Noodler, please don't compare injuries. Yours was much more severe. VSP and I had it pretty easy by comparison.
It does seem odd that they won't remove the rod, though. From looking at the x-rays, it looks like it's in the same position as mine. Unless it's needed for continued strength....but that doesn't even make sense because you only have one nail left.
The bit about it being bent and close to the knee.....I don't buy that, either. What's the real
reason? Could the original doc have made a mistake installing (which is why you've had issues and repeated corrective surgery)? I'd be asking for details.
I hear you on the swelling. My ankle still hurts pretty bad at times, and I get swelling by the end of the day. If I run my hand over my ankle at the screw incisions, it's very sensitive and still sore. I try to massage that area regularly, but it's still painful. My knee is still numb in an area about 6 inches around. It's improving, but very slowly. I can kneel on softer surfaces for short periods of time. It's coming along.
YOU WILL, TOO.
I won't waste the trip, epic. I've been to a Gathering and a couple of ESA events, and if not for one person at each of these, I would be skiing alone. Thank God for the one skier who wants to dial it down and ski with the lesser skilled.
I have empathy for lesser skilled skiers and have learned to seek them out. They need someone to ski with so that they can gain confidence and have Company. When Bears gather, and you're low man on the 'skills' pole, it's not much fun. I will have company for a while, and that's good.