D-Day

I’m lacing up my shoes and preparing to head down to the gym for a cyborg walking school: the advanced class lesson when Chris enters my room, closes the door and pulls up a seat.

He asks how I am, about my pain and the events of the weekend before telling me to take a seat.

Uh oh.

I do as I am told.

“You are not going to like this,” he begins.

I can already tell I’m not.

“Dr Nario has instructed me not to let you use the leg today. Not until we know what is going on with the x-ray.”

My smile falters. I had thought I was able to do an easy session.

He shakes his head.

“I have to be tough. I don’t want to be but I have to.”

I bite my lip. I can feel the frustration coursing through my veins. I’m fairly certain there is no fracture, I am fine and this x-ray and yet another day of not walking is a waste of time.

Last week went so well and on Friday afternoon I was feeling so confident and triumphant and now I feel like I have taken two steps back. I feel the bitter flicker of failure.

Nothing is smooth sailing on this journey that is for sure.

“You’re welcome to still come down to the gym and do weights and all the other stuff just nothing with the leg,” Chris tells me.

“Is this ok?”

I nod and ask him to just give me a minute.

slow down

I take some deep breaths and flick through my inspiration cards to find something to give me that push towards positivity.

Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Trust the process.

Right, everything happens for a reason. I may not know what that is right now but I trust eventually it will be revealed to me.

I’ll do a workout in the gym, have my x-ray and hopefully be walking again by the afternoon after getting the all clear.

I can do this.

The wardsman comes to collect me for my x-ray. My fate awaits.

I chat nervously on the ride over there. It’s high-speed nervous chatter. My specialty.

As I climb down from the bed I ask the radiologist if she can see any fractures.

She shakes her head.

“No there’s nothing obvious. But we’ll have to wait to see what the report says.”

I beam. This is a good sign. I’ll be cleared in no time.

Back at rehab Chris takes a look at my numerous x-rays. Like a model’s photo shoot there are many poses to look through.

He holds the films up to the light and peers at them intently.

“There’s no fracture,” he says.

Yes! I mentally do a fist pump.

He mentions that Dr Nario had said the implant might have moved and he inspects the site of the implant and the gap between it and the bone. The gap is slightly larger in the new x-rays than in the previous ones.

“But that could just be the angle. I think it all looks fine but we’ll wait to hear what the doctor says.”

Things are looking good. Now I just have to wait.

Both Dr Nario and Dr Al Muderis are overseas so I check the time zone and am thrilled to see it’s only morning over there. Plenty of time for them to see the x-ray and give me a call with the result.

Until then though, there is no leg.

In an effort to cheer me up Chris takes me down the other gym to use the cross-trainer. I am grateful for this distraction and boost of endorphins.

Crutching down there I feel like I am missing a piece of me. I don’t feel right without the leg. It’s only been a few weeks but already it feels a part of me.

By the end of the afternoon there is still no word from the doctors.

Frustration central: population me.

Oh well, tomorrow I’m sure I will be given the all clear and I can wear the leg again and get back to mastering this walking school.

I am still in a fair bit of pain so I relent and take some painkillers. Chris has been constantly telling me to take drugs if I am in pain but until now I have been stubborn.

I am not a fan of drugs. I don’t like the idea of masking pain rather than dealing with the source of it. I am also a big believer that given the right ingredients; healthy food, exercise and sleep, the body can heal itself.

But after taking the drugs tonight I am pain free for the first time in days. Maybe Chris was right yet again. This drug business isn’t too bad.

Perhaps I am just a slow learner. Looking back in the last couple of years I have only been really sick twice. Once with a horrendous flu during which for two weeks I refused to take cold and flu tablets instead opting for vitamin C and Echinacea. But when I didn’t get any better and finally gave in and took the drugs it went away in a few days.

The same goes for earlier last year I suffered from searing stomach pain every time I ate and I let it go on for a couple of weeks thinking it would get better on it’s own. Then after constantly being reduced to tears with the daily pain I went and saw a doctor and discovered I had a stomach injection which healed within a few days with the antibiotics they prescribed.

I don’t want to admit it but maybe there really is something in this drug business after all.

Since I was supposed to be going home on Wednesday my good friend S stops by for sushi and to see me before I leave for Queensland.

I fill her in on the roadblock and the waiting game.

learn

We have been friends for more than 10 years but tonight I feel a shift in our friendship. I feel like for the first time perhaps ever I am completely open and honest with her. It wasn’t a trust thing, I love this girl to pieces but I have always kept my struggles to myself, too afraid or perhaps ashamed to share them with others. But this journey has changed me and I chat candidly about it all with her. About the changes I have made during this journey, the shifts I have felt within myself and the lessons Chris has helped me to learn.

She tells me she has noticed the change in me and has witnessed the gradual shifts for herself.

I feel closer to her than I have ever felt and I guess I have Chris to thank yet again.

The ward doctor filling in for Dr Nario interrupts our dinner to take a peek at the x-rays. He agrees there is no fracture but seems very concerned about the gap between the bone and the implant.

He doesn’t know what it means exactly but he doesn’t seem too pleased. But we have to wait to hear what Dr Al Muderis makes of it all.

Back to waiting. I sleep with my phone next to my pillow willing it ring.

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