A few hours later i woke up and was told that i was off to yet another hospital on the other side of the country (i was currently in Edinburgh and was destined for Glasgow). the reason for this was that the national spinal injuries ward where i kinda needed to be is in Glasgow. using a pat slide i was moved onto a stretcher cart (the ones that go in ambulances)wheeled out of the hospital sit unable to move or feel anything. because of my condition the ambulance wasn't allowed to go over 20 miles and hour so i had to get a police escort which made what would have been a 45 minute journey into a 3 hour journey staring straight up at the roof. when we finally arrived at the southern general hospital i was wheeled into the Eden Hall ward which is part of the spinal injuries ward that critical cases are placed. i was put in traction which involves a semi-circular piece of metal with spikes that screw into the sided of your head just behind your temples and a pulley system with weights hanging off the end in an attempt to pull the two vertebrae apart and fix the dislocation. this meant i couldn't move my head at all so i had to stare at the roof for ten days straight and the only source of entertainment for the first 7 days was counting the number of dots in the panels in the roof. 2326. of course i had to check my figures so i started again and i got 2326. this went on every day for a week. on the 8th day i got this thing that allowed be to look sideways without moving my head (this thing did turn every ting through 90 degrees so everything was sideways). this contraption was a vertical pole with a 90 degree bend at the top with 2 mirrors on it. i was told to guess how much this thing had cost so being the reasonably minded person i am i guessed around £50-£70. i was way off this thing had cost £2000 for what amounted to a pole and two mirrors. i know right no wonder the NHS can afford to employ any staff. i had never been so thankful to see a TV even if it was sideways. on the 11th day i went into surgery, i was once again being wheeled along in a bed, as i entered the prep room where i was hooked up to monitoring system and 3 different IV drips one for blood, one for general anesthetic and one just in case. wheeled into the operating theater and told to count to ten. i broke the record of 3 seconds and made it to 6. boom get in there. i came to 3 hours later threw up and passed out again. woke up again and stayed awake this time. went back up to the ward and lay there able to feel the plates are now in my neck. the up side to this was i could feel again, the down side was that i was in fucking agony i had been sliced open in two places one on my neck and the other on my hip for the bone graft. i asked about the process of the surgery. i was turned on my face the back of my head was shaved and a ten inch line was drawn down my neck with a scalpel and a chunk of muscle was cut out of the way so they could get to the bone unimpeded. the bit of bone that had latched onto the wrong part of the vertebrae above. the bone slipped back into place and then my hip was cut open, a small chunk of bone was cut out and grafted into my neck using bone cement to hold it in place. i was stapled up and turned back over. i ended up with 18 staples in my neck and 9 in my hip.
a mere 3 days after my operation i was in a wheel chair where i promptly threw up again (this would become a recurring theme) as it turns out lying down for the better part of 2 weeks kinda isn't good for you. i promptly returned to bed and instantly fell asleep. the reason for this is simple, if you have watch the matrix the scene where neo is lying on a medical bench type thing and is being stabbed with many many needles because his muscles had retrofused (not to sure of the spelling of that one) which means his muscles had deteriorated and become useless. well if you spend to long doing fuck all then that is what happens. unlike in the matrix there is no quick fix for this all you can go to reverse the process is exercise and to begin with you have to revert to baby training. for those of you who have children you will know kind of what i mean. i had to have someone else move my limbs as i was to week to do it myself, i couldn't even lift my arm to scratch my nose. after another week of this i was getting extremely pissed of with it. by this point i had lost 2 stone (12kg) of muscle as there was very little fat to begin with this was not particularly great and the traction had caused me to grow by 5 inches so at the age of 14 i was 6 foot 4 inches. eventually i managed to get out of bed and into a wheel chair without the unpleasant side effects. i was in the hospital gym on a daily basis and absolutely determined to walk. of course the physios weren't to happy with my habits of spending almost every waking hour in the gym. i was consuming 3500 calories a day and expending most of that in the gym. this went on for about another week until i heard those words "hes not gonna walk, hes lucky to be alive" well fuck, its not every day you set yourself the challenge of defying modern medicine. i wasn't supposed to have heard that so i didn't say anything i just kept doing what i was doing until one day i went into the gym and saw the parallel bars. (not the ones used for gymnastics, lower down ones for learning to walk again.) the words of Muhammad Ali's greatest speech rushed into my head. "I'm gonna show you how great i am". i wheeled over lined up grabbed the bars and held myself up with my feet on the ground. i have never put that much effort into a single step in my life and I've done a lot of stepping since then (spoiler I'm walking again). Ok that's one I've got one more in me. i went for it i was walking i made it all the way to the end of the bars. Shit i hadn't thought this through, i need to turn around. i stood there for a good minute or so when the same physio who said i want going to walk, walked in and saw me. ran over screaming WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING. i laughed and replied walking! she was about to help me back into my chair but i had come this far i was getting back myself. at this point the other physios walked in. it was about time for the scheduled gym session to begin. and of course the saw this stick thin boy who everyone thought should be in a chair sweating it out at the wrong end of the bars. by this time i had thought of a way back. i put all my weight (which wasn't to much but i was about as strong as a wet paper) onto my right hand and pivoted round grabbed the bar with my other hand and pivoted again and put my right hand on the other bar. i was set and i had just seen that everyone was now watching me mouths open in awe. i was on my way back 5 of the hardest and most shaky steps later i was in my chair and broken. 10 minutes later i did it again. i was on my way back. i have never seen my parents smile like that before of since they knew i shouldn't be walking as did every doctor and physio i had spoken to.
fast forward a year and a bit and i have taken up rowing have been told I'm not allowed to play rugby again. im back at school and working hard to get back on track with the work that i missed.
fast forward again. im at the Scottish rowing championships in the winners tent with a gold medal around my neck.
thats pretty much then end of my story. thanks for taking the time to read it. i hope you enjoyed it and please let me know what you think in the comments