Back to surgery

Back to surgery

By Joe Beaumont

Returning to surgery, navigating challenges with resilience and determination.

2014 was a year of pushing myself. You all may be by now getting accustomed to tolerating my crazy ideas and seeing them turn into reality.

No matter how much I tried I could not grow cartilage and heal dead bone and that was the reason for having a surgery free year last year despite it all.

Perhaps my maddest plan to date was to try and heal myself before surgical intervention which happens to be inevitable.

Having suffered devastating news about my arm and how it wasn't going to get better with or without surgery,I knew that at least there was something to be done to stop some amount of pain elsewhere.

What I have is traumatic arthritis along the ankle joint, left over from the bone infection that led to the collapse of my lower leg and several limb reconstruction operations and two external fixators.

In order to stop the pain they need to stop the movement in the joint.

Best case scenario is they'll screw in two bolts through my tibia and talus. Remove the dead bone and replace it with bone from my fibia. After this the joint needs to be completely immobile for up to 12 weeks and a further 12 weeks of light movement and non full weight bearing.

That's the best case, however I have to be prepared to wake up with another external fixator and if there's not enough quality bone in the fibia they'll take a graft from my hip involving more pain and longer recovery.

'You know I can't handle no cage' Bodhi Swayze

So I go in under duress and rebuke the term 'elective surgery' for if I want to walk normally once more then I have to go through with this operation and lose another 6 months to inactivity and recuperation.

Despite having to suffer many operations it is absolutely not something you just get used too!

I hate every aspect of it, from starving yourself whilst you wait to be called up, to the uncomfortable feeling of the needle going in to the back of my hand.

I enjoy life and my default setting is humour. Family bore witness to this as my life very almost ebbed away nearly 4 years ago.

Now I won't panic and I won't be scared. That only makes the whole thing worse and you feel so much more. I have to force myself to let go of all negativity because it won't change a thing. Live in the now because that's really all we have.

I will sleep in the waiting ward as I've done previously. I will be aware of gripping the sheets and spread my fingers as the say 'sharp scratch' the needle will go in regardless of my fear.

I will joke with the staff as I let go and sleep the deep sleep.

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