Friday, 14 September 2012

Getting a tattoo

My husband takes me to the hospital, where check in is a bit like an hotel. They ask you what newspaper you want, which seems a bit superfluous as this is a day case, then someone comes to show you to your room and guide you round the facilities. I'm only really interested in what time the procedure will take place as I am starving and thirsty. I'm also slightly concerned about the fact that my relationship with the loo does not seem to be abating and the whole procedure will not take place because the bowel isn't clear.  The assurance of the nurse that the consultant will in fact be pleased with this news isn't actually comforting.

The consultant appears to say hello, explain the procedure again and get consent.  The biggest risk is that he removes tissue and this causes a split in the bowel which instantly creates an emergency case. I sign; I figure he's been doing this for a few years so I should be ok. An hour or so later I am taken down the corridor to theatre, well, what seems to be a side room as it certainly isn't the wide open space you see on the TV and asked to lie down. The nurse offers, jokingly, to do the cannula as the consultant is having a little trouble, but he gets there and the sedative goes in.  This, I have been informed, is like Rohypnol or Zopiclone, the date rape drugs, so I will remember some of what follows but not all, and I won't care.

I remember four things: the camera coming out, some discomfort during the procedure, a large amount of black substance on the screen and a slightly tense conversation about a large polyp. The rest is gone.

Back in the room I'm still groggy when the consultant comes back to see me. Why do they come and talk to you when you're still in a state of chemical befuddlement? My husband isn't there, so I'm the only party to this conversation. Anyway, he (consultant, not husband) found two polyps - a small one that he has removed, and a large one that he couldn't get the snare round and in any case had such a thick stalk that he was concerned that there might be blood vessels inside and therefore removal requires a different operation. In case he can't find it again (it's about 4 cm long, apparently, how is he going to miss it?) he's tattooed it - that was the black on the screen. He'll see me in two weeks' time to talk about the results of the biopsies he's taken.

I come round properly, my husband collects me and we go home. All done.
I round properly, get lunch and my husband takes me

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