Friday, 30 November 2007

Repair men, hospitals, and Cute Puzzle Games (Grow)

It's been a long and slightly stressful week, but it's Friday, so nearly through it.

The new face of Repair men!

The dishwasher packed up a while back after 11 months which made me rant on about the quality of goods these days and how nothing seems to last. Why, oh why, do we have to buy insurance against breakdown after only a year? Is nothing built to function for any longer than that?! In the current of climate - no pun intended -of recycling and protecting the earth's resources, would it be too much to ask for stuff to last longer than 12 months?!

Anyway, we're still under warranty so the repair man came to fix it. He arrived with a brief-case akin to something 007 might have, a tool kit that fit neatly into the size of a wash bag. A very smart, black wash bag.

I was amazed. Gone are the days of the fix-it man with an industrial sized hold-all full of dust and strange looking implements - now they arrive with wireless broadband, a handful of megabytes, and a hard drive to die for. Again, no puns intended. I am ill after all, and he was my dad's age.

So he plugged stuff in, and the machine told him the day we first plugged it in... how did it know that? I couldn't even remember that!!! It also told him, in a kind of Dishwasher/Dr Doolittle speak that it had a poorly circuit board and that's why he couldn't heat up the element. The element, it said, is fine. Another dishwasher 007 will arrive next week to replace the chips. Technology eh!

All very clever stuff. I think. So he printed off a receipt for the work, and all the diagnostics, and I thought, if only the doctors could've been so quick diagnosing me!

Speaking of which...

I saw the surgeon on Wednesday, after 3 weeks of the recommended low-fat diet. I realised by the end of day two that my diet wasn't particularly high-fat in the first place, so carried on as normal with two changes; semi-skimmed milk and low-fat spread. Symptoms continued as usual until I ate some birthday cake with the youngest and then it really did hurt!

On the plus side, all this nausea etc., means I'm steadily losing weight so will be sylph-like and elegant at the end of it all, hopefully.

So the surgeon decided I need a laproscopic cholecystectomy on Dec 20th. YIKES!

He's Russian and appears to have no sense of humour. When he proceeded to tell me about all the little things that can go wrong, like death, and that I need to take it very seriously indeed, I said I really didn't need to be told that. He said, "No. I think you do."

I began to wonder if many people have complications, and asked him how many times he's done this procedure.

"A few." Face straight as a scalpel.

I said, "How many is a few? A thousand?"

"I might never do a thousand in my career," he said in his Russian tones.

"Three?" I asked, panic rising. "Have you done more than three?!"

"Yes. More than three. A few." Unshakable, but then I guess that's what I want in a surgeon. Serious. No jokes. Getting on with the job at hand efficiently and effectively, and that includes dealing with a grown woman who is crying like child who has enough sense of the horror to befall her, but not enough to stop the panic spreading.

I told him I didn't want a drip in, and that did they have to the drain thing, and that if they did, I might freak out and want to pull it out.

He said, with all the seriousness and forcefulness of the Siberian out-back, that he "would not operate unless I was going to co-operate." I said I was only joking - that I wouldn't do anything stupid, and but then he mentions the words "urinary catheter" and started to sob again. And you know, besides the pain, it's the indignity of it all. I have very startling memories of a living room floor, a fire-place, a midwife armed with a piece of plastic tubing, and no drugs whatever. "Not that again," I pleaded, "Do the drain thing but not that while I'm awake!"

"I vill try to have zat removed before you wake up," he said, and almost smiled.

So date all set. In hindsight, the very fact that he mentioned the words "when you wake up" is encouraging, and I've been on-line reading the British Medical Journal's article on Laproscopic Cholecystectomy - I'll spare you the link - and the figures were pretty good. Starting to think I can do this. Well not a lot of choice really!

For the interested - here's a little diagram.

And if you're still with me, and now need a bit of light relief, you could do worse than to pop over to the Eyemaze website and play cute puzzle games that are very rewarding when you work them out!


is a wonderful website full of adorable games. The idea is that you click on items in a specific order, and watch how everything interacts with everything else. I love it!


JJ said...

Oh god, I'm not laughing at your misfortune, but at your very funny telling of it. Loved the doctor - please incorporate him into your novel!


Lane said...

He sounds like a great doctor!
You'll be right as rain by Christmas:-)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

You'll be glad when it's all over. When will you be out of hospital?