(Here I had meant to put some cute pictures of Max, but my memory card was full, so none of them transferred. Take it as read that you're seeing Max with his new harness, lying on the dining room floor, paws up in the air as he asks for belly rubs.)
Ten Odd Anatomical Quirks Jo Has:
10. I have no antecubital vein on my right arm. This has been verified by my doc, who says it's not all that unusual. Apparently, some people just don't develop AC veins in utero, so you have to go kind of off to the side in order to get blood. The left arm is fine.
9. I am missing one thoracic vertebra and the corresponding pair of ribs. Thanks, Mom; I get this particular anatomical weirdness from her.
8. My appendix is apparently quite small. I discovered this during the Great Belly Workup of 2010. I have a vestigial appendix! Now if I only had no foreskin and could see in ultraviolet, I could be like Lazarus Long!
7. According to the orthopod I saw after I hurt my knee, my shinbones are out of proportion to the rest of my leg. They ought to be shorter. Given that I'm already short enough thanks to the missing vertebra, I'm thankful I have long shins.
6. My molars are backwards: no shit. This was discovered initially by the orthodontist who put braces on my teeth when I was thirteen and has been confirmed since by innumerable dental hygenists who, when I open my mouth, say "What the hell?"
5. My optic nerves are too large for their discs. Nobody knows what this means but my opthamologist, a nice guy who wears very bad ties. He mentions it every time he sees me. Even in social situations. He's a little strange. (He also told me I have stretch marks on my retinas. I'm not sure what to think about that.)
4. I have a third nipple. Make of that what you will. I lived for thirty-eight years with a third nipple, in blissful ignorance, until the dermatologist I see (to make sure I don't die prematurely of melanoma) pointed it out excitedly. Given that it's closer to my navel than to my breast, it makes me feel more like a pig (anatomically speaking) than a Bond villain (again, anatomically speaking). For future reference, it's on the right.
3. According to the last set of X-rays I got, the bottom set of floating ribs I've got sits inside my pelvic girdle. Again, Thanks, Mom! There's short-waisted, and then there's short-waisted.
2. I can lock the distal joints of every finger, a talent that most people apparently don't have. I have a buddy who can roll her shoulder and hip joints out of place on request and can simultaneously push her hands back to the point that her knuckles touch her forearms (Madelung syndrome), so being able to lock joints never seemed like such a big deal to me, but it apparently is.
And the number one weird anatomical quirk I've got, and the one I've considered putting on Christmas cards:
1. I have a wisdom tooth in my right cheekbone.
No shit. This was such a cool revelation that I demanded copies of the X-rays showing it. I had one wisdom tooth removed from my lower jaw about....gosh, was it twelve years ago? It must have been. During the workup, the dentist did one of those 180-degree X-rays and found a wisdom tooth, lying horizontally, in my right cheekbone. It's not going anywhere, obviously, but it's kind of neat. If it ever decides to go against all human development theory and grow, it'll come out in the middle of my ear.
This is all to illustrate what an amazing thing the human body is. I have met one person with a cerebral vascular setup like unto a cow's, and another who, after a head CT for sinus problems, found out he has about an inch of brain tissue surrounding enormous ventricles. The neurosurgeon said, in that second case, Well, it hasn't been bugging you, so we'll let it be.
And, with that, my bed is calling me. Imagine a picture of Max, lying on the floor, ears up in airplane-position, right here.