So, I had the date for my surgery and I religiously followed all the instructions. I set my alarm so that I could have tea and toast before 7.30 am and only drank water until 11.00am. Little did I know how long it would be before I ate and drank again! And I also did a ceremonial throwing of my bras into the bin ( apart from the one I was wearing of course).
On arrival at the hospital I was fitted with an appropriate wrist band and an additional shiny red one, as a warning that after surgery my left arm should not be used for blood pressure checks or needles of any type due to the removal of my lymph nodes. I tried to convince myself that it looked like a festival wristband, but I don’t think I will be keeping this one on when I leave! The nurse advised that the only thing left to do was to remove my many ear piercings. This was because they may injure my surgeon or his team…I do love my spikes!
I sat and waited, and was visited at various times by medical staff including the anaesthetist who told me that I would have a morphine pump, so that I could administer my own pain relief post surgery. He must have seen a particular look on my face as he hurriedly advised me that I couldn’t give myself so much as to become addicted!. The next visitor was my surgeon who wrote some intriguing hieroglyphics on my breasts with a marker pen.
Now I sat and waited, and waited, and waited. I did some Soduko, read for a while, tried not to look at the clock (without success) and was also aware of a whispered discussion about theatre delays coming from the nurses room. Finally at 4pm my surgeon and anaesthetist came into my room and told me that unfortunately my surgery would not go ahead that day. The reason for this was an emergency that had occurred, which had taken the operating team so long to resolve that there was not enough theatre time for me.
I felt a strange mix of emotions, but the strongest was disappointment, closely followed by concern for the emergency patient, which put my disappointment in perspective. The nursing staff were great and knowing how long I had been fasting rapidly produced two cups of sweet tea and practically force fed me sandwiches!
I then realised that I was 20 miles away from home and had no money as all the hospital paperwork had said to bring no valuables! Luckily I had taken an old “clockwork” Nokia and a spare sim card with me which meant I could ring someone to come and get me. But as everyone assumed I was “under the knife” no-one seemed to want to answer a call from an unknown number!
The nurse then told me there was a bus that could take me for free if I had my hospital letter…but clever me had not wanted to have my house key and a letter with my address on in a bag that may be stolen…so no letter.
Luckily I managed to contact my mum, who rang a friend, who cancelled a book club meeting and drove all the way to pick me up.
I have learnt my lesson and will take with me some way of paying for a journey home next time, But I am hoping it will be a case of “bad rehearsal, great show” and on my next scheduled date for surgery all will go according to plan!
P.S Once home I luckily remembered to take my bras out of the bin.
P.P.S After three showers I still have the hieroglyphs on my breasts…an interesting look!