Before the procedure enters its final phase the surgeon starts going over all of the dangers of going under the knife for this part. For the previous parts, mainly both of my legs, there was little to no risk since it was more like a simple replacement of bone with metal. However, since I wanted a bit more than just a replacement, the parts he used required more work in order for me to function properly.
As I continue to listen to his large list of medical terms and complex procedural methods he finally shows me exactly what the final procedure is: two microchips are to me inserted into me, one inside my chest and the other along my spine. They’re quite small in size, each one being no bigger than the usual micro SD card that goes inside mobile devices.
“The first chip will be placed inside your thoracic cavity to help your heart adjust to the new, lowered blood flow to your legs. And the other will be placed spinal cavity, near the top right by your cervical nerves. Having it placed there will allow the chip to come into contact with the electrical currents from your brain and allow you to control your new legs. It’s almost like a radio tower sending signals to nearby receivers.”
I keep asking questions to make sure everything is crystal clear, “So, how will it work? Will I have to consciously think about walking in order for the implant to work? Or will they just go like normal legs?”
“Just act like you were born with them,” the surgeon replies, putting on a new pair of surgical latex gloves. “Your muscle tissue will heal around the implants, so you may feel some tension for a few days, but that’s to be expected.”
Even though I was prepared to hear about all of these new implants and how they’ll work, I could feel my nerves going into overdrive; my hands are getting moist with cold sweats, my heartbeat surges and I could feel the blood rushing through my body, and my thighs are tensing up almost, locking me in place. I need to see this through to the end.
The cold sensation of the table rushes down my spine as I lie back down. Above me the light becomes eclipsed when the surgeon leans over me. Even though he’s a good foot away from me I could hear the small, mechanical eye rolling around in his head, observing me. I wonder if my legs will sound like that when this is all over.
“I’m ready, Doc,” I say.
He replies with a nod and pulls out another liquid-filled needle, most likely the same stuff used to put me under before. A small, clear droplet falls onto my cheek.
Here we go.