Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Good Day For A Close Shave

You may have noticed that I have recently broken with tradition and am not replying to every single comment I receive. I always felt that if someone was kind enough to go to all the trouble to comment (and in so doing make a remarkable public admission to having actually read a post of mine), the least I could do was have the courtesy to acknowledge them.  Of course, I am fortunate (?) not to have a zillion followers like a certain Affable Gay Welsh Raconteur I could mention (who acknowledges his commentators not so much with courtesy as a curtsy) so my burden is light compared to his, especially as he is a prolific poster.  And it is because I am now posting little and often that made me ask myself, why spend time replying to all the comments when any matters arising can be addressed in the next day's post?  The truth of the matter, I suspect, is that having too much time on one's hands can lead to quite an alarming lethargy.  That, coupled with ever changing goalposts and the resultant uncertainty is, I fear, starting to tell on my usual bonne humeur. To mine own ears, my repartee is beginning to sound crass.

Yesterday I went over to the Royal Free clutching my documents.  My driver told me that he had been instructed to deliver me to the surgical ward.  As usual this information, as so much of the information I was receiving lately, was at odds with my understanding.  As far as I was concerned, I was on my way to the dressings clinic where I was to allow no one, under any circumstances, to redress my wound without the presence of NB, the Lady Surgeon Registrar who would assess the viability of a skin graft.  Being a very decent chap from Jamaica, he did not argue with me (as I suspect those communist white drivers of the ambulance the other day who, returning me from the Royal Free after surgery refused to stop for a MacDonald's would have done) and accompanied me to where I wanted to go and not where some ill informed shiny arse thought I should go.

Now the appointment letter the Royal Free had given me clearly stated that NB (so written on the form) was to be present at the dressing change.  NB had been kind enough to warn me that she would be busy doing trauma so I should prepare myself for a long wait.  I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, when the receptionist informed me that my appointment was for eleven.  Eleven came and went.  A young lady, also from Jamaica, sat down next to me (because I looked normal and did not smell, she confessed to me later with charming frankness and breath-taking naivety) and we passed the time in enjoyable conversation.  She was a game girl and our chatter became unbelievably un PC and went not unnoticed but we got away with it by convincing everyone who cared to object that we were man and wife so could they kindly wind their necks in.  Janet Thomas was her name and, she wittily observed, it was fortunate that men did not take their surnames from their wives as had we been married, I would be Thomas Thomas.  You have to understand, we were very bored.  We were busy discussing the impediments to us marrying but the possibility of us voluntarily enjoying conjugal rights anyway when at 1pm my name was called and I was taken into a bay.

I was introduced to a very bemused NB who asked me to explain why her presence was considered necessary.

'Easy,' I said, 'because it isn't.'

I had no idea whose NB this was but it certainly wasn't mine.  I had been waiting four hours for the wrong NB.  Once they realised that the NB I wanted was the rather attractive slim Lady Surgeon Registrar they agreed with me that perhaps I should return to my seat and resume 'waiting mode.'  Happily, Janet was still there but I had lost the comfy chair next to her so had to sit opposite her, an extra distance that required us to raise our voices bringing even more people within shocked audible range.

At four, the Lady Surgeon Registrar arrived and the nurse, an ex exotic dancer from Malta who had worked the Far Eastern tourist spots (believe it or not, she told me.  I did), removed the dressing.

'Those muscles really do have the appearance and texture of freshly skinned duck's breasts, don't they?' I enquired of the registrar.  She and her colleague agreed my muscles looked healthy.

'You recall,' I said, 'how murky the liquid was in the vac pump reservoir last time we met?' I indicated the vac pump, 'look at it now, it resembles a fine rose and, as I am sure you will appreciate as much as a connoisseur of fine wine, colour and bouquet are good indicators of quality.'

Happily, she and her colleague concurred, my wound was good to go so scheduled me for surgery today.  Demonstrating extraordinary consideration for the mental and physical welfare of her patient, she told me not to bother coming over to the Royal Free until midday and that, by all means, I could enjoy an early breakfast.

So. I sit here, replete after my light breakfast of porridge, four slices of toast and marmalade, a bowl of cornflakes, a Twix I had bought in the hospital tuck shop on my way back yesterday, all washed down with several mugs of tea and coffee, writing this.

Sadly, the good surgeon could not tell me if there was sufficient space on my left thigh to 'harvest' enough skin for the graft but she promised she would try to keep all injury confined to the same leg.  At least she promised not to skin my arse so that's something. 

Right, I shall go and scrub up and climb into fresh waiting clothes and let you know as soon as I can how it all went.  I am hopeful she will let me take my video camera into theatre.

Toodlepip!

By the way, I wonder if the surgeons know I am weighing myself after every theatre trip?

53 comments:

  1. Another very readable post Tom. I love the story of the chats with Janet! Brilliant. I hope it all goes well for you at today's op. I looked for another " Get Well " card for you yesterday, but they were all very ordinary…not good enough for a man of your ilk! Don't think I will top the " Nil by mouth" card anyway……my best wishes for a speedy recovery. XX

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    1. You could always have a bash at drawing your own, or even finding a suitable one on the internet.

      http://coreybradshaw.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/frog-legs-jpg.jpe?w=357&h=265

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    2. Good to hear that your op went well…the link is not " clickable"..tried to enter it manually with no success!

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    3. You tried to enter it manually? Hmmn, It's not a get well card anyway, I just find it funny and it does have something to do with a medical procedure of sorts. I'll email it to you.

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    4. I had forgotten about " copy and paste", not having done it for years….I am but a mere woman who can do what I need to on the computer and nowt else unless I am taught! Poor little froggies! Hope you are having a nice day and nothing is hurting too much. I am about to walk with the dog, for over half an hour across Harpenden to our cricket club, for a couple of hours . X

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    5. They sell hours at the cricket club? Wow, whatever next!

