Surgery #3

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017.

The Breakthrough. My ankle allowed my foot to turn inside for the first time since the plaster came off. Only a slight movement inwards, but definitely inwards: and I managed to complete the full circle of ankle movement since 1st April. I had tears of joy, and tears of sadness the same day. I could hardly get any sleep during the night. I was nervous, sad, anxious, rolling around in the bed, and just could not get to sleep. Thinking of yesterday’s tragedy in Manchester… and worried about the following morning: what’s to come…

Wednesday, 24th May 2017.

Of course, I knew this day would come. I knew the pain would come. I knew they would open it again. Even though every little nerve of mine protested against the idea. I knew it must be done. Thus I tried to prepare as much as it was possible, yet I felt unprepared.

We left before 7 AM to arrive at the Hospital early among the first ones. As time was passing by, I realized I was doing all sorts of things: placing my leg here and there, peeking at my phone, getting papers out, putting them away, etc. All signs of my nervousness. I asked my father-in-law, who accompanied me, for chewing gum. I had three at once to relieve some of the stress. Apart from him, there were no familiar faces this time around, no friends, only me, and the weight of the thought of “Surgery #3”.

Waiting must be the worst part of this right? “You should not feel anything” I was told after I entered the operating room. Well, it was partly true. Waiting is not something I like to do, and true, I only felt minimal intervention during the course of “unscrewing” the Big One. The “before and after” however, was different.

After I was laid on the bed, a monitor was placed next to me where the doctor and I could both watch the procedure “live” on screen. The scar was cleaned in a rather pragmatic manner before I was told I will be receiving local anesthetics via a syringe.

That injection “before” was possibly the longest and most painful I had. It felt like ages until it went in through all the tissue until the bone, and once there, the liquid was released. The screen showed the tip of the syringe in up until my fibula. My leg was tense, I was tense, all my muscles tightened, and as it usually happens, I was told to relax… 🙂

After a minute or so I was told the syringe is now out and I should not be moving around at all until the screw is out. Then, my surgeon started unscrewing the Big One. It took quite a while to come out despite the diligent effort. Once it was completed I was told I will be now stitched back up. Now, there was no anesthetics applied on the skin; so, the “after” surprise-surprise: the 5-6 thrusts of the needle and the tightening of the thread also hurt. As I made that heard, my surgeon remarked: “I heard that already.” “That too.”

Then he finished and was gone within a second, so I could not say “goodbye”. As usual.

The nurse then informed me the leg should remain elevated today as it will be quite painful, and because of the Clexane injections: I could not take any painkillers… But, I was also told, that tomorrow, I could finally make an attempt to stand up on the leg. Lastly I was asked, whether I wanted to keep the Big One. I would not have left without.

And especially, with that tiny mark of bloodstain on it. It was personal. It was a part of me.

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