[Written by Andy] An interesting week. I already knew that I was going for a followup operation to remove an even more sizeable piece of my neck because of melanoma cancer. That was due on Friday 25th January.
What I hadn’t planned on was a circular saw I was using, kicking back and digging itself into my thigh. It was one of those injuries that I knew that I didn’t need to look at, but straight away slammed both my hands over the bloody and irregular wound that had opened up in my leg, to apply pressure. Swearing at my incompetent, I hopped up to the farmhouse to raise the alarm.
What followed was a mercy dash up to the first hospital, who cut my trousers off – much to my chagrin as they are my old Bear Grylls trousers – they then strapped my leg up and sent us on our way to A&E. (I amused myself when I managed to take off the numerous tops that I had been wearing to keep myself warm that day and a mass building detritus fell out over the beautiful hospital carpet and there I was sitting in the wheelchair, unable to move, amongst my own mound of rubble)
At A&E, after not much wait because I stole the show amongst the walking wounded, a doctor came down from orthopedics and offered to stitched me up – very badly. To be fair, everyone has to start somewhere, but why did it have to be me? He took a quite a few attempts but kept on pulling the thread through the flesh, he would then swear and start a new hole. I didn’t like to tell him that certain areas that he was trying to re-stick his needle through, weren’t numb!
I survived that ordeal and my sister-in-law, took me back to the farm, but the next day I was very severely restricted in my ability to walk and had to resort to a stick and giving myself a lot of time. Luckily I was running a longbow making course with two of our closest friends who endearingly called me a ‘muppet’, and proceeded to provided an enormous amount of help which involved bringing lunch and giving me a huge box stuffed full of carefully sourced tasty morsels – which was meant for after my operation on Friday.
Ironically, two days later saw me back at the same hospital, but in a different department, to have my neck whittled down. I hadn’t at all appreciated however that the department where I was due to have my surgery was as far away from reception as is possible and still be confined within the walls of the hospital. Therefore it must have been a sad sight to witness a man with a very noticeable to limp and a grimace on his face gingerly inching down the very long corridor as he tried not to bump into anyone or anything, whilst muttering darkly under his breath.
In the Day Surgery Dept, I was the youngest person by a country mile, all there to have various skin cancers removed. I therefore amused the nursing staff greatly by having to explain why a fit young man was struggling to get out of chairs or keep up with them, as they walked me to various rooms. Also, the number of times that a member of staff would greet me and slam down the notes on my bad leg became so numerous that by the time I was in the operating theatre, and a jovial member of surgical team attempted to use my lap as a table, I politely informed the assembled throng that the next person who did that would be punched – which kept everyone vastly amused.
I’ve had the operation now, by an extremely competent consultant who could stitch very well and I now sport a fetching 15cm scar that runs round half my neck. This operation was not done under a general anesthetic, so I had five vials of local anesthetic in my neck and therefore I came out on cloud nine and talking nineteen to the dozen – its great what the combination of Lidocaine and adrenaline can do!
However today I feel like Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Monster. I can’t walk very well, my neck is extremely tight and sore, I can’t lie down without a feeling that I’ll come unzipped. I thinking that I’ll attached a couple of bolts to my neck and complete the imagery. It’s either Mary Shelley’s monster or perhaps Ygor the hunchbacked assistant from the 1942 film, The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) and played by Bela Lugosi– “you rang my lord?”