Monday, March 26, 2007


Well here it is, the scar from the hip operation, and quite nasty it is too, though I must say it is healing nicely and today those pesky staples came out! The bruise runs all the way down to my toes.
Small children and those with a weak stomach should look away now!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Well the first real trip out after the operation today, I kind of felt like a school kid out on a field trip. Dad kindly drove me to see '300' at the cinema (I paid for him too!), the movie version of Frank Millers comic book and wow, what a movie!!
Amazingly dad hasn't been to the cinema since he took me to see Star Wars in 1977 when he fell asleep during the film! So when we went into the massive mulitplex cinema I think he quite liked it. We both enjoyed the film, Gerard Butler was amazing as King Leonidas, Lena Heady was sensual as Queen Gorgo, proof you don't need big names to make a solid film. Though I thought the guy that played King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) came across as very 80's Ru Paul. The story didn't really go over the top as I expected and pretty much stayed in format with Miller and Varleys hardback comic book and the actual historical tale.
Anyway, definately one to go and watch.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Getting to grips with hips

So, I am now the proud owner of a new left hip joint, I've said goodbye to the old hip that had served me so well for 38 years. Basically the cartilage and joint were knackered in the left hip, I was in agony most of the time, like a tooth ache in my hip that never went away, so paying to see a specialist privately I got ahead of the NHS crowd but it cost, the things pain makes you do.
Monday 12th March came around, I had to be at City hospital in Nottingham at 7.30am, on arriving I found my operation was pencilled in for around 3pm, so a bit of a wait. The ward was a bit drab and austere, not modern at all really, everyone looked glum and I could tell this wasn’t going to be a social few days. I sat and waited, with my book and Sony Psp, though I couldn’t concentrate on either really. I felt exhausted and ready for the op, the time soon came around.

I was wheeled down to the theatre in my gown and then taken into a room to be injected for the anaesthetic, I wasn’t having an epidural but the full hit, the full darkness. The needle went in the back of the hand, I was ready, more than ready, I needed the darkness just to escape. I liken the anaesthetic darkness to death itself, a void, a nothingness, tranquillity – perhaps that’s why old people want that peace when they get old?

I had a few moments to reflect, gather my thoughts and reflect on all the silly things I regret, past loves, people I love, my selfish actions, everything.

The next needle went in the groin, a masked face reassured me, I lay motionless, I was ready, I wanted that darkness to come and take me away – and it did, it came.

Then noise filters through, my senses creep back in, I lay in a recovery room, I hear the neighbours theme tune and see Harold Bishops face grinning down at me, I wearily regard the wall mounted tv, I sigh and pass out.

I wake again, the bed trolley is in motion, I’m told a triangular support is between my legs, holding them apart, then I try and feel, the agony rushes me, I want to close my legs, I can’t, pain courses through my body – I cry out, I want the darkness back.

Back to the ward, I’m still not with my senses, I muffle a moan about the pain, the morphine drip goes in and soon it seeps through my body, morphine I love you. The next few hours are a haze.

Tuesday 13th

1am - I feel ok, warm and sticky, bladder feels full, throat is dry, nurses are coming to me about every half hour, doing their tests, finally I get a brew and a good look at the curvy nurses arse, my spirits begin to lift, I even manage to blag a tuna sandwich.
I get a disjointed sleep and I’m visited by the specialist early, he tells me it went well. I then get a new guy in the bed next to me, he’s 87 and soon begins to irritate me as he takes me through both world wars, he’s as blind as a bat and gets lost on the way to the toilets a la Mr Magoo style, I chuckle, then berate myself for being wicked, he’s nice really but can talk forever. Later his son comes to visit and I discover he can talk more than the dad, he rambles on about Brian Clough to me and Forests glory days, I try to look unimpressed but it isn’t working. They are the last people to be ejected at the end of the visiting time, we all sigh in collective relief. I get my first bed bath, no complaints and I’m back on regular food, it isn’t bad either. Some male bonding and empathy takes place as the other patients realise I have the most irritating man alive next to me, he even talks to me about the colour of the walls, meaning of life etc, hell he even talks when I listen to my ipod. I get my first bollocking from a nurse for attempting to piss in a cardboard sample bottle whilst stood on one leg – you try pissing laid down!

Wednesday 14th

My neighbour from hell has gone, bless him, he says goodbye to everyone and then panics when he thinks he’s lost his wife and son, his goodbyes take forever even though he doesn’t know anyone. More male bonding and a trip out on the zimmer frame, I have my first real encounter with a normal toilet, and boy do I need it. Later I get to go on elbow crutches and feel gung ho as I traverse the ward, escape could be soon at hand – then the bastards take my morphine away and put me on tablets, the stapled stitches hurt like hell as they stretch the skin, my muscles feel on fire but I have to escape. A new patient decides to have the most irritating ‘Dom Joly’ type ring tone on his phone and conduct his companies business from the ward, feathers are ruffled, he’s loud and obnoxious, I decide to hobble over and ask if its an hospital or an office? and if he’s so loaded why didn’t he go private? A nurse senses my vehemence and stops me before she reads him the riot act about too much mobiles phone on the ward.

Later that night I hang out in the common room and watch spurs match eating jaffa cakes.

Thursday 15th

I lay and contemplate things all day, past, present and future, someone from my past has been supportive, their texts have made me smile, they don’t realise how much they’ve helped me. I try and bury feelings I once had, it’s hard. I have a new neighbour called Albert that has a habit of farting or being sick at meal times, this combined with the pain and lack of sleep makes me want to leave as soon as I can. Later I impress the physio with my slick moves, he agrees to let me go home, though I still have to have the district nurse come every day to inject me and change my dressing - all of a sudden I feel sub. I suspect the physio thinks I am masking pain and he’s right. Albert comes back from his hernia op, he looks frail and in immense pain, he tries to ring his daughter in vain on his mobile but his hands shake so much he drops it, he’s sick again. The nurses move in and pull the curtains around, he screams – it sounds like he is being tortured as his pleas seem to go unanswered ‘no, not that again, no it hurts – arrgghh’. Stood on my crutches I stare at the curtain with the other patients, some who have become friends, one guy begins to cry at his own dilemma as he can’t eat, he’s young, just got a place and a lovely girlfriend. I sit by him and try to offer solace from a place that is fast becoming bedlam. I look down to see my recently removed catheter wound is gushing blood all over my, the floor and the crutches, I call for a nurse but they are all busy with Albert, the blood keeps coming until eventually they see to me, but poor Albert, I get a peek through the curtains to see his ghostly visage, we all look at each other and see he seems to be fading fast.

Later I get the all clear to go home, a complimentary x-ray and a bagful of tablets and needles, a veritable tramps hamper! Dad comes to pick me up, he’s been almost saintly over the last few days, my rock. I leave and feel the fresh air on my face, the leg is moving and workable though painful, at least that night I’d get my own bed!

So, the cybertronic, bionic, hobbit goth spartan is back, a tattooed eye, a new state of the art hip joint – what next?

Hospital showed me many things, how precious life is, how fragile it is, and also when my time comes not to be afraid of the dark, to hell with the gods, who wants to live forever?

we can rebuild him! (the x-ray photo copy)