down the road, I have to put up with two weeks bored and in bed, and my husband has to put up with solely taking care of our baby for the duration of my recovery.
TBD if it is worth it, but overall the surgery and recovery weren’t as painful as people said. But then again, I did give birth this year so my pain threshold is very different now than it was back in March.
I realize I’m in an incredibly privileged position to be writing something positive about a health-related issue in the year of the Coronavirus. I realize it is a huge blessing to be able to write about the health of me and my family and an elective procedure.
I’m mostly sharing this because it’s been a big disruption for our family, but we find benefit in thinking strategically about our healthcare costs both now and in the future.
Since they only correct one foot at a time, I still have another foot to do (the right one) at some point in the future. The doctor was willing to do it on the last day of the year, but me being down and off my feet for another month is just too much right now for our family.
But, at least we got the one for free.