I sit in the slightly too cold room, curtains drawn and a tall lamp lit behind me. The dog is curled up tightly on a cushion to my right and a clock ticks quietly on the piano. I have just put a spare jumper over my exposed legs (yes I am still in shorts despite the near freezing temperatures outside) in an attempt to warm up rather cool fingers.
This day has been haunted by thoughts of my operation tomorrow. It was there when I woke up this morning. It was there when my wife explained to me that she wouldn’t really be there for me tomorrow. It was there when I was asked how I was on a scale of one to ten when my recorder buddies met up. It was there when I had my blood pressure checked at the GP surgery. It was there when I walked around the supermarket this afternoon. It was there when my friend phoned to say what time they were picking me up in the morning to take me to hospital.
And it is here, as I sit down to write something to appear as tomorrow’s post. I have just reviewed my day, and my operation is the one thing that sticks in my mind. My mind seems quite able to ignore this fact a lot of the time, but like other emotions, the fear is lurking in the background ready to ooze out given the opportunity.
When my wife told me about her busy day tomorrow and how I didn’t really feature in it, I was fine. I knew she was booked to be in Edinburgh but I was a little surprised she was going out in the evening but I figured I would probably be half asleep anyway so it didn’t really matter. It was only after I was left alone in bed to think my thoughts that I understood why she wanted to make sure I knew what was going on. She wouldn’t be there to support me if I needed it.
Due to a cancelled appointment, I had access to the car so after dropping my wife off at work, I drove my three bass recorders round to a friend’s house. I was rather late so the other four were all seated around the dining room table drinking tea or coffee and chatting away. I made myself a mug of tea and after the usual “hellos” sat down. A tray of biscuits were moved in my direction so I helped myself to a cookie.
I was asked on a scale of one to ten (apparently some consensus had been reached on this measure) how I was feeling. I am afraid such a question is too ambiguous for me as there are different feelings going on at the same time which aren’t easily labelled or accessed off the top of my head. My predominated feeling would probably be describe as a nothingness tinged with anger. After another person had explained their eight, I plumbed for being less than five. I think this caused some confusion but nobody really followed up what I meant so I dismissed it by saying I was basically fine. The operation did come up briefly in the conversation which resulted in a thread about omeprazole.
After we had finished player my wife phone and although I missed the call I understood from the text message that she couldn’t read her email at work and required assistance. I waited until I had returned home before ringing and trying to sort out the issue, though after some time I decided I would pop in after my nurse’s appointment. I suppose you don’t get a much bigger reminder of the impending hospital visit than visiting the GP surgery the day before.
It is quite a large practice and to be honest I am not sure if I had seen the particular nurse before. As usual we chatted away about this and take so as to make sure I was properly relaxed after the first readings had been taken. Then she asked about the operation I was having tomorrow. As she asked what the procedure was, I could feel my body’s fight or flight reaction being triggered and thought that perhaps that question was a tactical error on her part. The second reading bore this out strangely enough with the result that I was be undergoing a twenty four hour assessment in a couple of weeks time. Great.
After sorting out the password issue I trundled around the supermarket picking up things from the list I had removed from the kitchen before I had left (which reminds me I didn’t get coffee pods!). One of the things I particularly like in this supermarket is their muffins filled with raspberry jam and fresh cream and because I was having the operation tomorrow I thought, why not treat myself? Just to the left of the cream cake counter I spied pecan and maple plaits reduced to half price, so then went in the basket too.
After picking up some dog food (he had to have emergency rations this morning) I wondered past the end of the ice cream aisle and remembered I promised myself plenty of the stuff to ease a potential painful throat tomorrow. Decision, decision, I eventually chose a large tub of vanilla, a smaller tub of caramel, and an event smaller tub of strawberry cheesecake (my favourite) and since the latter was on special offer, they all cost roughly the same. The shopping cost more than I expected but then there were quite a few treats after all.
I am getting picked up at 6.15am tomorrow so I need to do a few things tonight before I hit the virtual world of video games. Top of the list will be a shower followed by packing. For some reason I am going to be walking to theatre in underwear and hospital gown so slippers are recommended. That will be a new experience to look forward too. I assume I will get wheeled back. See you on the other side.
Oh and by the way, the jumper over the legs seemed to work.