I finished work the other day for the next three months. Part of me is excited to actually get such a large “holiday”, part of me secretly shitting myself about the machinations of Metal Mickey and his team, just around the corner, next week! My work colleagues have gifted me a tremendous selection of aids to facilitate a fast recovery from my operation. I was lucky enough to receive a virtually never ending supply of both traditional Australian and English confectionery, along with motorcycle and car magazines. Current copies, even, so I can leave them at the hospital and other men can be wowed about cars that start with a button or key, rather than the handles of the models in the waiting room copies. Nappies, bed bath wipes, a mask to wear at night to scare the nurses (it’ll probably look better than my real face), puzzle books, colouring books, pens and crayons, wine, beer, a big flashing “P” (prostate, penis, piss, pump, take your pick) and a bell with which to ring for assistance. Plus a pen sponsored by an enema manufacturer. If anyone from work is reading, a sincere thank you to all of you for thinking about me. I like my colleagues, they are lovely people. I don’t really associate with them outside of work, but that is more rather due to distance, differences in life stages, and gender rather than anything else. It’s a bit weird asking nurses out for a coffee or a drink, when you are only one of three or four blokes in a group of 50 or 60 women. People will talk. 😉. Anyway, thanks guys, I appreciate the support. I am thankful that we are so close.
My surgery was booked for today originally, so I now have a week to get my head around it, which is actually quite nice. Anyone else in the same position, I would recommend having a bit of time before to get your head right. Not for everyone, sure. Some people clearly aren’t deep thinkers like me, they just want to get on with it. Some people just get on with it without thinking too much at all. One of our doctors told me about a bloke she saw recently who ranted non-stop about the fact that his life was essentially ruined, because he had the same operation and nothing worked down in underpants central. And she is a gastroenterologist, so fuck knows what he said to the urologist. And he was in his 70’s! So it’s true, the retired are at it like rabbits.
As I said before, I have taken some long service leave afterwards too. Sure, I would probably be OK to go back to work after my six weeks recommended sick leave. However, I wanted to:
A) make sure I didn’t mess work around, by saying I would return, and then not being able to honour my word because I needed some radiotherapy or because I had pissing problems. The officey parts of my jobs would be fine, but imagine the shame of pissing your pants if called upon to do CPR, or getting your first viagra- powered boner of the year in your theatre scrubs… Again, cancer messes with your job.
B) get my head sorted out. Other people might not understand this, but for me, showing my face in public when I have essentially been eunuch-ised, is hard, puns excused. Especially as I will have reported a virtually real-time blow by blow account on the fucking internet. Pun excused again, please. But, hey, that’s one of the purposes of the blog. Brotherhood with other sufferers. Let’s get it out in the open. Women who have had cancer surgery on their breasts surely must have similar feelings- part of the essence of your gender cast aside. My super-brave cousin in Singapore has been talking about this on her FB page. In person. On video. Not just via the written word like me.
C) my kids need a rest from it all. One of them just breaks down when I even mention it, and has no interest whatsoever in hearing any more about it. Questions like will I need a disabled permit afterwards, are heart-breaking, and offer an insight into what is happening inside their little heads. So, subject to a text book recovery, I will spend the summer with the kids and gorgeous wifey. If not it gives me plenty of time to resolve my un- fixed issues.
I might be a bit wee-y and limp, but, hey, I’ve pissed the bed before whilst being too drunk. I think I managed to blame that one on my girlfriend at the time. We went to bed both worse for wear, and when we awoke the bed was piss wet through. Obviously, my inherent stance was “that must have been you, love”. A few days later, some sort of recollection occurred, but erm, there was no going back then… So if you are reading, it was me- not you. Sorry. Ahem.
I have to say that I am not looking forward to my stay in hospital. Funny things happen in hospitals. Funny peculiar, as well as funny ha ha. Remember Holby City? It was a prime time TV nurse/doctor drama in the UK. May even still be running. In my experience, life in the hospital is not like that. More Holy Shitty, than Holby City. Let me illustrate. One day in the 1990’s, when I was a ward nurse, I was happily skipping through the bays, handing out drugs like the Croydon massive at a free rave, doing little to dispute the widely held belief that all male nurses were gay, when one elderly lady beckoned me over to her bed. Glassy eyed, and slightly touched with delirium, she gestured at me to come closer. Leaning over, to hear her gravelly whisper, her sparse beard rubbing against my cheek, I was blissfully unaware of the imminent carnage she had planned. Without a further word…
CLANG! Faster than Jackie Chan, the fucker swung a metal bed pan in a scything arc that struck my right temple and sent me reeling across her table, plastic cups bouncing down the ward, Werthers Original wrappers flying like confetti. I stumbled over to the other side of the bay, tangled myself in another patients bed linen, putting my hand squarely on a clandestine, Malteser sized, partially dehydrated, nugget of shite, as my colleagues arrived to locate the source of the commotion. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings and regain my composure, as a small egg began to appear on my head. Old ladies hit hard. Old shits are not hard enough.
Later on in that very same shift, I, for some reason felt the need to pick up a commode chair rather than wheeling it. The arm rests fit into the seat frame via a slot, and as I tugged on it, the arm became loose and came off in my hand. A trickle of brown fluid seeped down my trouser leg. It was a bit decrepit was the commode, and as I carelessly brushed the rusty water into my trousers, I was overcome by a un-holy, foetid waft of aroma. The aroma of shit. Shit that was now all over my hand and rubbed in to my trouser leg. Someone else’s shit. A sick persons shit. Aged to perfection in a moribund diabetic colon. Frantically fighting against the rising subsidised bacon sandwich in my throat, I let out a heathen screech of terror, causing the nearest patient to break down and cry, and my colleagues to, once again, come and see what the problem was this time.
In the UK, you are not allowed to travel in your work gear, for reasons of infection control, so they kindly sent me to get changed into my own clothes, and I worked the final couple of hours in mufti. Just before home time, one of my thoughtful colleagues, asked if I would play patient whilst they demonstrated the hoist for a student nurse. Blissfully ignorant, in I climbed, to be promptly despatched into the bath room and dunked, fully clothed into a nice warm bubble bath. The bastards had me go home, on a moped, in a pair of hospital pyjamas and a helmet, looking like I had just escaped from the secure unit.
I could go on, like the day in the urgent care centre when an itinerant musician with serious mental health problems tried to kill me by swinging a guitar around the consulting room, whilst mumbling about the second coming of the Lord. A new form of violent acoustic death-metal as he bashed the living shit of the walls and desk with his guitar. A proper fender-bender if you like. Oddly, when my colleagues phoned from next door, he stopped and gestured for me to answer. My colleague said “Just to let you know- security are on the way” and as I hung up he carried on his wanton destruction until the neck of the guitar snapped. He stood and looked at the remains, a tangled mess of wood and string, like the aftermath of Pinnochio falling to his death from a great height, and began to cry, just as the security officers burst through the door to escort him away. And don’t even get me started on the time a dude came in with his cock stuck in a coke bottle, because that was a most definite “Holy Shit” moment for the whole department.
So, I kill time, waiting for my operation in four or five days, trying not to become the victim of a hospital “holy shitty” tragi-comedy…
Until next time.