Lord of the Rings
This is the third post in the Story of my Life series which covers my life as an amputee from the very beginning. To get all the context, please do read the first two posts as well incase you haven’t already!
1. The Lottery of Birth
2. The Russian Connection
As the effects of the anaesthesia wore off, I started to regain consciousness and slowly opened my eyes. I was back in the hospital bed with my mom looking over me with a smile by my side. My leg was raised up and wrapped with plaster. But when it was time to change the dressing, that was when I got my first good look at the rings.
Each ring had few rods that went from one side of the flesh, through the bone and out the other side. The worst memories of the hospital stay were the intravenous injections. I would scream at my mom to close the door every time a nurse walked by. It didn’t matter if they were coming to the room or just walking past it. I would spend at least a week in hospital as they tried to get me to move around a little bit using a walker.
Tried taking things one step at a time
The next 8 months would teach me the true limits of pain. Or at least whatever a 7 year old could comprehend.
So for the next few months, this is pretty much how my routine was.
- Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy. And then realise that the song doesn’t come out for another 8 years at least.
- I had the immense pleasure and honour of peeing in a bottle. That would be the only thing I’d want back from that time.
- I used to brush twice a day, once in the morning and once while having a bath. Confused?
Well at the places where the rods used to enter the flesh, my dad had to use a toothbrush to clean around those areas with soap. This was done to remove the dried pus that would build up and so that the wounds wouldn’t fester.
I didn’t know how to swear back then so all that came out of my innocent little mouth was, “I hate you Daddy” and such originals like “I’ll kill you”. Yeah bath times were pretty fun.
- After bath it was putting betadine around all the wounds, less painful but still didn’t fancy it.
- Then my dad had to tighten the screws on the ring in the middle. This would literally drag the centre ring downwards by 1mm, thus moving the bone 1mm closer to meet the bone at the bottom in order to join. This was done every single day for the next 8 months.
- Part of the day was spent catching up on my studies since I couldn’t go to school. My mom used to get notes from a friend and write it all down for me. So I would only go to school to write exams.
- Other parts of the day were spent watching TV or playing the classic Super Mario Bros. I never actually managed to beat the game but my dad somehow did.
- Going to bed was pretty uncomfortable. Imagine sleeping with a bunch of thorns around your leg.
Giving off those early 2000s vibes
I had to go for weekly checkup where they would take an X-ray and check the progress of the bones.
Now I was still a hyperactive kid, or at least tried to be so I used to attempt to move around a lot. Turns out this wasn’t a very good idea. On one of the weekly visits, the doctors noticed that the bone that was being dragged down wasn’t in line with the bone below.
And so my second surgery happened.
They had to realign the bone so that they could actually meet and fall in love again. But by now you know that a lot of things in life that are meant to happen, don’t really happen.
It was almost the end of 8 months and even though the bones were closer together now, one of the bones didn’t feel the same about other. He was friend-zoned by the other bone, so yeah that didn’t work out too well.
It was time for the third surgery where they removed the rings and all that was left were two disjoint bones along with scars that would never go away.
Some scars are tiny and will likely never be seen, Some scars are ugly, you could never be a beauty queen, Some scars are cool and make you look tough, Some scars are large, a reminder of life so rough.
But the good thing is that all scars are wounds that have healed.
When someone close to you dies, they leave behind a painful wound. But overtime it will heal. The memories of them are the scars that you carry. It’s a testament to the suffering you managed to overcome.
I look at my scars as a reminder of times that were dark, of pain that was unbearable and of people that were there for me. It makes me believe that there is no problem too great that cannot be overcome.
Whatever sufferings in life that you maybe going through, it too shall pass and all that will come out of it is a stronger person with a bunch of scars that make you look like a badass.
The scarring wouldn’t end there for me as the doctors had more tricks up their sleeve left to try out. But until then,
See ya soon!