February 17, 2015
I had a strange experience in the OR. Rubin, the nurse, had his back to me, futsing with something on a rolly table. Kirsten, the anesthesiologist, on my other side was also futsing with something. I was sitting up looking around the room which had lots of big equipment. I was squinting, without the support of my glasses, noticing how I felt like I was in a quiet, lonely, storage warehouse. The next moment I can’t see, I’m laying prone, I smell fresh air from outside and feel myself rolling, I believe down a hallway. “It’s all over.” someone said. “It’s over?” I asked, “Yes, it’s over”.
My immediate response was deep, gentle relief. I tried to open my eyes as the open window passed far too quickly but more importantly, I treasured that feeling of gentle relief close in my heart. I’ve referred to that feeling many times now. It’s like a soft exhalation which has no ending. It is salvation.
After my eyes opened, after the wave of nausea passed, after I enjoyed the taste of a couple dry, saltine crackers, I was handed a white plastic bucket, the kind you would expect to hold potato salad. The nurse said, “Here’s your hardware.” This was the moment of truth… just how bad was it? I pulled off the lid and I was triumphant! Ha Ha! Life has got to be better now! After walking on those blasted screws for 17 months, life has just got to be better! Now I have ten, one inch holes in my heel to fill up with soft, spongy bone. What a blessing it is to walk on the earth with forgiving, living bone. Bodies are amazing amazing constructs. They are built perfectly for making contact with and moving through the physical world. What a blessing to be in a metal free body!