For a year I've been limping uselessly on one painful knackered ankle. My shoes are all languishing in the wardrobe, shunned in favour of trainers, and my days get cut short when I have to limp home early to rest.
Finally I got to see a doctor in the foot clinic (the first appointment was hilarious, I walked into a waiting room full of eighty year olds in wheelchairs, all giving me evils like I was some kind of imposter. I felt like I'd invaded their social club.)
Today I saw the doctor in the biomechanics department, she was young and Spanish and nice. She made me lie down, yanked my feet around, made me stand on a slope... wrote furiously on a pad... looked up and said
"You know you have one leg longer than the other?"
No, I didn't know. I'd never measured. Apparently I've been doing some weird slouchy walk to compensate and it has tightened the muscle in my calf which makes my achilles tendon want to cry.
She looks delighted. I'm pretty delighted. Something so simple. Something explainable and fixable. Not for the first time I want to say 'HURRAH FOR THE NHS!' And throw my arms around her, but I resist.
I text my sister about it and about the exciting new inserts in my shoes. 'Do you have to wear one of those big boots?' She's just jealous.