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Learning How to Walk Again, Again

March 2006-September 2008

By Rosie J. SargentPublished 5 months ago 5 min read
Extremely old photo.I am wearing splints in these. This man we are cuddling here meant so much to me in my life, and sadly he isn't here today. Always thinking of you AntMan 1983-2021.

Bright white lights burned my eyes, while my ears slowly adjusted to the sound of regular beeps. My mouth was unnaturally dry, my throat was hurting. All I wanted at that moment was my mum. I couldn't feel my legs, but I could feel the tubes they were putting in me. I said little on that operating table. I just kept asking for my mum.

The more I gained consciousness, the more I grew uncomfortable, and yet still had no sensation in my legs. Just numbness. I just kept asking for my mum as a sense of panic set in. She had been there before when they were putting me to sleep. I was so confused. I'm sure it was only minutes before she came through those big white doors that swing both ways, but as a child of eight, almost nine, minutes felt like hours.

I didn't know how long it would be before I got to go home, return to school, and learn to walk again. I became at one with the hospital ward I stayed in and felt in some strange way, like I belonged somewhere. It was nine days before my ninth birthday I had the op, and as I was desperately waiting to go home despite feeling like I belonged.

A lovely lady who had a child in the bed across from me brought me a big bag of birthday gifts. I don't remember her name, but she had a warm smile, glasses and a mousey short bob with a block fringe. In the bag there was a pair of die, which I still have in a little box to this day. I will never forget this.

Natalie Bond on Pexels

Once home, I had a birthday party in my bed, I still dressed my best for it. Sparkly top, black, nothings changed, accompanied by a purple mid-skater skirt, that was a favourite of mine. Accessorized with a matching headband of course. I was most certainly party ready. I just remember my large family cramped into a small bedroom in a small house. Sitting around my bed, actually talking to each other and getting along. This was the first time in my memory I saw my mum and dad in the same room as one another that lasted for more than five minutes.

One thing I couldn't wait to do was to give my legs a well good itch. The casts covered both my legs from hips to toes. I really wanted to scratch and scratch, and I had to wait two weeks to do so. When they did finally come off, I was sad. I could itch, yes, but my pale frail legs, where now covered in ten red-purple scars. Most had faded quickly to white except four, especially the ones just above my knees. I have metal hips, so airports are always amusing and only three out of four of my quad muscles. As such, you will never see me in a short dress, and if you ever do just by chance, it's a very hot day.

It wasn't long before the physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions began. I would have to be hooked into a harshness and lowered into a warm, specialised pool. The idea was that if I could walk in water first, then on land it would make the recovery easier. The problem was, I just wanted to swim, for some reason I had a knack for it. I had pretty strong arms after learning how to do wheelies in my purple wheelchair, so swimming was something I really enjoyed. As well as the wheelies and races with the nurses who were on night shift.

The physiotherapy was something I have had since I can remember, only this increased to multiple sessions a day and using a zimmer frame just to build my strength up. It is as they say, one step at a time, and with each day I would take another. All in all it took eighteen months, I don't remember each individual day, but I remember my books I would read, the stories I would right and still own. The Doctor Who episodes that made me feel like a child, a child that could do anything if I truly believed it. So cheers David Tennant you gave me my childhood.

Elite Episode and I had this as my wallpaper when I had to take my mac in for a repair at the Apple Store. I hope they liked it.

I was the first in the U.K to have this surgery, and now thousands of others have since followed in my small petite footsteps. Yet just before I started secondary school, I underwent another operation that straighten my left foot; this one was much smaller and was a common procedure. Recovery only took four months, and the night I decided I wanted to try and walk once more, was the evening of The Pride of Andover Awards (2008).

I won the award of courage, gifted to me by Dame Esther Ranson. She came and spoke to me afterwards while we ate salmon and cream cheese sandwiches. I made sure to stand straight and as tall as my little wobbly legs could make me. I was walking again, again. When I saw my great nana bud, I couldn't wait to tell her, my pen pal. I oddly told her in a busy Morrisons, her face glowed like I had never seen, she looked very happy, and well I got a nice big bag of sweets. I miss her a lot. I miss her letters too.

Strangly, I miss this time in my life because it made me who I am today. I see people for what they are, people. Not what they look like or how many followers they have. I would never exchange my disability for an able-body for this very reason, it makes me me, and nothing on this damn earth will ever change that. Don't get me wrong I live my life in pain, and I am off-balance most days, yet here I am standing, walking, when I was told by the time I was twenty I would be paralysed.

Do you know what I was doing at twenty? Travelling the world, I'm twenty-six now.

I didn't write this to be an inspiration to others, I wrote it as a reminder to myself that I am a badass. Nothing will stop me, because no matter how many times I fall on my arse, my legs never mind how weak will always bring me back up again. I will always tell my story because I want people to know what disabled people like me are truly capable of, we are fighters in a world that isn't built for us. I will never stop fighting for my life, and the impossible possbilities. Never ever, not until my last dying breath.

Sweden 2017. A country I fell in love with and plan to live there forever, one day.


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And as always;

Stay safe, stay hopeful and stay blessed! :)


About the Creator

Rosie J. Sargent

Hello, my lovelies! Welcome, I write everything from the very strange to the wonderful; daring and most certainly different. I am an avid coffee drinker and truth advocate.

Follow me on Twitter/X @rosiejsargent97

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  • Daniel Hooks5 months ago

    An important journal of your personal life and battle with your disability. You are inspiring.

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