My sister was chomping on mushroom balls for breakfast on the day of my surgery. My mouth that was dry minutes ago began to be filled with saliva.
“Is it good?” I asked.
“Yes,” she chuckled, “Stop torturing yourself. You know you’re not allowed to eat yet.”
“Right, 8 hours of fasting. Can’t wait to get operated on.”
“Aren’t you scared?”
“Scared of what?”
“Of the operation?”
To tell you frankly, I was not even a bit jittery that day. I know it’s weird, but I was looking forward to getting a deep sleep after sedation. I was excited to eat, and the mere thought of walking with my right foot again got me ecstatic.
OK, let’s go fast forward. I woke up in the recovery room. The nurse showed me two long and thin screws in an empty gauze pack.
“Your doctor said I should give this to you. Remembrance,” nurse smiled.
I took the pack and examined the screws closely, unbelieving how they were actually in my bones for three months. These were the screws my X-rays showed. They put my bones back in place. Then I remembered my doctor saying that I can put weight onto my right foot only when they’re unscrewed. Finally, they were unscrewed.
I hope you were there the moment I took a step with my right foot for the first time in what felt like a decade-long time. I got one crutch to give me a little aid. I didn’t wear slippers on purpose; I cherished the cold tile under my foot sole. When I placed my weight on my right foot and brought my left foot forward, oh, that was heaven. I tell you, I’d never been that ecstatic in my entire life. I didn’t care; I even can’t remember if there were people around, but I was beaming and laughing and rejoicing in the waiting area – a loony in her hospital gown. Papa watched me with – I can tell – bliss. “Thank you, Lord,” was all there was in our mouth.
That was August 28, 2019.
And it all feels like a dream now that I can walk with two legs again. That’s how easy the body forgets. I remember my professor saying, “Humans tend to forget, that’s a fact. That’s why we should always make a way to remember.” Life did that for me. Life made sure I won’t forget what I learned from the vehicle crash, from living with crutches, from the victory of the operation. It engraved those memories into my skin. It left me scars. Literal, glaring scars that remind me This is your second life plus all the lessons that truth brings. I actually don’t like the distortion these scars did in my skin, but I guess…God knows I need them.