We are in the waiting room and watching rugby on the TV. Japan beat New Zealand! And soon my name is called.
“Sorry to keep you.”
I have filled in one questionnaire but there is an even longer one to complete with the nurse. Have I had other operations; what is my house like; will my husband help me when I get home, etc.
“Are you allergic to anything?”
“Yes, I responded very badly to an anti-sickness drug after my last operation. I would rather be sick than take it again.”
My poor brain struggled with that one. I knew what I wanted to say but the words wouldn’t come out. Also very dizzy, hot and cold and spaced out like an alien.
She checks my notes and they say ‘Reacted badly. Not to be used again.’
Lots more health questions. I look around the room and remember what it was like last time. But then I was sick, now I’m not. I am nearly back to normal and feel mostly healthy, besides the tiredness, headaches, occasional migraine and hormonal stuff.
“You are the first patient without complications I’ve had all day.”
It’s 6pm. I am her last patient today.
“At least you can get home soon.”
“Oh no, my paperwork will take me at least another hour and a half.”
Then we are sent back to the waiting room for the next nurse. I find a Gideon’s Bible and read some Galatians and Psalms. It doesn’t quite feel right as the font is different from my Bible at home, but it’s still good.
“Sorry for the wait.”
Measure my height and weight, take my blood pressure, take three vials of blood, do an MRSA swab.
“When will you get home tonight?”
“Probably about 8:30. I think I’ll get fish and chips. My husband works nights.”
“When did you start work today?”
“7:30 in the morning.”
Oh my goodness that’s a 13 hour shift! And she was still cheerful.
“Yes but it’s a vocation isn’t it?”
“Well yes, but still.”
Home time, to my parents’ to pick up the kids. This time next week my operation will be over.
God bless the NHS.