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    6. I would send you some but I guess time is what you have plenty of at present? How are Marcia and the boys coping without you?

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  2. Have you calculated the weight of various body parts? Is that why you're weighing yourself, more than skin might go missing. It will be a fine picnic day at my house and I wish you a fine surgery day at Royal Free.

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    1. What troubles me ever so slightly about your comment, Joanne, is the rather odd reference to it being 'a fine picnic day' at your house slung into a sentence all about missing flesh...

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  3. Hope it all goes well and look forward to reading the next instalment of Tales from the Hospital Bed.

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    1. Something amusing has to happen here before we can have another instalment. Wait! It just has!

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  4. Thank God, you're human Tom, and suffer from the odd bout of bad temper. Like all of us. Hang in there! BTW, did the herrings find you in good order?

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    1. Bad temper? Moi!

      No sign of the herring yet but reception did say they received a 'We called but you were out' card from the Post Office.

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  5. Hope the procedure went well and that your donor site is not too sore. Keep the Hippo Hospital tales coming, they make me chuckle.

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    1. Yes on both counts, film at eleven...

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  6. Glad to hear you're still kicking.

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    1. Punching, I try to keep my leg still.

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  7. good luck. why are you weighing yourself?

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    1. Drama Queens need to keep their figure you know...

      ;p

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    2. Lol...............well said that woman.
      I have a fat arse... Could I donate some extra skin?

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    3. GWFW and JG - Meeeoooowww!
      Sol . You're so sweet and it's always you who asks the daft question... Daddy weighs himself after an operation, Sol my dear little Kittykins, because Daddy wants to see how much flesh they have cut away this time!

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    4. I wondered if you had been in Africa too long (or is it in south America...?) and thought they were taking organs! lol I have a very vivid imagination you know. Either that or you were checking for swabs or extra items like forceps or other objects being left in the inside you.

      Did the surgeon carve their initials in your leg? or is that only livers?

      You see, not such daft questions... I ask the questions that no one else will for fear of looking silly. I have an enquiring mind. I need to know things.

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  8. Fingers crossed that the skin graft goes well. If you need any extra skin I have plenty to spare and can send you a wobbly wedge via Fed-Ex should you require it.

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    1. Hmmn, be interesting to see Thatcherite white blood cells ganging up on Miner's DNA...

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  9. Good luck! And a good idea to weigh yourself. You never know what they might forget & leave behind.

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    1. An hole ever increasing in size is surprisingly easy to check for foreign objects...

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    1. Now keep your fingers crossed the graft takes!

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  11. Janet probably had a brother called John. You seem to be very gung-ho about these ops. I rather think I might hot-foot it to some French cottage, complete with extra large tube of Savlon.

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    1. Or maybe even a son? She did have a sense of humour.

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  12. From all the comments it sounds like it went OK. I've heard the grft site can be quite sore but perhaps it is but a flea bite after what you have endured. Fingers crossed it takes well now.

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    1. It's just a graze. I used to ride motorcycles, you want to try road rash!

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  13. Are you fortunate enough to be able to watch any Sky Sport channels for the cricket and F1 race? Oh, and good to hear all is going well.

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    1. There is a complete entertainment console in my room however I have found, through bitter experience, that watching television when unconfined can be quite enjoyable but allowing oneself to watch it as one's only recourse to beating boredom is doomed to failure and guaranteed to drive one insane with the very boredom one sought to avoid. Far better to engage in reflection, or lose oneself in a good book or pen a few words. Not to be entertained when under the influence of too much alcohol as it can induce a state of suicidal depression, now that I am teetotal I have found introspection can allow for clear thought and be quite productive.

      Besides, if I watch TV the nurses will politely leave me in peace and avoid coming in for a chat.

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  14. So, how are you? You have not posted for at least a day!, or answered my question about Marcia and your boys. Hope you are ok. X

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    1. Marcia and the boys are fine and we all miss each other terribly.

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  15. Are you weighing yourself in case they pinch a kidney?

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    1. I hadn't considered having an organ pinched or something left inside me until you lot all started mentioning it! I was weighing myself to determine how much flesh they had cut off me this time.

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  16. I wish you a swift recovery, sir.

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    1. Hello Ninja Art Person! Sorry I did not acknowledge your comment earlier, I was trying out depression for a while but have decided it's not all it's cracked up to be.

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  17. How are you Tom? We haven't heard for a bit but I expect you are a little busy recovering from your surgery. Does anyone have an update? John? IG? Anyone?

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    1. I have put an update up for you all now. To be truthful I was allowing my incarceration and this bloody repetitive infection to get me down a bit.

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  18. I am also getting a bit worried about this long silence Tom. I might have to send you another get well card! Hope you are OK. X

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    1. That's the trouble with you lot, I surprise you all with several posts over a few days then when I take a few days off, you're all upset with me! I'm a busy man lying here in hospital, there's loads of things I have to do, never a moment to myself, always someone wanting to slice me up...

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  19. Ah. I see you've commented on someone's blog today so you are alive. Good oh!

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    1. Ah, I see you surf all the unsavoury places I visit too!

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  20. Gordon Bennett, Tom. Please post something. The silence is scaryingly worrying!

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    1. You twisted my arm, it's done.

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  21. Just catching up after a couple of weeks' absence. You've really been through the grafting mill. Just glad you're okay. I used to live quite near the Royal Free so I can picture your harvested ounces right there in situ. Re the latest post.......I'd love to be able to not reply as the Welsh one does; how many people actually have the time to go back and check whether they were replied to I wonder.

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  22. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.