Two weeks ago the surgeons cleared my spine of broken bone and stabilised
the vertebrae with titanium rods and screws. They also decompressed my
spinal cord. They did not find out if I will get any feeling or movement
back below my belly button. They couldn’t.   But I knew that before the
surgery.

I don’t think I really wrote the truth in my last blog about how scared I
was before the operation; I was petrified. Maybe it was the massive doses of
morphine since the accident, maybe my fear was the same as everyone else’s
fear as they go to theatre. I don’t know. But, the risk of bleeding to death
or waking up with my arms paralysed, as well as my legs, consumed me. Like
so many worries, it didn’t happen – the four-hour procedure went as planned.

Since then I have endured days of demoralising pain, vomiting, an
unidentified infection, endless drugs, blood transfusions and fluid running
into me through needles in my wrists. When my wrists ran out of available
veins they used my ankles.  I was in some dark places in my head; I am not
sure if I have ever experienced as tough a week as last week. Spirit close
to breaking point, I tried, without success, to write this blog.

But today I emerge from the haze and I know this is going to be a very long
race. And I don’t know where the finish line is or what the prize is. The
last couple of weeks were a test.  Now running through my head is the great
polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s family motto: – By Endurance We
Conquer.