So, as I'm sure you know, I broke my ankle about a month after Nathan deployed in 2007. Had Italian surgery, had three fine Italian screws put in (I still remember the sound of the drill), had to give away Stella, and blah blah was gimpy forever. Well, this winter, as I was tramping around freezing Virginia in my Target "Uggs", I started to feel like an evil house elf was shoving a knife into the front of my ankle every time I took a step. So today I finally had an appointment with the orthopedist. Way back, I'd been warned of the possibility of the screws starting to back out and causing pain, so I was eager to get it checked. (Quit it with the "Martha has a screw loose" jokes, because they've all been done, and trust me, it's not news.)
But anyway, the screws are fine--must be that beautiful Italian workmanship--and the doctor said the x-ray of the front of my ankle looked totally fine. Then she looked at the one from the side. And I have (1) the worst osteoarthritis she's ever seen in someone my age (in fact, she said she kept getting my file confused with that of the 57-year-old woman's under mine) and (2) I have the remnants of an ursine vanished twin in my ankle. Seriously, I have a bone spur growing out of the front of my "leg bone" that looks like a bear claw pointing down at the ground. It is really, really gross. I saw it on the x-ray picture, as did all of the corpsmen in the cast room, who ooh-ed and ahh-ed appreciatively.
I could opt to have it shaved off (read: ankle surgery) and it might grow back. But the pain is a result of the Mystery of the Missing Cartilage, and nothing can be done; the bone spur just makes me unable to flex my ankle. So, it was an awesome doctor's appointment. No prescriptions given, no injections, no further appointments, no extra equipment, no Things I Need To Do, just the peace of knowing what the deal is.