I was filling medical history papers yesterday and had to list all the operations I’ve ever had.
Every time I write ’1996: knee’ a flood of memories come back. All pretty much unpleasant. A lot surrounding my scalpel-happy surgeon.
That knee operation is probably the one time in my life when I was in the most physical pain, and it kept on giving: being attached to a bottle via my leg for 3 days, blood-thinning injections for 2 weeks (and those happen in your belly – and they’re bad!), crutches for 6 months.
So, what about lifting legs? Well, when I went back to my surgeon after a month, he took my leg (which had not bent in a month), and bent it. In less than 30 seconds. Aw aw aw aw AW – come on! And when it was bent over the edge of the table, he looked at me and said ‘Now, lift it back up’.
I tried – it didn’t work. So I looked down and I realised my leg looked different: as in, no longer with any muscles to lift itself with. A melted leg.
When I had figured it out, I looked back up at him: ‘You don’t have muscle anymore see! So you can’t lift it back up.’ He wasn’t sparing me the self-evident humour he was obviously sensing. And all this time I was barely managing not to pass out from the pain.
Lift my leg, right? Tell you what: he was lucky I couldn’t do it. Because I can’t think of anyone I wanted to kick in the face more than him. Then, and 13 years later – just as much.
(I posted this image before, here – but it’s prettier than an image of a splint. Or my scar for that matter!)