The Op That Never Was

Friday was the day I was supposed to have the right side (as opposed to the wrong side) of my thyroid removed. I had a call from The Prof’s secretary to book me in on a cancellation that she had, so at fairly short notice, we had to organise all the things that need organising. Childcare for Jake, care for me and Jake after, time off for Neil so he could come with me to the hospital. But as well as that, organising future events based on me having my op on a certain date. And we did it. It was all sorted. I went to the hospital as instructed on Friday morning at 7.30 am. I got called through to admissions about 20 minutes later. By 8.30am I was in my gown, dressing gown and slippers.

We were crammed in like sardines and there was nowhere for any privacy what so ever. The nurse came and sat down next to me to start going through my form. Trying to be discreet, but failing miserably. When she passes the form to you, points to the bit where is says “Date of last LMP” and says “When was that?” it’s pretty obvious what she is asking, so now the whole of the room knows when it was. As do I of all the other ladies in there. I also know that one of the lady’s was in for a boob job after having a tummy tuck last year because she lost 6 stone.

I started chatting to the lady who was also having half her thyroid removed that day and trying to put her at ease because she was nervous. The 12-year-old anaesthetist then came and spoke to me (behind a curtain, but still not private) and asked about my history, the state of my veins etc. Then The Prof came to see me and got me to sign my consent form. It actually transpires that he didn’t get me to sign mine, but the other lady’s. He was unable to give me an estimate as to what time I’d go in and said that he was on his own and didn’t have a registrar with him that day. A little odd, I thought, but not impossible.

So we waited. And waited. Neil left me at around 10am to come home and work. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Then 1220 came, and a woman who didn’t introduce herself came to ask if she could have a word with the other lady waiting with me. She came back at around 1230 not looking happy. She had been told her op was cancelled. Apparently there was a shortage of theatre staff and because the anaesthetist was on call that evening, they weren’t able to do all the operations. Two were being done, and two were being cancelled. I’m still sat there not knowing what’s happening with me. The miserable nurse (who looks like she is chewing a wasp and has brown leathery skin) comes in and looks at me, sensing that I’m not happy.

“Are you alright?”

“Well, I’m just waiting to hear what’s happening with my surgery”

“Oh, no, don’t worry, yours is a different consultant”

“Urm, no it’s not, we’re both under the same one”

“Oh, what’s your name?”

“Roz Barnwell”

“Oh, yes. Your’s has been cancelled, she’s coming to see you now.”

At 1245 the unidentified woman came in to the room “I need to speak to Roz Barnwell”

“Yes, that’s me and I’m not impressed!”

Cue apologies and promises of it being rearranged and it being rearranged to suit me, and yes I know you’ve had to arrange child care, sorry to inconvenience you blah blah blah.

I told them not to bother and that if the surgery wasn’t important enough to do that day, it wasn’t important enough to do at all, but she is still getting his secretary to contact me.

It’s people’s lives they are messing with. It’s not just about Friday, and this weekend, it puts everything back weeks or months until my surgery happens and then any repercussions after that.

I still haven’t decided what to do. I don’t want it done. I know that much. Who wants any surgery done? I guess I’ll wait and see what date she offers me when she calls. And if I do have it done, I certainly won’t accept being treated the way I was on Friday. I will get into my gown once I know they are on their way down to fetch me, and I will insist on a private consultation with and medical people who need to speak to me.

So, there we have it. The wonderful new purpose-built hospital in all it’s glory.

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3 responses to “The Op That Never Was

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