Sunday, June 28, 2009

Worn Down Write Up

Yesterday my wake up call was a sudden, sharp feeling that someone had just stamped down hard on my stomach. I would have preferred the alarm clock as usual, but then I suppose you can’t have everything. So I shuffled off to the bathroom, pissed like a shire horse, and then set about greeting the day.

Unable to go back to sleep I flicked on the television. Because it was just past five o’clock in the morning, which meant I had just missed watching the tail end of BBC2’s block repeat of The Wire, I tuned in the News 24 channel. I may have zoned now and again as I was stretched out on the sofa, but the whole goddamed hour seemed to be about Michael Jackson. Wasn’t there anything actually important going on in the world?

I’m sure there’s some serious shit still going down in Iran. Isn’t that a far bigger deal than the death of a pop star? I can understand an unbridled surge of worldwide weeping and rending of garments for someone like Mohandas Gandhi, but a for pill-popper and possible kiddie-fiddler? Still it was entertaining to see the wailing moppets who decamped to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame set up their shrine on the star of Michael Jackson, the English-born talk show host, on Vine rather than at the proper one around the block on Hollywood Blvd. What a bunch of tools!

Anyway I hung in there until Saturday Kitchen and then this weird thing happened. The guest chefs were about the start an omelette cook-off and then the next thing I knew they were both lobbing tennis balls over a net at each other. Though it might actually have been different people now that I think about it. Obviously I was catching up on interrupted sleep but the zoning out has become an almost daily event. Maybe the heat isn’t helping. Even after chugging down more than twelve pints of water, each accompanied by a large cranberry juice chaser, I’m still spending each day bathed in sweat, feeling too weak and tired to get any proper work done let alone write anything of consequence here.

After all the fluids, it’s this lack of cognitive function that’s turning out to be the real pisser. Struggling to get an outline spruced up, on Thursday work was interrupted as I had to drag myself over to the hospital for a pre-registration urology appointment at the Preadmission Day Surgery Clinic. Expecting to be kept waiting around, before I even had the chance to stare blankly at that day’s crossword before I was called in to go through the prep for next month’s scheduled surgery. Before we went through the checklist the charge nurse gave me some literature to read which explained the procedure and the possible after effects.

Ureteroscopy is a procedure whereby a small telescope is used to look inside the tube which conveys urine from the kidney to the bladder. Samples of tissues of the bladder can sometimes be taken and small lesions can be cleared.

And for two to three days post-op I may be pissing blood. This sounded fantastic! Where do I sign up? Eager as I was, there was still her list of questions to answer. I always try to be prepared but there are always some I flunk on, so this time I made sure I knew how much alcohol I drank. So far this year the grand total is three pints of lager shandy and a glass of champagne, which shows I really need to get out more.

Just as I was feeling a little bit smug about being able to tick that particular box the charge nurse asked who was going to pick me up after the operation. Huh? Since the ureteroscopy is conducted by the Day Services Unit, their “treat ‘em and street ‘em” policy means that as soon as I start to come round from the operation I’m out the door. Obviously still groggy from the anaesthetic, until it properly wears off I’m not supposed to operate machinery, sign important documents or use public transport. So I need a responsible adult to drive me home and stay with me for the following 24 hours. So that would be....? I told her I’d get back to her on that one.

Not happy with that answer she turned into Nurse Ratched, ramming an oversized cotton bud into my nostrils. There was a reason for the nasal swab, which I can’t actually remember now, but I assumed it was because by the time this is all over they want to have jammed something into every available orifice. Then, because the monitor threw a fit every time she tried to take my blood pressure I was first sent to the Cardiology Department for an EKG and then off for another blood test, because obviously I haven’t had one for a week.

Before she was done with me, to check my current stats, she measured my height and took my weight. Even though I’m back eating food that actually tastes of something, it turns out that I’ve now lost close to three stone since this all kicked off. If this keeps up they may have to bring the operation forward otherwise, by the end of next month, there’s going to be nothing left of me to treat.


At 8:51 am, Blogger Brian Sibley said...

God, you're really going through it, aren't you? Hope things either sort themselves soon or that the NHS puts its bloody foot down and brings forward to surgery.

The nasal swabs by the way (and they might have told you) were to check that you didn't have MRSA. Not that you need anything else right now...

Wishing you well.

At 6:43 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...


Thanks for the well wishes. Things have kind of levelled off a little, which is a good thing. It looks like everything may be sorted out before they whack me on the back of the noggin with a croquet mallet and stick their probe upstream once I’m laid out. Although rather than celebrate too soon I’m taking a cautious approach.

Ah, that would make a lot of sense regarding the nasal swab. She must have said it was an MRSA check but rather than start with that and then do the test her explanation must have been concurrent with jabbing it in my nose. Obviously my brain concentrated more on the action rather than the words.


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