Had my pre-assessment clinic today and it is starting to dawn on me how long I will be out of circulation. The advice I have been given by another (extremely eminent) surgeon is that I should not look at emails for 2 weeks and not make any decisions for 3 weeks. How will the team cope without me? ‘Very well’, seems the general response which is a bit of a blow to the ego. I must confess that I have tried to time the surgery when it will be of least inconvenience to the job and I have realised that no time is a good time. Do it when you have to get it done, not when you think it will be the least bother to anyone else. What I have done, is to keep everyone at work informed and they have been fantastically accommodating. Mind you, I think that my boss, at 6’7″, was probably getting fed up of walking at my speed. Having kept them informed, we have had to time to farm out my work amongst the rest of the team. I am, however, concerned that they will realise how little I actually do………
The other concern is who will look after my Border Collie, Lyle, during the day when I am in hospital. We lost his brother, Tate, totally unexpectedly in May this year and, at the beginning of September, we discovered that Lyle has an inoperable tumour on his spleen. They gave him 3 weeks and he is still going 10 weeks later: no-one has told him that he is unwell. If the stress of a dodgy knee and a knee replacement isn’t bad enough, it is nothing compared to waiting for the moment your dog keels over. Clearly, he can’t go into kennels. I had considered asking Little Sister to look after him as, having a 14 week old baby and being on maternity leave, she has nothing to occupy her time. However, the Unfeeling One’s compulsive organising and planning behaviour has kicked in big time and she has already organised a dog sitter: Mother of Unfeeling One. Before assuming her duties, we will need to ensure that Mother of Unfeeling One is taught how to play Frisbee tennis and how to kick a ball.
I told a whopper of a lie to the lovely pre-assessment nurse today (she also referred to me as being ‘quite young’): I told her that someone would be at home to look after me when I was discharged. I didn’t let on that, having picked me up in the morning and brought me home, the Unfeeling One is going straight back to work. I had assumed that Number One (and the only one) Child might take an interest and be persuaded to look after his not-so-elderly father but the Unfeeling One reminded me that he had actually finished school and had gone to University in September. I didn’t see much of him when he was here, but there were certain clues that should have made me realise that he had gone: my bank account empties more quickly each month; I only have my dirty dishes to fight through to get to the sink; my ability to pair socks on laundry day has increased exponentially. I do,vaguely, remember a conversation in August when he told me that he was off to to study Theoretical Physics (‘It’s numbers an’ stuff, Dad ,don’t worry about it’). The reason that it sticks in my mind is that he was expecting me to buy him beer tokens for four years instead of the usual three.
It is a problem. I will be by myself during the day immediately after discharge and am not sure what to do if something happens. I have a number of options:
- Give the Unfeeling One a pager so that she can react instantly to my every urgent need.
- Offer to pay for a rail ticket and an additional weekly beer allowance for Number One Child to come and look after me.
- Not steal my Mum’s sticks so that she can come and administer to me. I am obviously more important than the Flower Club. Mind you, having nursed my father through a couple of knee replacements after getting both her hips done, I suspect that she will be slightly less than enthusiastic.
Asking Little Sister and teething baby is not an option. Apart from the noise, Little Sister’s attention will not be focused entirely on me. I am sure that the Unfeeling One will sort something out for me. She usually does. It is a lot to think about.
Interesting time was had at pre-assessment today, especially the MRSA test swab. More to follow. Kneedyman.