Day 8 Tuesday 20th September

Just a few nuances to update you with. Itching! To hold the 5, 2 inch incisions together to let Leonardo in, staples were used. They look like the genuine Rexel originals. Now I am healing up they itch like mad. Now this is not pain, but is very akin to the Chinese water torture, but replace the drip, drip , drip, with the itch , itch , itch. It can drive you demented if you don’t find something to take your mind off it. The cling film dressings prevent you getting to the wounds (just as well or I’d be scratching like Baloo against the tree when he had a backside full of wasps!), so you have to leave them alone to their itching devices.

Also had some fun with the catheter bag today. It’s supposed to be replaced every 5 to 7 days. The one they gave me in the hospital only had a short induction tube, which was fine. But the replacements they gave me have a 6” extension. Now if I was 6 foot 6 inches tall they would have been ideal. However I am a short arsed 5 foot 8 inches, so now the catheter tube either loops in the trousers, inviting all sorts of lewd comments, (I should be so lucky!)or the end of the delivery tube flirts with my ankles! Phoned the local surgery and a district nurse is racing to my rescue as I blog!

What I haven’t mentioned in this erstwhile column so far is the impact of all this rigmarole on other members of the household. Sal, my long suffering better half was nursing on me hand and foot last week. I enjoyed it so much I may have indulged in some gilding of the Lilly as to my true condition. Then she read this blog, so that was the end of that! Seriously though, it’s really good to have someone to share the anxieties and new challenges that major surgery presents.

And then there is the long suffering hound. We are the proud owners of the softest, daftest 2 year old full kitted male golden retriever you can imagine. Before I went in for the operation, his party trick was to place his paws on my shoulders, look me in the eyes and have a man to dog discussion. He was my constant companion on the 3 mile runs around Wentwood every morning. We were quite worried on my return home, as we used to indulge in major rough and tumbles, so he had to learn:

1.    No jumping up on me under any circumstances

2.    No more jaunts around Wentwood off the lead- local walks with Sal, lead on, only.

3.    No more man to dog heart to hearts

4.    When I am lying on settee watching rugby, I do not want a huge rubber bone thrown onto my midriff as an encouragement to play

5.    No more horsing around in play wrestling matches

Now to most intelligent canines, one might have thought this was understandable. Oh no! My Dad used to say, when being depreciative about another’s sensitivities, when the brains were given out; he was in the back of the queue. In Alfie’s case he just didn’t turn up! We had wailing in the utility room, crying at the base of the stairs, and he even went in the back garden and dug up the prise climbing clematis. When I was lying on the settee he would look at me and then incline his head to a thirty degree angle and whine! So I explained I had had a major operation and wasn’t quite the man I was, but there was a good chance of returning to normal service if he was patient for a few weeks. I should have saved my breath! So prepare your household for this trauma- it can get more involved than you think!

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