First off, can I thank you all for your wonderful well wishes. Deeply and humbly appreciated.
So, are you ready for this?
I was nervous, apprehensive but delighted my surgery was going ahead. For all of about five minutes.
Upon admission the nurse looks at my notes and says "Okay, surgery to the right arm ..."
"No, left-arm." I pointed out.
She giggles and says "Oh, sorry," and crosses something out on the paperwork.
I'm then told my anaesthetist will be here to interview me in a minute. Enter stage left ' Dave the anaesthetist.'
"Hi, I'm Dave, your anaesthetist today."
After running through what I had eaten in the last 24 hours Dave seemed happy and confirmed that he was conversant with my medical history and within a couple of hours my surgery would be underway. He assured me he'd have me asleep in less than 30 seconds. He then tells me a surgeon will speak to me in a minute. Enter stage left a 7 foot tall surgeon (I kid you not - he was a giant).
"Hi there Mr Grant. So, we are operating on your right arm today." Says he looking at my notes.
"No, left arm."
"Ah okay." he says, crossing something out on the paperwork. "I just need to draw on your arm now to highlight where the incisions will take place." He then takes my left arm and using a marker pen draws a line from my elbow to my wrist where he draws an arrowhead and some letters. "There we are, we'll have that sorted for you in a few hours. We do a lot of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery here. We'll soon have you fixed up."
"I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have cubital tunnel syndrome."
Surprised, he stares at me, the paperwork, then at his artwork on my arm. Reaching for a medicated swab he then erases it all and starts again, only this time the line goes from my wrist to my elbow with the Arrowhead and lettering being completed at my elbow. My wife looks at me and I look at her and clearly we are both thinking the same thing.
' Does anyone here know what they are doing? '
And so I'm sent off to get into the garb I'll be wearing in theatre before being called to go lie on a bed ready to be wheeled in. As I'm lying there a woman in theatre dress hovers over me, "Hello there Mr Grant, I'm Monica your anaesthetist for today."
"I already have one. Dave. I spoke to him earlier."
"No, you must be mistaken. I'm your anaesthetist for today. Just been reading your notes. Won't be long now."
With that said, theatre porters start pushing me along the corridor towards theatre.
"Why you stopping here?" Asks porter one.
"He's theatre five." says porter two.
"Nah, he's theatre seven." insists porter one.
"Well lets just put him in five, if it's wrong they can move him around."
But what if theatre five is a sex change operation or a limb removal? I think to myself, but I'm beyond protesting.
Nurses gather around, stick needles in me, hitch up drips and offer reassurance before wheeling me properly into theatre five. It's all systems go. A face appears above mine, she's holding in her hand a green face mask, "Hello, I'm Jasmine, your anaesthetist for today."
Before I could tell her about Dave and Monica, the mask was on and I was asleep.
My one and a half hour surgery became a four-hour surgery. Not sure why, but it panicked the life out of my poor wife who was given no information (maybe they were sticking my balls back on after realising their mistake?).
I woke up in recovery before being sent to a ward.
"Three days you'll be here Mr Grant." The nurse said , "Or at least until you can hold water down, food down, pee more than 20 mm and move your fingers."
I did all four in less than five hours and begged to go home.
I was aching, drugged up to the eyeballs and tired, but once home I had to telephone my dad who I knew would be worried. What on earth possessed me to do that?
"Hi dad, it's me."
"Rory, your son"
"Can't be, he's in the hospital."
"I'm out. I'm home."
"It sounds like you, did they cancel your operation again?"
"No, they did it."
"And they've kicked you out already? What kind of health service is that?"
"No, I asked to get out. Everything seems to have gone okay."
"So exactly what they did they do son?"
"They took the damaged nerves in my arm and relocated them elsewhere in the arm and now I can move my fingers, even if only slightly."
"Oh my God, that's incredible. They take the nerves out of one arm, put them in the other arm and yet they still work the fingers on the original arm. It's amazing what they can do these days son."
"Well no, they relocated them in the same arm dad."
"That's what I mean, don't you see how incredible that is? They bundle them all up in the one arm and yet they work both arms! Amazing!"
(Big sigh) "Yes dad, yes. All my nerves are now in my right arm but they operate the left. Next year, they're going to put my brain in my buttock to cure my sciatica."
"Ah now you're talking nonsense son, it must be the anaesthetic. I'd better let you get some sleep. Great to hear you're okay! I'll tell your sisters you're well and about that amazing surgery. Fantastic what they can do these days. Bye son!"
Thank you once again everyone :)