I'm back home now from my overnighter chez Derriford were I had my elbow rebuilt.
I'm in total agony and it feels like someone has been hacking at my arm with a rusty, scalding hot, junior hacksaw but I believe all went according to plan.
Pre-operation I told Lorenzo, my anaesthetist, about my anxiety over losing control and worrying that I would be lairy when I came round from the operation as I'm a terrible drunk. To reassure me, he told me that most people show their true colours as the drugs wear off because they behave the way they would without the influence of intellectual and cultural factors. "Brilliant" I thought. "That's all I need. Me showing my true colours..."
I went to sleep saluting my Commander surgeon and laughing into the oxygen mask as I protested against a suggestion that I imagine I was relaxing on a beach; "NO! I MUST DREAM ABOUT DICK VAN DYKE RIDING A DOLPHIN!". I woke up smiling and chatting to Lorenzo in his mother tongue, German. Much to the amusement of the other staff who said they wished all their patients came round so cheerily. Especially when, for a fleeting moment, I had them fooled that I'd never spoken a word of German before in my life. So there we have it, my true colours, a happy, bilingual, practical joker. Who knew?!
Back on the ward, I tried to rest but was unable to because a) I was in so much pain, and b) it's SO BLOODY NOISY IN HOSPITAL.
During the night, the girl next to me spent the entire time alternating between vomiting and apologising for waking me up, the woman across from me was snoring, another woman needed her bed pan changing frequently, requiring the noisy assistance of three people each time and setting off various alarms every 5 minutes, another lady in our bay kept sneaking into the toilets to have a fag, resulting in us all getting a collective bollocking at 2am (and the prime suspect being ME!), and the final lady was moved to another ward in the early hours, which of course caused much clattering and bashing around and one of the porters to jokily chirp at me "Get to sleep, you!". Shortly afterwards, he found himself in the morgue with my saline drip feed tightly wound round his neck.
The following day, I was still in agony so I was given the choice of staying another night so I could continue to take Oramorph, or coming home. The morphine was just making me sick and I was getting irritated by all the noise so I decided to get discharged into the very able care of Mr G who has been a wonderful nurse and basically done everything for me, including giving me a bath and washing my hair today. In a moment of delirium I looked up at him dreamily and asked "Am I really alive? Did I make it Mr G?" to which he replied "Yes love, this is nobody's idea of heaven" and he flanneled down my stubbly arm pit. Yep, he's definitely a keeper.
Thanks to all the people who have helped us out over the past few days, including the amazing staff at Derriford, and for all the well wishes. And to God, etc etc.