I had an operation this week. Nothing serious (she says while not dwelling on the ins and outs) but it required a general anaesthetic and so was not to be taken lightly.
It was at Whipps Cross Hospital in East London. Whipps Cross has been condemned in the news recently for being “unsafe and uncaring” but my experience was positive and while I wouldn’t want to make a habit of going under the knife there (or anywhere), the staff were great and I never felt uncared for or unsafe.
I did however have a wobble when the registrar talked me through the risks. Of course the biggest risk of any operation is death and then he worked backwards. There was talk of blood and of bits falling off and out and narrowing of this and thickening of that but he said all of this was unlikely to happen so I said we should plough ahead. Then I got called into theatre.
The anaesthetist and her mate were very friendly. When I was lying on the table, they showed me the consent letter and asked if it was my signature. I said it was forged (my little joke). Then we started shooting the breeze while he put the cannula in my hand and she gave me a bit of gas. I felt like I was at a great boozy dinner party so I started telling them how much I love the NHS but then she must have pressed on the gas pump as I nodded off.
Fortunately the op seems to have gone to plan. It’s early days but I’m pretty sure I didn’t die. I came round and then my boyfriend, who was there as my official carer (and did a sterling job), came to see me. Whilst I was under, he’d gone to get a cup of tea and stumbled across a pic of an esteemed former doctor called Dick Cramp. He showed it me on his phone. That made me laugh.
So all in all it wasn’t a bad day. The next two were a bit odd though. I was incredibly emotional but I was effectively on a massive drugs comedown. I managed to write an obituary (not my own fortunately) from my sick bed the following day because, as any freelance journalist will tell you, the show must go on when you’re paid per piece.
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