Prior to going into hospital on the 25th of January for cancer surgery, I did as much as I could to put my affairs in order. I just knew something was going to go horribly wrong. Some of the most miserable situations in my life have arisen as a result of ignoring my intuition. Having spent so many tortuous weeks in my mother’s house trying to order her affairs and find out where the money was coming from, what debts there were, which service providers, where little accounts were and so on, I was determined to leave no such mess behind me, should the worst come to pass, so I wrote it all down and told the OH and the S&H where to find the information. I had determined to do this for myself anyway; I think once you reach retirement age, or if you have dependants, this information needs to be available to anyone who will step in to run your affairs either temporarily or permanently. It isn’t morbid or gloomy to do it; on the contrary it is practical and kindly.
I had not, however, intended to do it quite yet but once I had a date for the operation and a sense of impending doom, I procrastinated no further. The one item I could not resolve was my business bank account. As I have had no fairs and therefore no income into it, it is dwindling and will eventually disappear until it turns into a debt. The bank were wonderfully unhelpful because it takes six weeks to turn a business account into a personal account. The teller was keen to assure me that the account would be frozen when the person died. ‘Me,’ I said, ‘not the person, me.’ But they couldn’t help. So that end was flapping around loose and still is because I’m not well enough to go into town and sort it out.
Otherwise, sorted, I went in, and as you know, came out again a few days later prematurely cock a hoop at having survived, like a fool. The operation had not proceeded as planned. In the anaesthetic room, various members of staff introduced themselves. Next to the anaesthetist stood as callow a youth as you could wish to meet. I enquired if he was a trainee anaesthetist. ‘Oh no,’ he averred, ‘I am a doctor student, I am probably going to be a surgeon.’ And then, as I had more pressing matters to attend to, I fell asleep.
It’s a pity you can’t do this with seriously boring people in everyday life.
The rest of the story I discovered the following day back in the ward from the nurse in attendance. I do not know if he was allowed to intubate me, which would explain a lot of what happened subsequently. I might find out when I meet the surgeon tomorrow. Anyhow, the plan to make a keyhole in me for a camera failed not just once miserably because I had adhesions; it failed three times in three different places. They made the hole, they pumped the air in, they followed it with the camera. They screwed the camera round, they shook their heads they withdrew the bloody camera. On the third attempt, before they even got as far as slicing along the old C section scar, the cocky young ‘I’m going to be doctor’ turned to the nurse with a face, she said, ‘Like a block of cheese.’ Which block of cheese fell forward onto her ample bosom going plink plank plunk down the buttons to the waistband and swoosh down her skirt to the floor where she remarked to his supine form, ‘Oh man up!’ before stepping over him.
In theatre the karma is really quite fast.
Despite all of that, I came to, minus various bits, got out of bed and walked the ward and drank water like a thirsty duck all night. Over the course of the weekend I did more of that and each day they injected me with blood thinning medication. On Sunday they showed me how to do this to myself and sent me home.
Which is where it all went horribly wrong for the second time, the saga of which I shall relate next time I feel well enough to type.