There is a pit of excitement in my belly when I wake.
Today is the day. Today I am getting out. I can almost taste the freedom.
It might be my impending release or the lowering of my medications but I feel the best I have all week.
I do my last weight loading session with Nat and at the end she gives me a big hug and urges me to come back and visit when I am walking. When she says this I can’t help but think of the Robin Klein book, Came Back To Show You I Could Fly. I may not be flying but I imagine I will feel as if I am once that leg is attached.
Nurses continually buzz in and out of my room and I find myself growing increasingly frustrated with their interruptions.
Only a few more hours, only a few more hours.
One nurse asks me how I lost my leg. When I tell her I was amputated at 14 months I brace myself ready for her to tell me that I must be used to it.
Instead for the first time she seems to understand that having one leg your whole life is just as challenging as losing it in a an accident.
“Wow this is going to make such a huge difference for you then,” she says excitedly.
“You must be so thrilled.”
Dr Chow seems to think I should only stay weight loading at 10kg until I get to rehab. This is not what the physios have said and my heart sinks. That would mean an extra two weeks in rehab and away from work and my life back home and that is the last thing I want and I tell her so.
She checks my bone scan.
“You’re actually not as osteoporotic as we thought,” she says with an approving look.
I didn’t know this was a concern but am relieved all the same.
“Your bone density is only a fraction less than an average girl’s your age.”
I feel like I have just received some great marks for a test I had thought I had flunked. This is surprising but fantastic news. It also means I have her blessing to continue to increase my weight loading amount until I reach 30kg and will be able to get to rehab and begin walking straight away.
Mum arrives promptly for the expected 10am discharge but by 11am we are still waiting. We both sit arms folded in my room like cross protestors. We both just desperately want to get out of here.
After all the effort the nurses went to in teaching Mum how to do the dressing they have changed their mind and want it down a different way. We have to wait for someone to come and show us this.
And then we are free.
To celebrate I kick back on the couch with an Asian salad and mineral water. After a week of hospital food, real food has never tasted so good.
Since I have moved back home I have become bizarrely anal about keeping my room tidy. The tiniest bit of mess makes me feel anxious. Getting home and seeing piles of washing on my bed and my suitcase full I freak out slightly. I feel anxious and panicked and just have to get it all put away and neat. I can’t relax until it is done.
Mum seems understanding.
“There is so much you can’t control at the moment but this you can control,” she says.
Oh god, isn’t this how obsessive compulsive disorder starts?
As I do my physio exercises I can feel the piece of metal sticking to my flesh as it moves slightly with each leg lift. It is an unsettling and uncomfortable feeling. I can feel it tilt and at a certain angle it feels ok but it’s getting to that point that is unpleasant.
The wound looks slightly weepier tonight when Mum changes the dressing. I know I shouldn’t be but I am a little repulsed. Nat had warned us that as I increased the weight loader the wound would ooze a little but still it’s a little of shock.
Another thing to get used to I suppose. But at least I am home and boy does it feel good.