Some will know that I didn’t have the operation on Friday after all, but for posterity I thought I ought to record that fact! I had been prepared (sounds like a turkey, and in some ways the analogy is apt) and was sitting with MrsJKH waiting when Mr K (my Cardiac Surgeon) walked towards the bed. This meant one of two things – personal greeting service, or … as transpired … an apology for not being able to do the operation as planned. We’d got an inkling that there might have been a possibility of a cancellation from the Dr D (the Registrar) the night before when he shared with us that they were doing a “tricky” operation first and said “you wouldn’t want us to start on you late on a Friday afternoon now, would you?”. “No I wouldn’t”, I said. So the idea of a postponement was in my mind already.
What actually happened was not that however. They were not able to do the planned operation on the person who had the first theatre slot as the complications were even greater than they had thought. In the meantime another case had come in as an emergency and as my operation was an “elective”, “we” had to give way. You really can’t complain about that. It’s one of the downsides, or upsides more like it, of having a free-at-the-point-of-use National Health Service. In another country, or culture, that person would not have had access to the best treatment possible, they would have had to make-do with whatever was available for them. Moreover, they might not have been able to afford the treatment, or would have been crippled for evermore by the bills. So “I love the NHS” for that sort of reason.
We bumped into Dr G (my Cardiologist), as we left. He said … “we don’t have a world-class health service anymore, we have world-class surgeons, but not world-class facilities; anywhere else in the world, France, US, Germany, would have a stand-by facility and you wouldn’t have been bumped out of your place.” He was right from one point-of-view, but that only applies to the situation where payment follows the patient, and where there is NOT universal health provision. As I’ve said elsewhere, I elected for surgery after being discovered to have a condition that would not have been picked-up from “normal” monitoring. Even, if I’d been offered the treadmill test, would I have opted for it if all the other indications and the healthy way I felt had been tempered by the fact that I’d have had to pay for it. I think not!
So I’ll take my delay happily and cheerfully. Indeed trying to “always look on the bright side of life” leads me to think I’ve had a first-class dress rehearsal. I’ve had a chance to see what’s ahead of me; get to know the ropes, the people, the routines, the place; which means that when I go in again tomorrow, I’ll walk in confidently not like the nervous “new boy” but the seasoned “veteran” of previous visits (which manifestly I am not).
Friday afternoon, and most of yesterday was OK. The adrenalin took me through and I stayed very positive. As Saturday wore on (after doing some gardening and pond clearing) and I came down from the loft (where I’ve been trying to sort out iTunes and our CD collection) the “positive waves” had sort of slipped, and MrsJKH was able to see the actual moment when it happened. I now have to pick myself up, dust myself off, give myself a strong talking to, and start all over again.
So today, more iTunes/iPhone stuff – I’ve installed PicPosterous but I’m not sure I’ll be sending videos from the Intensive Care Unit (or the ward even). I’m going to look at Posterous a bit more and how it can best be integrated into this blog. I have to think how I’m going to use the diharrison.com domain sometime in the future with WordPress and … whatever. So plenty to keep my mind active and away from thinking too much of what’s ahead of me tomorrow and then of course Tuesday.
If all goes well and I have the operation on Tuesday, it will be a good birthday present. Now that’s positive thinking isn’t it!
Update: Two days later (13th October, my birthday) …
I really, really thought that my last post might be the last one on the subject of postponed operations. I was feeling so positive about today. Birthday, rejuvinated heart and all that. Cruel disappointment really. However flip side was that I was able to experience my birthday rather than “sleep” through it, and also was able to take a walk from Monknash to Marcross on the Glamorgan coast and breath in some fresh sea air.
Now must gee myself up for Thursday/Friday … keep your fingers crossed everyone.