Surprise

Like many nights before I can’t sleep. But this time it is different. It’s not down to being uncomfortable or anxious but rather I am too excited to sleep. I simply can’t wait to get up and get my butt down to the gym and improve at cyborg walking school. I want another hit of small victories, like a shot of caffeine they give me a burst of energy, a shot of adrenalin and a glimpse of how the future might look once I break in this wild brumby of a leg.

There’s a knock at my door and the male nurse on duty pokes his head in.

“Sorry to bother you but would you mind please turning down your music a little. It’s a little early,” he says.

Oh right, perhaps Nicki Minaj isn’t appropriate to be blasting at 7am. Last night I got scolded for getting my own towels from the linen cupboard labeled ‘staff only’. I am a troublesome patient.

Like every morning when I enter the gym Chris asks if I have had any pain.

Normally I simply give a shrug and say ‘kind of’ and leave it at that. This frustrates him to no end. Partly it is because there hasn’t been anything too significant to report, partly it is I’m not one to complain and also I am hesitant to say if there is pain as that might mean less time in the gym and well, we can’t have that can we?

But this morning I am bursting with energy and the truth about my weekend visit with pain comes tumbling out. It’s the first time I have been truly honest about it all.

He seems shocked that I am sharing so much and in so much detail when normally my lips are sealed. I over hear him commenting in amazement about this to one of the other physios.

I ask shyly about using the cross-trainer and bike today.

He shakes his head.

I start to protest but only half-heartily as I have almost given up on being able to see those pieces of equipment again.

“Nicole is not available today anyway,” he adds and that is that.

Ali and I have matching hair today. It must be a cyborg thing. We chat about our respective weekends and I’m reminded again how good it is to have her in here with me.

During the weekend I had been referred to the blog of Mark O’Leary, an amputee how had ITAP surgery in 2008. From what I can see it is almost identical to what I have had done but just a slight variation in the implant in the bone. He is amazing. He climbs proper mountains, like legit mountains and not only rides a bike but completes in endurance cycling events. He is the epitome of everything I want to achieve and is a shining beacon, a glimpse of just what my future could bring.  It excites me more than a Twihard awaiting the final installment of Breaking Dawn. Everything, every goal I had hoped to achieve is possible.

I tell Chris about it.

“Turns out my goals aren’t pipe dreams,” I say with enthusiasm.

He seems unfazed.

“I never thought they were,” he says matter of factly.

“I knew you would be capable of doing it, that’s why I didn’t dismiss them when you first told me.

“I have no doubt you will do it. You have the motivation.”

I am so grateful for this, the fact he never told me my dreams were impossible. Unlike all the doctors, he never told me I was being unrealistic or foolish or that my goals were silly.

I tell him so but I don’t think he understands just how much it means to me.

“The problem I have with is getting you to hold back and not do it all too soon,” he says with a smile.

I assure him there is no chance of that at the moment.

“Have you seen how slow I am walking?”

When our session is up he asks me about what I am having for lunch. It strikes me as odd but I don’t think much more about it. He then instructs me to bring my allen key to the next session as he wants to look at something with my leg.

Curious I ask what, but he is cagy.

He meets me upstairs and he leads me down the other ward towards the other gym.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Does it matter?” He shoots back.

Is he taking me where I think he is? Has my cardio ban been lifted? I dare not hope in case it is ripped away from me leaving me reeling in disappointment.

We get to the gym.

“This is just cruel bringing me down here when I can’t use it,” I say.

He gestures to the equipment.

“Go for it, you have just over an hour.”

Like an over excited toddler I can feel the grin spread across my face.

I had thought he wanted to adjust my leg, not take it off for this.

My grin gets wider.

This is quite possibly the best surprise ever. How very, very sneaky.

“I have to keep some things up my sleeve,” he says.

I hope he knows how grateful I am.

The session goes through his lunch break and here he is sitting here with me so I can exercise.

Best physio ever.

Afterwards I am on a high. I feel great, like I have had 16 coffees. The rush is incredible. This is why I work-out. Oh endorphins how I have missed you.

I promise him I will rest in the afternoon and I try as best I can to uphold this. I really do try. But sitting on my bed is like sitting on an ant’s nest, I simply can’t sit still. I sneak in a few cheeky weights before our next physio session. I rest in-between each rep, that counts as rest right?

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