I have never seen a waiting room so amazing. Mum and I are at the office of Dr Al Muderis for a three week progress check-up.
In the corner is a fancy looking coffee machine, a mini fridge stocked with cans of drinks and a magazine rack that would rival a newsagency. Normally in a doctor’s waiting room you are forced to flick through months old copies of New Idea and boating mags but with multiple copies of all the latest magazines, it is pure heaven for a magazine addict like me.
I can barely contain my excitement. An elderly lady in the corner eyes me with an amused look.
I was sent down for an x-ray to check on how my bone was going fusing with the implant.
Lying on the x-ray table the young girl with a spotty face peers out from behind the screen.
“Geez your hip is weird. Is that from surgery or just how it’s supposed to be?” She asks in a horrified voice.
There is nothing like being told your body is weird to ruin your day.
She comes out from behind the screen and pokes and prods my hip to set it up for the next x-ray.
“Wow I’m surprised you actually have a pretty good range of movement in your hip considering how it is,” she says.
I then hear her talking to another girl about my hip.
“Yeah she said it was like this from birth. Yeah strange I know,” I hear her whisper.
I can feel hot tears spring to my eyes but I blink them back. I will not give this girl the satisfaction of seeing me upset.
As I am getting off the table she asks me how long I have been this way.
“An amputee?” I say with raised eyebrows and pissed off tone.
She doesn’t get the hint.
“Was it an accident or a birth defect?”
Not that it is any of her business but I answer anyway hurriedly trying to get away from her and her nosy questions.
Dr Al Muderis puts the x-rays on the screen and makes some impressed sounding noises.
He points out the new bone growth around the implant and I can’t believe how much there is after just three weeks.
It’s incredible really.
He seems chuffed at my excitement.
He takes the dressing off my stump and examines the wound.
“You have healed very nicely,” he says approvingly.
“You have a beautiful stump.”
I can’t help but smile. No one has ever said this about my leg.
He comments that he could have made it a little shorter but it shouldn’t affect my function or walking. When he first saw his handiwork he said it was a perfect length but the next time he mentioned it might be a little long. Hearing him say this again makes me a little uneasy but I try and not let it get to me.
Then comes the bombshell.
“I have been speaking to Stephan and we think it will be best if you don’t walk until the New Year.”
My heart sinks.
“You’ll still have the stage two surgery on the 10th of December but then you’ll just do the weight bearing exercises and wait until January to be fitted with the leg,” he says.
My mind is like a monkey swinging from thought to thought.
Nothing had ever been said about this before. I will need more time off work, will they even give it to me.
I had thought I would have a new leg for Christmas but it will have to wait to the New Year. New Year, new leg I suppose.
He explains that because my part is unique and combined with the uncertainty of what will happen with my hip they want the to go slower with the rehab process with me.
Disappointment weighs heavy upon me like a lead cloak but I don’t have much choice. I have come this far and done this much it would be foolish to try to rush the process.
The silver lining is at least now I will be able to rehab with Ali and Daniel.
He also mentions again about my hip and the fact that I might get some pain when I start to walk. He explains that it might hurt at first and then as the muscles strengthen and get used to working the pain might settle down. If it flares up again then he will perform a hip replacement.
I am somewhat relieved, as I had worried that the moment I took my first step I would experience searing pain in my hip. He seems to think this won’t be the case. However, I am still a little nervous.
My mind is overloaded as we leave and I feel overwhelmed and out of my depth. Once again I think I have underestimated just how huge this operation and whole process is.