This Way In

When I arrived at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London last Sunday, after being shown to my room one of the first things that happened was for this indicator mark to be sketched onto my body. I assumed this was to remind the surgeon which lung he would be operating on.

It’s now a week later and I’ve just been for a longish walk, including a trek up and down four flights of stairs.  It’s been quite a week!  The operation by Mr. George Ladas went well and he has removed both tumours which were nestling inside my lung.

So what’s been happening since then? Three days in the four-bed High Dependency Unit where, I must admit, I didn’t get much sleep because of the other inmates talking, yelling, complaining or occasionally making weird jokes.  Val came along with my young friend on Wednesday evening and Rolf Harris popped in briefly the same day.  Good friends Brian and Jane also called in.  Now I’m back to my single room which is bedecked with flowers, cards and a print of one of my paintings (having no pictures at all on the walls I decided to enliven the place just a little).  Suzy came in, stayed for a while and with the aid of blu-tak I am now greeted by the “Swan Uppers in Marsh Lock” as soon as it gets light in the morning.  Felicity has also been a couple of times.

I seem to be progressing well apart from the real post-operative pain which I am assured will one day be a thing of the past – but at the moment, every time I cough it feels as if I’ve been shot at by John Wayne the pain is so intense.  It’s amazing how many  nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff of every nationality call in constantly for heart monitoring, feeding me with potassium, painkillers, antibiotics, drawing blood (have I got any left?) and wheeling me off daily to the chest X-Ray department.  I’m not getting much sleep in fact I’m waking every hour or so.  The nurse indicated this morning that there’s a possibility of me going home tomorrow, but, quite frankly, with all the attention I seem to need and get I can’t quite believe it.  But as they deflated both lungs I need to get the one that hasn’t reflated properly back into full working order as soon as possible – long daily walks by the river should come in handy.  As so many people ring every day to ask how I’m progressing I thought it best just to put it all on this blog and refer them to it.

I was told today that the great crested grebes in the mill pool have started their mating dances so I need to get home as soon as possible to make sure they or the coots don’t make a nest and lay eggs on my boat as they did last year.  What’s the betting that I am too late, as they are pretty fast workers once they get going!

I think I’ll close now as several unmentionable things are about to happen which I certainly won’t be relating here.  As you may have gathered, I’m dictating this from my hospital bed.