Then reality slapped me the face. And it slapped hard. Yes, there is a medical condition called bunions and you can have get them in your TEENS and 20's. And although I tend to keep my medical travails private, because that's just how I am, I will tell you about this one because I hate the thought of others not knowing what these bumps are and not seeking medical attention early enough to avoid pain.
I had gone to a podiatrist for a sports-related injury, tendonitis on the side of my right foot. In the course of x-raying my foot and taping it, he mentioned that I had a rather serious bunion. It was a bump that stuck out the left side, just under my big toe. I had had a slight bump there for years and didn't think it was important. I had gone from wearing a medium to C width shoe and thought maybe that slight bump had something to do with it. But I never dreamed I would ever need surgery for it. In fact, I didn't have pain from it at first and later learned the reason for this is because I had somehow learned to walk in such a way that I spared my feet the discomfort. But in doing so, I was causing ankle pain and other weirdness.
I have since learned a few things about bunions. For example, wearing high heels or being inclined to exercise heavily despite a mild deformity can turn said deformity into a major one. I continued to bike ride vigorously and aggressively after being diagnosed with the bunions--there was one on the left foot, too--and I will confess, they both became more serious within a year. I could see them getting larger and they were beginning to hurt more.
Here's how the bunions looked a few days before finally having surgery: