As I said, I've never been in hospital before, so what followed was probably standard fare for all you seasoned hospital pro's. Having waited around to be admitted it was nearly 10pm at night and the staff in D-Neuro were clearly run off their feet. Anyway, I duly sat down with a nurse who asked me a thousand questions, and before I knew it, I had the plastic identity tag around my wrist, this was getting pretty real now.
At around 11pm I had the scariest conversation in my life, a very efficient Registrar named Sheila came to my bedside, and laid out the surgery in the most gory and percentage detail. "There was less than a one percent chance they could cut through one of my carotid arteries whilst removing the tumour, this could mean death", "there was less than a one percent chance that they could sever my optic nerve", "there was a one in 2 million chance that they could give me infected blood if they had to give me a transfusion to save my life"....the list went on. Of course the whole purpose was to lay out the risks of the operation, and to get me to sign a consent form. Sheila was lovely and was only doing her job, but at 11pm at night on your first ever night in hospital it is a lot to take in. Of course I did sign the consent form, and at that point, my wife left me on my own at the mercy of the hospital staff. Who I have to say, were brilliant.
All through the night, more interruptions came, this was a bit of a rush job after all. Chest xray about 4am, long talk with doctor about medical history about 2am, wired up to a ECG machine about 1am. Blood tests at some point and of course the obligatory regular 'Obs checks'. By the morning I was exhausted and had no sleep whatsoever, but the operation was all I could think about and it wasn't very far away now. Or so I thought.
In fact, although I was put on 'nil by mouth' that night, there was a complication. Important as my operation was, several life or death cases had come in overnight and that meant that my planned operation was not going to happen that day after all. So in fact I got day release from the hospital to go back home, and report back on Monday evening, which I did. It was all rather bizarre, although I was glad to be temporarily out of hospital. But that evening back I went and settled in for another 'nil by mouth' night. When the morning of Tuesday 28th May came, I knew this was the day and frankly (to use a British term) I was 'bricking it'.