Regular readers might remember that, last year, I had keyhole surgery when a double stent was inserted into my abdomen to deal with a narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to my legs. It was affecting my mobility and a major pain in the arse (or to be precise, the calves). Although the operation itself was successful, one of the stents failed almost immediately. This happens in about 10% of cases (trust me to be in a minority yet again). After a period of reflection and torture on a treadmill three times a week, I chose to advance to Plan B – an aorta bi-femoral graft, a more traditional way of bypassing the logjam. I went under the surgeon’s knife at the end of July.
As I was wheeled to the anaesthetist, I hummed ‘God Save the Queen.’ It seemed appropriate and helped keep my pecker up and my blood pressure down. The bypass was a major op but relatively routine and given my age and general good health, everything went like clockwork. Please give a hand to Darren Morrow, a vascular surgeon with talented hands. He stitched me up good and proper (actually he super glued me up good and proper). I was discharged a few days ago and have been recovering at home ever since. I’m sore but otherwise in fine fettle, largely thanks to the liquid morphine (highly recommended). Those familiar with Blackadder will know that every queen has a nursie and I have mine. Liam is famed throughout Christendom for his bedside manner and grape peeling. I’m a lucky boy. But at times like this I wish I had a proper job – just so I could get three months off work with full pay. I was rarely ill during my time as a municipal bean-counter. Maybe I could apply for a back-dated payment?
Continued from Carry On Doctor.
The day of my arterial re-bore arrived and I packed my nightie just in case I might have to stay in overnight. With all the terrible press the NHS receives these days, I was a little concerned. Added to which, I’ve never been in hospital before so it was a uncharted territory. I needn’t have worried. The process went like clockwork. I was robed, bar-coded and wheeled around like a kiddie on a ride at Alton Towers. Matron made me pull on a nasty pair of paper panties which were ripped off by a male nurse as soon as I was horizontal without so much as an introduction. My nether regions were painted in Domestos and deadened with a large prick. The keyhole procedure took a little under two hours and, as it was done under local anaesthetic, I was awake the whole time. The doctors poked about like a couple of boys from Dyno Rod, tracking their route in the monitor that was plugged into the enormous (and presumably very expensive) scanner. I chatted away to the delightful nurse who was charged to keep me amused and mop my sweated brow. When she asked me what I did for a living, I gave her chapter and verse about our Turkey tales and the ensuing book. The lengths I go to make a sale. It must have worked as she went away with ‘Jack Scott’ written on her arm.
Liam stayed around the whole time, peeled me grapes and provided a copy of the Independent to keep my mind off the tiny silicone plugs in my tender loins. I avoided cracking a joke just in case I popped like a Pattaya cabaret artiste. He was most attentive and I milked it for all it’s worth. After a few hours in an observation ward I was discharged, a little sore but otherwise in fine fettle.
I’m not really into the whole Turkey versus Blighty thing. Never have been, never will be. Chalk and cheese in my view. I’m rather fond of both but for different reasons. I know people who’ve received wonderful medical care in Turkey and I know people who haven’t in Britain. All I can say is that my personal experience of the NHS has so far been exemplary. Even the receptionists were helpful. And what of the pharmacy of drugs I was prescribed by my Turkish quack? I now take aspirin a day to keep the stroke away (so no danger of erectile dysfunction for a few years yet) and a statin to control my cholesterol. As for the arterial bypass; that involves harvesting a vein from my arm. Sounds like a ghoulish Frankenstein tale and is a story for another day (unless I expire on the slab, that is).
Longer-term pansyfans may recall that I started having a bit of bother walking distances while we were in Turkey. The cardiologist at the local private hospital in Bodrum diagnosed Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. Apparently, I was running a marathon every night in my sleep making my little lallies tired during the day. I was prescribed a cocktail of blood thinners guaranteed to bring on early onset impotence and an anti-twitching drug usually used to treat Parkinson’s. My condition didn’t improve and so, now we’re back in Blighty, I had the whole business checked out at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. I’m afraid the original diagnosis was a bit off target. A CT angiogram revealed that I have arterial blockages in both my groin and right thigh which won’t get better without surgery. A double stent will unblock my dodgy groin but the problem in my thigh requires an arterial bypass. My consultant looks like Dr Green from ER. It’s a shame I’m not under George Clooney.
Continued in Carry on Nurse.