I put the leg ready for my first Saturday physio session. The pressure on my hip is incredible. I wince. It feels like an obese sumo wrestler is sitting on my shoulders and my hip is being asked to take all the force. While my hip has been aching a fair bit this week this is a whole new sensation. It is joined by the same shooting pain up the back of my leg I experienced yesterday.
I take a few steps and I think I could push through the pain. It would be unpleasant but I could do it if I put my mind to it.
Like a thought bubble in a movie, my mind is drawn back to what Chris said yesterday.
“I need you to take it easy this weekend. Promise me tomorrow if you are still in pain you will take it easy. It’s ok if you don’t do anything in the gym with the leg on.
“Rest is just as important. Don’t feel you need to push through too much pain. I know you always used to but this is different. Take it easy.”
I sit on the bed torn.
It’s the classic situation of an angel on one shoulder telling me what I should be doing and the devil on the other telling me what I could be doing.
I want to be down in that gym walking, progressing, being one day better than yesterday. Building those muscles, taking another step towards my goal.
I bite my lip.
I know what Chris would want me to do. I know what I should really do.
It takes all my strength to ignore the devilish voice in my head whispering to me to forget the pain and I take the leg off.
As hard as it is there is a part of me that is relieved. Relieved I won’t have to push through the rather intense pain and can just relax.
Ok, let’s give this rest thing a try.
I sit on the bed and stare at the leg half disgusted that is has betrayed me and also half longingly.
Four minutes pass.
It is the longest four minutes of my life.
I know I have done the right thing but I can’t stop the vice like guilt that descends upon me. I can’t help but feel like I have failed in some way. That I am weak, that I am giving up and not doing all I could, all I should be doing to reach my goals.
Half an hour passes and the guilt intensifies. I feel a little panicky and jittery.
I text Chris and he is shocked that not only did I listen to him but I am choosing to rest.
He tells me he is impressed, this is a big step.
It does little to alleviate the guilt.
I just have to ride this out.
Dr Nario stops by for a chat during his rounds.
He asks me about my pain. Chris had noted in my file the level of pain I was in yesterday and Dr Nario is concerned. He seems a little more concerned when I tell him I didn’t put the leg on for physio this morning due to the pain in my hip and bone.
He tells me it is probably nothing too serious but he would like to organise an x-ray on Monday and will give Dr Al Muderis a call just to check a few things.
He returns with a solemn face.
“Have you already booked your flights home?” He asks.
I tell him we are driving but plan to leave on Friday.
He leans forward.
I can feel my heart quickening. I don’t like where this is going.
“It is probably nothing but given your level of pain we would like to do an x-ray to make sure there isn’t a fracture.”
A fracture? A fracture? Surely not? If there was a fracture wouldn’t I be in extreme pain? I wouldn’t be able to walk or put any weight through it at all I would imagine.
“Even if there isn’t a fracture given your level of pain we would like to keep you here till next weekend just to make sure everything is ok. We don’t want you to go home and for things to get worse or something like a fracture happen,” he said.
I nod nervously.
Thoughts push and shove their way through my mind like frantic shoppers on Boxing Day.
What will this mean for work? I need to be back in a week. If it is a fracture how will this set me back? What will it mean for physio on Monday? Will my parents still be able to have the time off to take me home?
I can feel the panic rising as he tells me they will look at the x-ray and let me know on Monday.
He gets up to go, leaving me alone with the aftermath of the bombshell. I curl up in a ball on the couch in my room and take a few deep breaths.
No use panicking, not just yet, not until I know for certain what is going on.
I text Chris the update and he calls me immediately.
He doesn’t think it could be a fracture. He agrees I would be in more pain if it was.
“Unless it was a small one,” he adds.
But he continues.
“But I’ve been thinking back over everything we have done in the past few days and there is nothing that could have caused a fracture. A fracture would have to be from a particular incident and there hasn’t been one.”
This is comforting. The doctors are likely just being overly cautious which I suppose is a good thing.
He tells me to try and relax, rest up and to keep my chin up and stay positive.
Like so much of this journey I am learning I really just have to breathe, take the set-backs, roadblocks and delays in my stride. Trust in the process and know it will all work out in the end. Like Dev Patel says in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright, then it is not yet the end.”
There is no point rushing this process, it is too important and I have come too far to rush out of here before everything is right.
I do need to be back at work but I also need my bone to be ok. I need it to be ready to tackle everyday life and be as strong as it can be.
The worst is just the waiting for the x-ray on Monday. Then all will be revealed.
Resting and waiting, this is going to be a struggle.