I was given a midday admission for my op. So instead of staying overnight at a friends close to the hospital I decided to stay in my own bed and get the train in the morning. This worked well, having something to do to use the time between 7am (when I couldn’t eat) and arrival was far better for my psyche than just waiting around.
The train was heaving, full of pretty young things on their way to Reading festival. It made me remember my own trip there and the stories I have from it…..good times!
Opposite me was a lad probably about 25. Very agitated and clearly not on his way to Reading. I was picking up some very edgy vibes from him and when he declared he’d just been released from Portland jail, ‘I got 6 years but I did 3’ I felt like playing my conversation Trump card by declaring I was on my way to get my vagina removed.
I was overcome by a feeling of life’s rich tapestry. Everyone with their own story to tell, to create, to live. Corners to turn, choices to take. I can’t explain it very well, but that journey was the best thing I could of done that morning.
Into the admission suite, 4th time now, and you recognise people. Its a little surreal. They had ‘smooth radio’ playing. There really is bugger all else to do than sit there and wait. You can’t nip out for a coffee, I certainly don’t have the concentration to read, there’s no wifi/4g, so you just have to sit.
3 songs that stood out. Don’t Worry – Bob Marley , Something inside so strong – Labi Siffre and You’re so vain – Carole King. The last makes me snort embarrassingly, and have to explain to a guy a few seats up that my op is to remove something called vain and I’m finding it all a bit bonkers. Poor bloke just nods, and goes back to his own head, waiting for his own op, dealing with his own shit.
The wait, which I think was about 3.5 hours is peppered with chats with various medics. Anaesthetist was same as my first big op. He reassures me that heart will not be an issue. I ask what will happen if I have a heart attack on the table, and he says ‘we’ll deal with it’. Nurse goes through the ticky list. ‘Any chance you could be pregnant?’ ‘No’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes I’ve had a radical hysterectomy’ ‘Well you can’t argue with that’ ‘No’. Very irritating. She was pretty kind though, discloses she’s had a mastectomy, I think to show a little solidarity. Gives me some drugs.
Jane and Nick come to talk to me, I tell them about how much the ‘young one’ had upset me the day before. They get it. They will pass on my feedback. I’ll add my own at a later date. They ask if I’m sure, I tell them I am, we talk about my reasoning for not having the reconstruction, they agree with my thinking. There’s not a lot else anyone can say.
finalky get called into room to change into gown. When that happens you know you are almost on your way. They can’t find my consent form, I assure them I signed it yesterday. They will need me to sign another but has to be in the presence of a doctor. I offer to take it down to theatre with me! Gets found right at back of file, get my stockings on and good to go.