I went AWOL again…

Image by Gaby Stein from Pixabay

…only this time, we had advance warning so were able to prepare.

After years and years of trying this or that or something else, the poet finally had his operation on Monday. He was having a major nasal polypectomy followed by some reconstructive surgery. To give them their due, the consultants did try to avoid surgery altogether by attempting to chemically remove the polyps (using drugs), but it wasn’t working. So they finally gave in and agreed to book him in.

We had to get up really early on Monday morning to get him there for 7am. It was a 60-mile round trip and as we already knew he would be staying in for at least one night, then we also already knew that I would be making the journey twice – once to drop him off and once to visit him.

The operation was scheduled for midday and expected to take two hours. He went down at about 1pm, and it took three hours. Because of that, the surgeons reckoned he’d be in for another night. They removed 6 polyps from one side and 8 polyps from the other, plus they drilled out his nasal passages to make them wider.

Someone who had the exact same procedure as him was rushed back later following a severe bleed. The poet was fortunate in that once he was back on the ward, he was there to stay. But he did feel rough and a bit sorry for himself.

Due to Covid regulations, I had to make an appointment to go and visit him and I didn’t get back there until about 8:10pm. They’d allocated me a 1-hour slot, but he was so tired, I only stayed for half an hour.

On Tuesday morning, at 8am, they told him he could be discharged that day. At midday again. But they also warned that he could be waiting hours for his medications to bring home, so they couldn’t book me in for another time slot to come and collect him because they didn’t know what time that time slot would be.

He was actually discharged at 11:30am, which meant he couldn’t have the lunch he’d ordered. So while he waited for his meds, he went to get a sandwich from the restaurant. But he wasn’t even on the list yet for his meds, so he couldn’t come home yet. In the end, to beat the lunchtime traffic anyway, I left home at 11:50am, and I got there just after 12:30pm.

He wasn’t to leave the premises without first telling them, so he came to sit in the car with me while I ate a salad. I had the dog with me, who was very pleased to see his dad. After another hour or so we decided to go for a little walk, but when he went to let them know he was leaving the premises, they said his prescription was ready and someone was bringing it down.

We finally left the hospital at 3:30pm. It had taken them 4 hours to organise his prescription – not that he cared at this point. He was just glad to be going home.

He had a comfortable evening at home, had cheese on toast for his tea, and was ready for bed. Today he has a lovely shiner (black eye), so we think they broke his nose. But he got up with me and has been pottering about all day.

He wanted to go to Barnsley Hospital because that’s where he was sent all those years ago (5?) and because we really, really like the hospital. The staff are great and we can park very close to any of the main entrances. He thought that all of the medical staff there were exceptional and lovely.

When the polyps start to grow again, and we have no doubt that they will, he’s going to ask for surgery sooner rather than be put off. For now, though, he’s enjoying being able to breathe again without choking, to sleep again without waking himself up, to learning to eat with his mouth closed again, and to his nose not being a constantly dripping tap.

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