Steve’s tapering week
Sitting in a hospital ward for 10 hours recovering from a general anaesthetic is no one’s idea of fun. Even less so on the hottest day since 2006 when the ward has no air conditioning. Especially less so three days before the start of LeJog when the reason is the extraction of a piece of glass from one’s foot.
The incident had its origins over a month ago when I was sweeping hedge trimmings in the garden and felt something go into my foot. There was a piece of glass about 3 inches long sticking out the side of my trainer. I pulled it out instinctively. Back in the house I examined the wound, saw and felt nothing further, washed and cleaned it and covered it with a plaster.
For three weeks all was well. Cycling back from Mid Wales after the last stage of LeJog training I felt an occasional pain in the foot. Back at home, walking around in slippers that provide a lot of instep support, I realised all was not well. It was painful whenever I put weight on it, which made me think there was something still there.
Since then things have moved surprisingly quickly, all with great credit to our sometimes maligned NHS.
Phoned our local surgery for advice. The duty doctor called me back, advised an X-ray and treatment at the Minor Injuries Unit. Drove to the MIU, where the X-ray confirmed suspicions and the nurse attempted unsuccessfully to remove it. This was the professional version of trying to dig out a splinter, but she was limited in what she could do, to avoid damage to nerves or tendons. She made the decision to refer me to the “Virtual Fracture Clinic” at the main hospital (Virtual because it’s online, not because it wasn’t a real fracture).
Received a call from a real person at the Fracture Clinic, well within their promised time period. Their assessment was I should attend the real Fracture Clinic first thing on Wednesday with a possibility of having the extraction under general anaesthetic in the afternoon.
Spent the rest of the day packing, worrying and hoping.
Breakfast at 6 am just in case. By 9:30 the real Registrar in the real Fracture Clinic had marked a big arrow on the side of my foot, labelled it FB (Foreign Body) and sent me off to the surgical ward to be prepared. At noon I drifted woozily off under my first general anaesthetic for nearly 60 years and woke up an hour later feeling remarkably comfortable.
The one piece of bad timing was that I has to miss a family night out at our favourite gastropub and so wait for the merry revellers to pick me up on the way home. Special thanks to Lois who made the round trip from home to hospital three times during the day.
So today (Thursday) it’s more rest and recovery, then a visit to the surgery tomorrow for a more practical wound dressing and train to Penzance with Dino on Saturday.