A Cyborg No More

As my parents and The Boy left my room the night of my de-cyborging operation, I felt a twinge of sadness and a bleak and stark loneliness pierced my heart. It is always this way when the day becomes night and it becomes time for my visitors to leave. I’m usually fine after I’ve settled into my nightly routine but that first moment when the door shuts leaving me alone is like a Band-Aid being ripped off and the sense of being alone is always fresh and raw.

After they left I closed my eyes. Tubes invaded my veins. Tentacles of poison. I couldn’t turn my neck with the central line. My eyes flickered. On the back of my eyelids a movie played just for me.

My ketamine visions had never been this beautiful. Visions of flowers, of muted light and picnics and fields at dusk. Of flying and floral head wreaths. The sort of aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place in a Lana Del Rey film clip.

I lay still but in my mind I was dancing. Dressed in lace and cream I smiled at the man in front of me. I felt a surge of love as he held me close and looked into my eyes. Flowers littered the dancefloor and my hair. The light was soft and muted, yellowing in the afternoon. A Lana Del Rey film-clip starring me and my someday wedding. Bliss swirled and soared within me as the movie played out. Happy smiles, longing looks, sitting in a hotel room drinking tea and hugging, laughing with what looked like Europe out the window. A honey moon in Paris perhaps?

Despite lying a in hospital bed I felt really at peace. Full of love, at one with the universe, close to God. It felt like a supremely spiritual experience. In that moment, despite everything, I felt completely and utterly happy.

Peace flowed through my veins and the sadness and grief of the past few weeks fell away. I felt renewed, reawakened with a strength and positivity I hadn’t felt before. A determination and resolve to be a warrior not a victim and I felt ready to tackle this next hurdle.

I felt a strong calling, a voice, telling me I am on this planet to inspire people. For the previous few weeks I had felt so fragile, so weak, so uninspiring. All I had wanted to do was hide away but now I felt strong, ready to be brave and face this challenge with hope and optimism and inspire people.

I saw myself writing my book and getting it published. Doing motivational talks about resilience. And I felt happy, grateful even, for this experience. For the lessons it was and would teach me and for the opportunity and time to write my story that I might not have otherwise had.

I felt that spark of myself returning. That fire. That determination. I felt ready to be triumphant again. I thought about rehab the first time around and how good those small gains felt. How much growth I did and how I emerged triumphant and proud and I felt grateful for the chance to experience that all over again.

I lay there with a smile on my face, a fire in my heart and a hell of a lot of ketamine in my veins.

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D-Day

The day of the operation to be remove my implant I was filled with an apprehension that fizzled through every fibre of my body. In truth it had been building ever since that appointment with Munjed. Each day it silently built. I tried to lock it into a corner of my brain I wouldn’t have to look at it but now it had become too large to ignore. Like a stack of papers it had reached such a height it threatened to crush me if it fell.

I had no idea what to expect from the surgery. How much pain would there be in the days after? It did involve ripping out an implant that had integrated into my bone after all. I couldn’t help think about the implant I had seen in Munjed’s office last year that had been removed from the only other patient forced to have their implant removed. The specks of bone still lay enmeshed in the metal. Thinking about it made me shudder.

In the waiting room I made jokes with the nurses, my parents and The Boy, trying to mask the nerves that were clawing at my insides.

I desperately wanted to leave. To be anywhere but in that bed dressed in the blue gown and paper undies. If I had a leg I might have run.

As they wheeled me into theatre I desperately wanted it to be over, to be waking up on the over side.

A bright and friendly anesthetist assistant with a colourful scrub cap and bold red lips chatted to me while they prepped the needles and prepared the concoction of drugs. Her bright lipstick was the last thing I remember before the drugs rushed forward to greet me.