The bottom of the mountain

62 days since injury
Day of surgery

Today I had the surgery. The first thing I remember when waking is the nurse saying, “Everything was a success”.

The meaning of the words didn’t quite register at the time.

Coming back to consciousness after anaesthesia is a strange thing. After a previous surgery, my first memory was of trying to jump out of bed and start running.

This time, I was much calmer and felt a deep happiness forming as I started to understand what the nurse had said.

The Results of the Surgery

I saw my surgeon shortly after coming around, and he explained everything that had been done to me. In summary:

  • The ACL was replaced successfully with a one-stage revision using a quad tendon graft.
  • The medial meniscus posterior horn was repaired.
  • The lateral meniscus posterior horn root was repaired and fixed back in place.
  • The lateral meniscus body radial tear was repaired.

I had the presence of mind to ask Mr Barkatali about the general state of my knee joint, and everything is healthy with no signs of degeneration or arthritis.

It was the best result I could hope for, with only a few cautious words about the meniscus repair being extensive. We will know if that repair is fully successful after 2 or 3 months.

Keeping Notes

Throughout my recovery, I have been jotting down some notes and thoughts in a little black book.

After the surgery, I wrote:

Felt very relaxed, happy, and appreciative after surgery. Senses heightened, food tastes great, and this cup of tea is incredible.

A big weight lifted.

Excerpt taken from my note book, written straight after surgery.

I do remember that cup of tea, and it really was incredible. It was steaming hot and just as I like it; brewed strong with a generous helping of milk.

Writing is like therapy to me. It helps me process my thoughts and gives me some time to reflect.

If you are going through a similar challenge, I recommend giving it a try. Don’t hold back or critique your writing. Let it all out even if it sounds childish, amateur, dull, or self-indulgent.

You don’t have to show anyone else, and your future self will surely get a kick out of rereading it.

A Ride Home

Sandra flew in from Germany to pick me up from the hospital and help me at home for a week.

Before this injury, we had planned to take our first steps in moving to Spain together. We managed to spend a month out there and will continue our journey in January.

It was a cold day in Manchester. I felt the sharp air as I was wheeled out to Sandra and the waiting car.

“Mejórate pronto” = Get Well Soon, and I am deeply hoping this comes true.

But, no matter what happens, I am reminded in these moments that I have so much to be grateful for… and that I can handle whatever is ahead of me.

The Journey Starts Here

The weight has been lifted, but I am now at the bottom of the mountain. With a few small crutch-assisted steps, I have now started the climb.

It will be a long time before I reach the top of this mountain. There is a chance I won’t get to the summit.

Some days, it won’t be fun. Some days, it will be painful, and some days, I may want to give up altogether. But I have promised myself that I will do my best to enjoy the journey.

I will respect the process and try to find the positives where I can. I will give myself credit for trying, I will push a bit harder when I want to stop, and I will allow myself to feel the good and the bad fully.

Now, I keep climbing.

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