Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Today was one that I wasn't looking forward to, a visit to the hospital to meet the cheerful surgeon who put my arm back together eleven months ago. Last time we met at the start of June he cheerfully told me that I would need another operation as for whatever reason my bones were refusing to join back together. Being told that it was a race against time to get bone growth before metal fatigue set in and my arm fell apart was not the news I wanted. As there was nothing I could do about it I got on with life on the farm doing all the jobs I could do, forever attempting jobs I shouldn't do and generally driving my wife potty by not looking after the poorly limb.
So convinced were we that I was facing a serious operation that we saved annual leave, conned friends to come over and help do lots of jobs before winter sets in and arranged our calendar to be clear for the inevitable hospital admission. Friends and work colleagues thought they would help lift my flagging morale as the hospital appointment loomed nearer with, oooh remember how happy you were to come back to work and then turned green and nearly died, bet your glad that's all over. I on the other hand having erased from my memory the hideous MRSA related infection a nurse who looked like a refugee from the Local Shop in Royston Vassey gave me by pulling out the fifty or so metal staples holding the wound together with a staple puller she had been carrying around in her uniform pocket since the great plague began to have second thoughts about surrendering to the surgical team without a least a fight this time round.
So whilst I waited for the wizard with the scalpel to finish examining the latest set of x rays, where yet again I had to patiently explain to the nice radiographer that no I wasn't being awkward, that really was as straight as my arm could go and no it wont twist to that angle to make it easier to get a nice picture and yes there is a lot of metal in there isn't there conversations with nurses, who now know my name without consulting my notes as they have seen me so many times, I planned how I would barricade the door with the upturned examination couch and refuse further surgery until scientists from Porton Down came and chemically cleansed anyone before they lay a surgical glove on my delicate skin. I was distracted by seeing a friend at the hospital, seems he was there to discuss surgery of a delicate nature, lots of you knows and face pulling as he oh so casually tried to tell the receptionist through the back of his hand which clinic he was booked into without talking too loudly thus alerting the rest of the queue to the reason for his visit. I have posted a picture of Crispy our ram showing his purse to remind my friend what he is losing, soon. I am nothing if not sympathetic, and anyway its only a small operation, particularly in his case.
The door burst open, every time this maniac scalpel jockey appears you expect a fanfare, the surgeon grinned, how are we, we are fine, hows the arm a question asked as he lifts it up and waves bits of it around, as I answer he is in a world of his own, my comments bear no relevance to his as he squeezes bends and prods my damaged limb. Eventually he feels we have had enough bedside banter and ushers Tracey and I to the next room where he excitedly shows the latest view of the internal goings on of my left arm. Its healing, the thick black line of the main break is now a fuzzy mark. He was pleased. I was euphoric.
Three months time I have to go back and the metal can be removed, this will then help the movement. Three months? That's about as long as its going to take my friend to learn to walk properly after the swellings gone down.