The entire Christmas period is so VERY busy that so much gets put to the side while we get through each event, food, family etc etc..
So it was not until Boxing Day that I felt the frame on my leg was ‘different’. No idea if it had started earlier than this but we were about to head out, so I really didn’t have time to focus on it. I pushed my thoughts to the side. I woke the following day to the realisation we had to pack up and head home. I was really busy and in the back of my mind my leg was there still feeling different. Wrong even.
It wasn’t until I was having a coffee mid-morning that I truly noticed the frame was actually pushing into the back of my knee. The area in front of my knee that was previously only about a centimetre from my knee had doubled in size. Oh no.. my frame had moved.
Nothing was really painful it just felt wrong. I tried to tell myself it would be ok. I got home unpacked and I woke feeling a little sore across my shin.
My intuition screamed at me, ‘I TOLD YOU!’
Something really was not right.. my gut had been telling me and it wasn’t that I didn’t believe my own feelings, it was more that I hadn’t wanted to listen.
Funny how things work out though, Wednesday Ivan had an extraordinary clinic over his Christmas break so I knew he would be around. I decided to send an email and a picture to see what he thought and to reaffirm my inner optimist that everything would be fine. I mentioned that I didn’t care about the discomfort as I only have a month to go.. I was just not sure if this was going to affect the bone growth/shape.
I received a call within the hour from Ivan, he was concerned. I needed to get X-rays straight away and send them through to him. Thursday would be his last day before he went on well-deserved leave for a week or so. He mentioned that once he had seen the X-ray I might need to be ready to head down to see him.
I hung up from the call and my inner optimist felt crushed. I lost my cool.. I cried (and cried).
Why?!!!! After seven months of living with the frame the thought that I might not be having it removed on 31 January (the date I am so eagerly hanging onto) bought constant tears to my eyes.
I jumped straight to the very worst case scenario – I’m in for more surgery Thursday and there goes the brace removal. I went to have my X-ray and as I was waiting the beautiful Corinne (who works there) asked me how my Christmas had been. I responded with tears. It was best I was just left not to talk – at all. So I sniffled quietly to myself.
There was a lot of head talk. ‘Why me’ ‘What have I done to make this happen’ ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I had to stop myself and just breath. Either way this is not the end of the world.
It is however a real case of premature celebration. Here I have been celebrating the impending removal of my frame – completely forgetting that I haven’t yet crossed the finish line.
The X-rays were emailed through to Ivan and whilst it was none of the worst case scenarios he had envisaged he needed to view my leg. So as Mark and the girls had gone to Inskip, Mum and I headed to Brisbane bright and early this morning.
Ivan is an amazing Doctor but also an incredibly good man. He saw me first up and confirmed my feeling that the bone had in fact moved along with the frame. This was most likely as a result of my lack of screw tightening of late.. the screws have loosened and the frame has moved up the pin.
Ivan explained, ‘I think we need to manually adjust the frame so that it’s not resting on the back of your knee. It’s for your comfort’.
At this point I asked Mum to leave the room – neither of us needed a mother’s nervous energy in the room.
I hopped up on the bed in the surgery. Initially there was a few moments of quiet.
‘Everything ok?’, I asked.
‘Yes fine. It’s just not something I’ve done with someone awake before. It might hurt a bit’.
I wanted this done come hell or high water. ‘I’ll be right. Just do it.’I encouraged.
So Ivan put some struts in place and loosened the main screws he then pushed the pin further into the bone. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I did involuntarily call out ‘MOTHER F@CKER‘ (not directed at Ivan of course – just the pain).. this was going to hurt.
However we soon realised that I had a part to play in this task – I needed to tighten the screws while he pushed the pins into my leg with both hands – so I just had to pull myself together.
It seems I am not a bad surgical assistant. Not great either – as I did go the wrong way with the screw at one point (only until it was falling off the thread!) after that moment though I think I found my surgical mojo.
I’m sure Ivan was delighted with my help as I tried desperately to whisper the swear words popping into my mouth!
So there you go. My lessons this week
1. Listen to your gut. It is always right.
2. Carry a spanner and keep your screws tight.
3. MOTHER F@CKER through gritted teeth is the equivalent of medication.
4. A good cry soothes the soul, just remember to stop.
5. Wait until you cross the line before pop the champers!