You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well sometimes it comes true.
After yesterday’s opener in what I had intended might be a gritty, blow by blow, series of reports from the front line by a gentleman of a certain vintage – plainly one a little beyond the first flush of youth – as he underwent a hip replacement operation, things did not quite go to plan.
My original goal had been to give an insider’s view of a medical episode that might one day befall more of us that you might think as we journey upon the well-worn path towards the great secure residential home in the sky. There’s no better way of disarming fears and myths than to talk about what might to some people be awkward subjects or indeed ones they would prefer not to confront.
Not that I intended to confront anyone. I take a similar view to placing myself in the hands of the medics that (it seems to me) the average dog takes of a visit to his local vet.
You know you’re going there to be prodded and poked immediately from your owners’ demeanour and the way first thing in the morning they’re being rather more polite yet firm in their commands and explanation of what is on the schedule today.
At the journey’s end and you’re let out of the back door of the car, you can instantly smell veterinary medical spirit in the street. No amount of dragging your paws or planting them fore-square on the ground and trying to resist being dragged towards the building by your lead and/or collar is going to make the slightest difference. A form of passive stupor overwhelms you and finally you let yourself be lifted onto the table so that he (the vet) can fiddle around with your undercarrisge, shove his finger up your bum and play around with you mouth and teeth.
And when you get home your owners are going to trick you into eating some dreadful pill or another by stuffing it into a small square of meat or perhaps a piece of bread and cheese.
In other words – cutting straight to the point I am seeking to make – everything yesterday went virtually as smooth as clockwork from start to finish.
i arrived at the hospital some ten minutes late and was sent straight up to the second floor where the pre-op nerve centre is situated. I was curtly informed that I was second the queue for surgery.
Furthermore, the first was already halfway through his operation so please would I get undressed, undergo a question and answer session, have blood taken for tests, sign a consent form, listen to a list of all the terrible things that could go wrong between now and when I was subsequently let out, then get immediately back on the bed – whereupon I would be wheeled into the anaesthetic room .. and from there straight onto the butchery slab.
The next I remember was waking up in the recovery room. An hour after that – my lower half completely devoid of any feeling – I was whisked down to my ward where it took me another seven and a half hours for that state to rectify itself, in the meantime having my ‘obs’ done by the nurse approximately every 30 minutes.
And that was that.