A Fellow Cyborg

Earlier in the week Nicky had told me with excitement that in the room adjacent to me was another girl who had had the same operation as me on the same day. She was number 27. In a strange coincidence she was from Brisbane and was also a journalist. She was little older than me with a family but I was filled with excitement.

Throughout the week I had enquired how she was going and how she had gone with getting her dressing off, or if she had been as sick as me. It was great to get feedback about someone who was going through the same thing and for me to measure my progress on.

The first few days we had been too unwell to meet but now we were both able to get up and crutch about I had asked the nurse if she was well enough for a visitor.

- Ali and I

– Ali and I

I was nervous to finally meet Ali, but I shouldn’t have worried

Sitting up in bed, there was a sparkle in her eyes as we chatted.

It was so good to be able to chat to someone who completely understood what I was going through, who was experiencing the same things and filled with the same thoughts and worries.

It was interesting to hear her experiences on the ketamine which were polar opposite to mine. While I had felt nothing but love, she had experienced anger and agitation. Later looking up the drug it explained that it can produce both reactions. She even went on strike at one point, refusing to take her drugs, or eat and drink until the nurses let her stop using the bed pan and go to the real toilet.

Ali had lost her leg 18 months ago in a car accident and had found wearing a prosthetic leg just too uncomfortable.  She had found out about this operation about a year ago from a friend and like any good journalist had thoroughly researched both the procedure, Dr Al Muderis and spoken to others who had had the surgery. It struck me how little research I myself had done. I think I was simply just so keep to have it done that I hadn’t looked into it much more than checking Dr Al Muderis credentials.

We bonded over our love of shopping and fashion and our excitement to be able to wear pants and jeans and look good in them.

She was a warm and generous person, offering to share the contacts of her physio and prosthetist in Brisbane and offering for me to stay with her if I ever needed to.

It was great having her in hospital with me. We would crutch to each other’s room for a chat and cup of tea.

On the night I told her I would be leaving I could see the disappointment in her face, not just that I was leaving but that she was forced to stay longer as she wasn’t coping as well on the drugs.

But I know I have a friend for life in her.


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