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It’s as if The Mom feels left out in some way, since she does not, currently, and to the best of my knowledge, have anything like the sort of chronic illness that L’il Sis and I share. Perhaps The Mom is tired of always being the healthy one in our group, the one forced to do The Thing (whatever it may be) whenever everyone else feels too unwell to cope.

Which is both more and less often than you’d expect. L’il Sis and I will power through most episodes of pain, discomfort, and whatever else, because it’s generally earlier than having to explain why we hurt and why we are unwell when we look perfectly fine. Though there are times – and I believe this is my area of expertise alone – begging off doing things just because you are unwell (which is not always as true as one might like, but I reckon that since there are days when I am desperately unwell and don’t at least have the pleasure of getting out of doing something, that I can sort of use those as rain days if you will).

Anyhow, I suspect The Mom was feeling a bit out of sorts seeing that she had nothing in a new diagnosis to moan about recently, and after going to the doctor and everything! There was some muttering about tendonitis, which was poo-pooed because as an ailment it doesn’t rate. Won’t cause death even if you work at it. Whereas Crohn’s and even the arthritis can cause death – you’d have to give it a bit of elbow grease, but you see where I’m going. The mom was left out.

So you can imagine the look of glee on her face when she shuffled out of the consulting room and proudly announced in a voice that was in no way an inside-voice, ‘I’ve got two ankles!’

I believe I met this news with an eye roll and a moan as I eased myself out of the chair and toward the car.

“Wow. Two ankles. What will you do with such bounty?”

The Mom pranced around, pleased in the knowledge the her two ankles were what was holding her back recently in the silly shoe department.

It wasn’t until later, when we were savouring a drink after dinner, that I decided I wanted a closer look at this second ankle.

I have had a long-standing unreasonable fascination with medical anomalies and I couldn’t let this one pass me by.

Standing in front of The Mom, gripping a can of beer, I pointed at her silly wee foot: “This, sock, shoe, off now please. Where is this second ankle of yours?”

The Mom, pleased as punch at being the proud owner of such a rare and unusual medical situation, happily did as instructed. Even going so far as to hold the mangled joint aloft for closer inspection.

Both Crazy D and I gasped. “Dear Lord woman, what has happened to you? Why is your foot so swollen?”

“It’s not swollen! It’s my second ankle!”

“No, that is swollen. That is a bad, bad thing.” I went right to the freezer. “This is such  a bad thing that you may have my stash of frozen peas to ice it with.”

“I don’t need ice!” The Mom cried out. “That’s how it’s meant to be!”

Crazy D and I looked closer, but not too close. The Mom’s feet have begun to take on an unsavoury tone. You don’t know where you stand with them anymore. For years, she’s been shoving them into unnatural shapes and positions, and now… well, let’s just say I suspect the second ankle is a harbinger of things to come.

The Mom has many small, unusual, mild deformities about her. The sort of second kidney, the twisted back, and now the second ankle. I suppose, now that she is Amongst The Aged, this is all par for the course, and since her two daughters have had arthritis since our teenage years, The Mom knew she had to take it up a notch. In fairness, if she’d have kept on moaning about her self-diagnosed arthritis I’d have had to have a sharp word. It’s one thing copying a disease, but you best have the decency to get such a nastier, harsher version, otherwise, I don’t want to hear about it. And since The Mom’s ‘arthritis’ was easily taken care of with a couple of Tylenol, well, it hardly counts as arthritis. Now, when you literally cannot move, that’s when you’ve really got arthritis.

Until then, I’m please to report The Mom will be sticking with the second ankle.