Oh bugger. I looked down at the blood on the floor dripping from my leg. It wouldn’t stop and I was naked. Panicked I stood momentarily paralyzed, like a rabbit caught in headlights, unsure of what my next move should be.
It was late and I was about to have my shower. As per usual I had removed my dressing to wash the wound only to have some of the fibres from the gauze dressing become stuck steadfas. I tugged and a piece of skin ripped with it along with another piece of skin on the other side. Then came the blood.
I had just undressed so I was naked standing in the bathroom, not the ideal position to be in to call the nurse.
Right, maybe just wash it in the shower?
The shower floor looked like the scene of a massacre.
I was starting to feel a little woozy.
Oh great, I am going to faint in the shower and the nurses are going to find me butt naked in a pool of my own blood. Not ideal.
While I managed to stay conscious, the shower didn’t help to curb the blood flow.
I was starting to really panic. All this time I had kept the wound healthy, clean and it had healed quite well. And now, at this crucial stage it was not the time for things to fall apart.
I dressed and holding a washer to curb the blood I called the nurse.
She came in and looked at the wound with a mystified look. I don’t think she had seen this surgery up close.
She brought me some saline and instructed me to wash it with and hopefully the blood would stop. Thankfully it did.
Phew, crisis averted. And no one had to see me naked.
That was last night, but this morning when I took the dressing off to shower the bleeding started again.
I found Chris sitting at the nurses’ station and he along with a nurse came to inspect the wound to ensure there was nothing suss going on that might get in the way of cyborg walking school.
Thankfully I was given the all clear and told to change the type of dressing I was using.
This morning Fiona was paying us a visit to check our legs and how we were walking. I was a little nervous as our last interaction at my gait analysis wasn’t the most positive and I had the strong impression she didn’t like me.
“Remember what we talked about, about not going too hard too fast,” she says fixing me with a steely look during our chat.
I nodded like a naughty child.
Somehow it came up that I walked a little without crutches or the bars. She was horrified. Her eyes widened.
“This is not what I want to hear, there should be no walking without aids, don’t give me a heart attack.”
Hmm, probably best not to tell her I nearly fell yesterday.
She did some work with Ali and then Daniel.
She then came up to say goodbye.
“Don’t you want to see me walk?” I ask surprised.
“Ok yeah, I’ll take a look.”
As I walk up and down the corridor I can hear her and Chris discussing me in hushed tones. It doesn’t sound too good.
I catch their eyes.
“We’re just talking about you, not too you,” Fiona says.
“You know how this works.”
I can hear her commenting on how slow I am going and tells me not to be so precious and go at a faster pace.
I wish I could, I really do. My fast pace is not likely to break any speed limits.
But it’s not about being the fastest right?
Right before she leaves she says, “you’re looking really good.”
Maybe she likes me after all.
The lowdown on my walking is this, I am not weight shifting properly at all both when I walk and when I stand due to the lack of muscles in my right side as well as the bad habits I have developed from walking with my old leg for the past 25 years. We are really going to need to work on building up the muscle strength and control in my right glute and hip. And by we I mean me.
I can walk much smoother with this leg already and I can manage but I want to master it and actually walk properly. That is the whole point of this surgery after all. It’s just going to take an almighty amount of work. There is so much to think about with each step. Turn the foot out, shift the weight over, clench the butt cheek and step. Then repeat.
For the afternoon session Mum is here. It’s the first time she has seen me on the leg. She is impressed. Already she can see the improvements in my gait to how I used to walk. Oh Mum if only you knew how far I still have to go.
As I work through the exercises there is the slightest improvement. In the one where I have to lay on my stomach and lift my leg, today I can lift it off the bed whereas yesterday I couldn’t raise it all.
A river cuts through a rock not through it’s power but its persistence after all.
And right now persistence is my best friend.