On the 24th of March 2021 a specialist anaesthetic doctor was placing a spinal block and an epidural in my back. Slowly the nerves in my legs that had been causing so much pain were switching off, the pain in my hip was dulling. The doctors helped me lay down and then they placed an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth. My eyes closed and with them so did a whole chapter and of my life.
When I came around, I woke up with a new scar that will tell the story of the Avascular Necrosis in my left hip, of the year in bed I was forced to endure because of the pain that it caused me. Of the pain flares that put me in hospital, that made me physically sick because the pain was just that bad.
But that isn’t the only story it will tell. It will tell a story of endurance, of discovering a strength I didn’t know I had. It will tell the story of how the love of your family and friends can carry you through the hardest of times. It will remind me that no situation is so deep and dark that there isn’t a light switch somewhere, just waiting for you to flip it on and watch life as it turns on a dime.
I also woke up with a brand new hip, surrounded by pain nurses and doctors and thanks to the epidural and spinal block I felt no pain at all. For the first time in two and a half years I was pain free, if only for a moment. It was pure bliss.
But it wasn’t just my body that felt relieved of the pain I’d been battling for the past two and a half years. My shoulders suddenly felt lighter, my mind felt less clouded, my heart felt like it could start to beat again and I could start feel something I hadn’t felt in a long time: excited about being alive.
The day after surgery I was able to stand (with help from two physios) and bare weight on my left leg through my hip. After three days of the epidural, we switched to a pain pump and I eventually graduated from that to just my regular pain medications.
I am now at home recovering and building my stamina up, but I’m on my feet and I’m feeling stronger and stronger everyday. This surgery marked the end of a hard few years and the beginning of a new normal.
At long bloody last.