So where were we? Oh yeah....the Sports Medicine Specialist. Hmmm, as a main character in this story, I think he needs a name. Dr.........BlueEyes. OK, Dr. BlueEyes sits down and tells me his take on the situation. He thinks I have a bone bruise. And I think this is the best news I've ever heard. That pesky Biology degree I got taught me that some tissues in the body heal easily. Bone is one of them. Some tissues are much more difficult to repair. Cartilage, tendon, and ligament are some of those. So this sounds great, and I tell him that! The bone is hurt, and it will probably just take awhile to heal. So how did my bone get hurt? Ah, the gory details. The main bone of your ankle is the Talus. Above it are the leg bones (PS- if you're not singing the song in your head right now, you're not cool) and below it are the bones of the foot. Dr. BlueEyes suspects that I sprained my ankle in December and those loose ligaments hadn't healed by January when I went to the gym. So without the ligaments to hold my bones in place, the leg bone actually knocked into the ankle bone and bruised it, and that was the snapping noise I heard. So there are actually two issues. One is the bone bruise, which will heal itself over time. Second are the loose ligaments, which need to be corrected or this will happen again. So instead of getting the RICE runaround, Dr. BlueEyes gives me an ankle brace and orders twice a week physical therapy sessions. He tells me there's an 80% chance this is all the help I will need to get better and put this whole mess behind me. Joy and elation follow. I have a diagnosis! It's not that bad! So I start physical therapy. I'd never had any kind of PT before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The first session was your basic get to know your ankle stuff. We measured my range of motion compared to the good one. We measured the strength compared to the good one. I filled out a lot of forms asking me to rate a lot of things on a scale of 1-10. In the next few sessions I started to really like PT. Essentially, it's like recess when you're a kid. The room is a giant playground full of toys, and you hop on this and jump off that, and throw a ball here, and since my therapists were two awesome girls about my age, it was easy to get past the pain I was feeling while I was doing it. I thought I was progressing really well, and now that I had an explanation for my pain, I didn't worry that I was still feeling like I was before. I was working hard during my sessions and ACTUALLY DOING THE ASSIGNED EXERCISES AT HOME! About 5 weeks into my stint in PT, I was hanging out with a friend over the weekend. We were watching TV, and I got up off the couch to get a drink of water. I was wearing my ankle brace religiously at this point, so imagine my surprise when I stood up and tried to walk and I could feel that the bones of my ankle were not properly in the joint. This is Friday night and this unstable feeling (insert your Mary is unstable joke here) lasted all weekend. First thing Monday morning, I was on the phone with Dr. BlueEyes scheduling an appointment. Something still wasn't right, and now it was worse than before. Dr. BlueEyes orders an MRI, and after an entire week (who's doing the math here? how many weeks since ankle snap night? 11. good job!) of fighting with the insurance company about whether or not I really need one (yes) and whether or not they were going to pay for it (hell yes) I walked into the hospital to get an MRI. And it was fun! I brought in a CD, which I listened to while wearing comfortable, metal free pajamas under a warm blanket. Honestly, when the 45 minute procedure was over, I was so relaxed that I didn't want to leave! I had to wait until the next day to see Dr. BlueEyes and have him tell me the results, and it was nerve wracking. When I finally got to his office, I sat in his room for what seemed like an hour. Well, that's because I actually did sit alone in the exam room for an hour. Hindsight tells me that this is red flag #1. F........I.......N.........A.......L.......L......Y........the door opens and Dr. BlueEyes comes in with another doctor (red flag #2) and apologizes for keeping me waiting for so long, but he had looked at my MRI and wanted to confirm with the Radiologist at the hospital who also looked at it to make sure they were seeing the same thing (red flag #3). As a side note, at the time, none of these red flags are apparent, I am literally still just sitting there like a fool, smiling and nodding at the doctors. He doesn't waste any time getting to the point. "Mary, I have some bad news. You're going to need surgery."