In the interest of blogging, I decided to book myself in for a little operation. Nothing too drastic but fun enough for my little blog. On hindsight I should have gone river rafting.
The conversation with the consultant went something like this:
I will make an incision from here to here.
I really don’t want to know.
I will then insert this piece of mesh.
Please don’t tell me anymore.
Then I will stitch you here, here and ….
At that point he produced some coloured markers and drew lines and little dots for the stitches on my tummy.
Doctor, you really don’t need to tell me, because I will be asleep through the operation and I don’t do pain or enjoy hearing about the pain you are going to inflict on me.
The day of the operation arrived quicker than I had hoped, a mere four weeks after the consultant had drawn squiggly lines on my tummy, I found myself sitting on the edge of a hospital bed with a hospital gown made of tissue paper and not a single nurse who looked like Jennifer Androne from the publicity photo. If I wasn’t so scared I might have complained.
Fourteen years ago in the UK I had an operation on my nose and throat in a vain attempt to stop me snoring (I still snore) In that hospital they knocked me out before I entered the operating theatre, very civilised. This time they wheeled me into the actual theatre while I was still awake, the anaesthetist started ripping the tissue gown so he could attached wires and tubes to me, my heart rate went up another notch or two. Pretty soon I was nude and all I could do was helplessly watch nurses and orderlies waltz in and out and stare at the naked scared Englishman.
Pecora Nera, your heart rate is a little high. Hmm so would yours be if you were me.
My consultant walked in and asked me to sit on the side of the bed and lower my chin to my chest whilst pretending to hug a woman. I will admit it took me a couple of minutes to translate and understand his bizarre request.
Sorry doctor but why?
Because I need to give you an epidural.
No, I must be asleep.
You can sleep if you wish.
Had I not been naked and attached by wires to various machines I would have walked out. Seriously, I did contemplate walking back to the ward. Meanwhile the heart rate monitor was peaking off the charts.
I actually didn’t feel the epidural, and as I laid down it was really strange, my legs felt really heavy and I couldn’t move my toes.
He stuck a pin in my toe, can you feel this?
Good. He then pinched my leg. Can you feel this?
No doctor I can’t, but you are not operating on my feet or legs, I pinched my tummy, you are operating here and I sure as hell can feel this.
That was the last thing I remember, apparently they decided it was far easier to just gas me and get it over with, either that or I fainted.
I came round just as he was knotting the stitches and admiring his work.
Mrs Sensible was waiting for me on the ward. She helped me pee in a bottle and I decided I had had enough of life and went to sleep.
Later that evening I asked one of the
dragons nurses how I was supposed to visit the toilet, (I was attached to a drip which unfortunately didn’t contain grappa)
She said and I quote. “fai pipi nel pappagallo”
Pee in the parrot!!
Everyone knows pipi is pee and I know pappagallo is parrot because I teach animal vocabulary in the schools.
I repeated “pipi in pappagallo??
She produced a bed pan, PIPI IN PAPPAGALLO!!
Who knew parrots were also bedpans!
At about two in the morning, I had the urgent desire to pee in a parrot. It took me 10 minutes to pull myself into a sitting position on the side of the bed and another 5 minutes to find and grab the parrot by its neck. Just as I was ready, I watched in horror as my pants slipped down to my ankles and as I tried to save them they slid onto the floor. Well good bye pants….
Laying back down was really hard, whatever I attempted hurt. I did consider just sitting where I was until the nice orderly came on duty. But I was not sure the sight of a naked man perched on the side of the bed, holding a parrot by its neck would impress her.
Why didn’t I ring for the night nurse? I didn’t want to disturb her reading.
Italy is renown for its exquisite food, let me tell you, their hospitals are not.
Day one they gave me a small bowl of brodo, which is minestrone without any vegetables or bits floating in it.
Day two they produced brodo and a side dish of mashed potatoes.
I understand the reason for this diet, patients are always very keen to go home to a slice of pizza.
So thank you for the E-mail asking what I thought of Italian hospitals. Does anyone have any other bright ideas?