About Me

Tollesbury, Essex, United Kingdom
I was born in the Summer of 1969 in Dagenham, just on the border of East London. School was largely unproductive but enjoyable, setting me up for something of a wayward but interesting life! On leaving school I had various jobs including putting up stalls at Romford Market, working in a record shop, putting up ceilings, gardening and road sweeping. After resigning from an insurance company to play in a band, I found myself unemployed for two years. Then finally I got back on my feet and I've been a psychiatric nurse since 1997. I wrote A Cleansing of Souls when I was 22 years old and followed it up with Tollesbury Time Forever almost twenty years later. I started writing The Bird That Nobody Sees in September 2011 and it was released in July 2012. In terms of writing, my heroes are Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. I would also include Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits as literary influences. So that's me I guess - scruffy, happy and in love with literary fiction, music and life...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

An account of my knee operation - all good fun!

On 23rd March 2012 I finally had the knee operation I'd be awaiting since December 4th 2011. Four months of waiting and still managed to arrive five minutes late. I was recounted my various structual malaises to the phyiotherapist untreated broken right ankle - drunk falling down subway steps age 22, untreated right shoulder subluxation - thrown into drum kit following electric shock off a microphone stand age 20 and of course the torn anterior and medial ligaments in my right knee age 26 and 42. I considered then that five minutes of tardiness was probably the tip of a very much the tip of a very large iceberg.

I was shown to my room, a very nice room, and waited for two and a half hours during which time the aforementioned physio, a nurse, the ward sister, an anaesthetist and the orthopedic surgeon all entered at various times for final checks. Had they all been in the room simultaneously  I think I would have been in danger of slipping into a Singing Detective moment wherein they would have burst into song. But alas that was not to be. I wasn't at all nervous during this phase although I was somewhat worried when the surgeon marked in indelible ink a large arrow on my right shin beginning at the ankle and pointing to the soon to be operated upon knee. "Just procedure," he had said, looking up at me. Now having worked in the NHS for many years I am aware that most procedures arise from things have gone wrong, often badly wrong. When a porter and a nurse wheeled me into the anaesthetic room and asked me if my leg had been marked and the anaesthetist then asked the same I did wonder how recently this procedure had been developed!

Now I have been told by various people that when the anaesthetic is administered you are often asked to count down from ten and by seven you are usually asleep. I had also been told that if you drink alot of alcohol it can take longer. The anaesthetist was speaking to me about various mundane things when I felt a sharp pain at the top of my left hand. I assumed this was the anaesthetic going in and he had foregone the counting down formalities. As he was telling me how he used to live in the village up the road from Tollesbury, I had reached zero in the increasingly panicky internal countdown in my head. I was about say something when he said "Anaesthetic going in now. You'll be asleep before you know it." I barely had time to smile before I was indeed asleep. Confirmation once again that I don't drink too much. I drink just enough.

And of course the next thing I know I'm in the recovery room, a male nurse standing to one side of the trolley and the anaesthetist on the other asking the nurse how I was doing. The anaesthetist replied "He's doing fine. We've just been chatting about the fact we both like The West Wing and The Wire." Now it's true, I do love The Wire but I've never actually seen The West Wing. Bizarre indeed, particularly as I thought I had just that second been woken up. Perhaps I'd been mumbling away for ages without realising, dozing on and off. This perturbed me a little as prior to going down for the operation I had been explaining to Rebecca the meaning of the word harridan in relation to one or two of the professionals who'd been in and out of the room since my arrival...

I have been a little bleary some mornings, not entirely sure what had gone on the night before, but gradually events, no matter how drunk I've been, have always returned to me at some stage. But this anaethetic thing, well that just blanks you right out. I literally have a couple of hours out of my life (although very beneficial) that I won't get back. I guess that's commensurate with how I felt watching the second Harry Potter film and Norah Jones in concert.

So we left the hospital at about 6pm and thus began my convalescence. And what better start than to spend a couple of hours with your mates? The Rising Sun is only a fifteen minute drive from Springfield Hospital after all. So two and a half hours after having general anaesthetic and local anaesthetic I was sitting with Rebecca, Dave, Tony, Serge, Kerry and Irish John, being served by a worse for wear Jimmy and listening to the singing of a big irishman called Tom who had been drinking since 10am and was insisting everyone try on a hat that was too small for everybody. A couple of pints later, we left with Tom guiding us back off the pub forecourt and waving to us maniacally in the hope that such a grand gesture would get him an invite to Rebecca's 30th. I'm not so sure he's quite done enough to be honest.

That's it really. Signed off sick for two weeks, told to rest, exercises to do and have to be closely supervised and cared for during the next 24 hours. I have explained to Rebecca that this period does not include times when either of us are asleep or when she is out with the dog or other people are round. I've also shown her the stopwatch on my phone...


Vegetable Heaven said...

Do as you're told and rest then! Best wishes for a quick and full recovery.


Stu Ayris said...

Thank you Kath!

With four live matches on and highlights of the New Zealand v South Africa Test, three bottles of red wine and the sun shining in through the blinds I think I've got half a chance!

Lorraine said...

Glad it all went well :) x