New Body

It is during my morning shower that the tears come. I have just seen my new body in the full length mirror for the first time.  While I know that this going to improve my life I can’t help but feel uneasy eyeing my new leg. Frankly I am a little disgusted by my body.

My leg feels heavy and uncomfortable.

The metal piece and the wound is both fascinating and amazing and slightly creepy.

- Heavy machinery

– Heavy machinery

I don’t know if it compares at all but perhaps this is how pregnant women view their new shapes as they swell in size.

It is going to take some getting used to.

I’m over this hospital business already. I am sick of sitting around in nighties and feeling trapped and having no freedom nor independence.

It’s such a stark contrast to last time.

I have been told I will start weight loading tomorrow. And while I am nervous how it will feel I am an impatient child who just wants it now.

I want to get back into exercise and I want to eat food that doesn’t consist of potato or starchy items.

My stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable. Last time I didn’t eat for three days but this time I have been able to eat normally. I worry that I will gain weight on this carb fest diet and lifestyle of sitting around.

Dad is coming to visit me today and as I sit in the chair with a cloud heavy with bad mood circling above me, I don’t want him to come.  I feel teary and vulnerable. I want to stew in this grumpiness by myself; I don’t want him to see me like this.

But like the sun peeking through the dark clouds, his visit is the perfect antidote.

He takes me for a spin in the wheelchair to the café downstairs where we sip chai and chat and peruse magazines.

Sitting in a normal chair hurts less then before. Dad thinks it might be as before the metal rod was pushing tight against my skin but know that the wound is open the pressure has been released.

My dressing needs to be changed twice a day and since I am only the second person to have had this operation at this hospital only one nurse knows what to do.

He is horrified when he sees the simple bandage the nurses from the upstairs ward have wrapped around my leg and he winces when he sees the fabric has stuck slightly to my skin.

He holds both a morning and afternoon session for the nurses to come in and watch how the dressing is to be changed. I feel like I am on display at lecture. It’s only new surgery so I don’t mind. I would rather them get it right, the last thing I want is an infection.

It is an intricate process which has to be completed with sterile forceps.

Despite the previous day’s conversation with Dr Chow, a plan for my release is locked down. I will stay her for the weight loading and be released next Wednesday. Six days feels like a lifetime.

The stump loader arrives for me to begin weight loading. Nat and another physio, Jenny come to fit it. It looks like a giant crutch tip or the end of a pirate’s peg leg.

“I look like a pirate,” I exclaim as it is placed on. And I do.

They both burst out laughing.

“Sorry we shouldn’t laugh,” Nat says between giggles.

“At least you can laugh about it,” Jenny adds.

The stump loader fits over the piece of metal that sticks out of my leg and screws in with an Alan key. I am mechanical like a robot.

They push and wiggle but it doesn’t quite fit.

As they fumble about pushing and pulling, it feels like wiggling a loose tooth. It feels awkward and uncomfortable in my bone. I can feel the metal grinding against each other, much like when my hip ground together when doing the exercises the first physio gave me.

Eventually they determine with perplexed looks that it simply doesn’t fit.

I worry the wrong size part has been attached to me.

They send for a new part. It doesn’t fit.

My heart sinks.

Someone from Orthodynamics, the company who manufacture both the rod in my leg and the stump loaders will be over tomorrow to take a look.

My leg feels tired and achy afterwards and I am a little uneasy how it will feel actually weight loading.

I have so many questions for Dr Al Muderis but he doesn’t stop by tonight. Again I will just have to have patience.

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