During this fortnight, I have had two day - case operations, the second being an emergency one, to deal with the failure of the first one. To top it all, I got a running cold and a cough.
The first surgical procedure
was planned for one day early in April, and off we went for the 120
miles drive to the hospital. Just in case there were any after-effects,
we booked into bed and breakfast not too far away from the hospital. It felt safer to do this, as we do not have the clinical expertise for my case, near home.
Everything seemed fine, and the stopover became more of a mini-break.
I was due to have stitches removed at the local G.P surgery on the Monday. However, the fates took over at the weekend, (why couldn't it have been a weekday) which, about four o' clock on a Saturday afternoon saw us racing twenty miles to the county hospital Emergency Department. There, I saw a friendly nurse.
Having done her bit of triage she went in search of a doctor, who was a sweet young lady, likely to have been in her first post-qualifying year. After carefully telling her the whole story again, she went off to make a phone call to the regional hospital out of hours specialist to get advice on what to do.
The advice given; I was to cancel the appointment with my GP, the stitches remaining in situ must not be moved. I was to wait two weeks till my own surgeon came to consult at the out-patient clinic at the county hospital. Yes - I was told, he definitely will have a clinic and the nurses will arrange for an appointment to be sent to you. I was to take some prescribed medication for the two weeks. Oops... there wasn't any in the department and the hospital pharmacy was closed. Neither the hospital nor the community had an out of hours rota. Brilliant!
The nurses eventually found medication in surgical packaging in the minor surgery room. Everyone was trying so hard for me, yet it all felt like a Hobson's choice, which, was confirmed, when the young doctor asked me what dose would I normally be prescribed for the prescription.
Starting out very early on Monday morning, we travelled 120 miles down the road, and arrived to find a very crowded specialist morning clinic at the regional hospital. My luck was in, my surgeon was there. Have you an appointment ? asked the receptionist. "No - I said -no time for that, look". Oh! and she dashed off and quickly returned, saying - he will see you.
To cut a long story short, I was triaged by the clinic nurses, who, when I thanked them for their concern, replied, 'it was an honour'. Without any hesitation, the surgeon asked me to stay overnight near the hospital so I could be fitted into his morning surgery list the next day, "to get 'it' sorted out and fixed". His secretary arranged some accommodation for us, and we rushed around town to buy a toothbrush each, toothpaste, toiletries and some nightwear.
By the way, the surgeon told me he did not take outreach clinics at our county hospital, other doctors did that.
As I was departing from the operating theatre, the doctor asked.... Would you mind returning to clinic have the stitches removed......... ( would I mind!) I'd be delighted, I said.