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  • mattreid49


My idea for this blog post was to pay gratitude to the NHS and everyone that makes the machine work. This is a big part of the story, but also I’ve had a fascinating experience where I got properly legless and had a great time.

I've heard many things about the NHS over the years, never had a great deal of experience with serious injury so I hadn't really been exposed to the process. But I have always felt an overarching comfort with doing whatever I wanted, because I'm sure if something goes wrong I can be fixed. Don't worry hospitals are free here.

Everyone I encountered at Sheffield Northern General Hospital was super helpful, caring and I felt safe the whole time I was in. No matter what you think about the NHS as a whole, it is populated by people who just want to help in any way they can. Receptionists to surgeons, everyone works hard for you to get better. Thank you all (you will probably never read this but I’m putting it out there nonetheless).

Now, call me weird, but I loved the experience of being operated on. Bear with me, because I understand it sounds stupid, but let me tell you where the fear vs curiosity comes in. When the anaesthetist came in and gave me my options, he made it very clear that due to my circumstances it made no difference whether i get a general anaesthetic (fully knocked out) or get a spinal block (awake, no feeling in the legs, experiencing everything). He also explains that in general the better, safer option is the spinal block. So, I’m shitting myself about having a needle in my back, and being awake for the surgery, what if i feel stuff? What if I hear noises I don't really want to hear? What if it’s like a ride that I want to get off but I’m already locked into the seat? Fear stemming from childhood where I got on a fairground ride that I didn’t know I was going to hate, and couldn’t get off because why the fuck would they stop a ride for just 1 crying child?

What do you choose in this situation? I’m not much of an adrenaline junkie, in the sense that I like to be in control of the stupid shit I get up to, and like to be fairly within my capabilities. But this was completely alien to me. I of course trusted them more than I would trust myself to do achilles tendon surgery, but I still felt weird about the whole thing. Then I had a lightbulb moment. I thought ‘Fuck It’, which is my thought process for difficult decisions. Do the scary thing, all the best stuff is on the other side of that fear.

So spinal block it is, and it was FUCKING FASCINATING. Like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. Full disclosure, the needle in the back was rank, good to be scared about that. But the doctors didn’t let me see it, and they kept me talking throughout, and maybe they were being polite, but it seemed like we were all having a lovely time. Not being able to feel or move your legs is weird AF. Having someone pull on your Achilles tendon, which subsequently moves your entire body, but not feeling anything, is weird AF. Having the consultant Anaesthetist tell you it's one of his favourite operations to be in, and draw you the diagram of how it's done on his scrubs, awesome.

I almost missed all of it because I was close to wimping out and just waking up to a fixed leg. My mum always used to say to me ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. Which I have just googled and is a book by Susan Jeffers, and I will be buying this book imminently. Personally I believe life is about experiences, and having stories to tell, helping others and creating unexpected moments of happiness.

If you’re scared of doing something but there’s a chance you make enrich your life, learn something, or just experience something you haven’t before. Just say ‘Fuck It’ and go do that shit.

If you’re reading this, I love you. I hope it’s interesting enough to come back for #5

If you want to see an animation of how the surgery works, there's one here ( ) and its cool!

See ya suckas

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