I am deeply, deeply ashamed.
How do I get rid of this excess baggage before the end of the year? Will starving myself, or eating nothing but soup and yoghurt from this day forward, do the trick? Should I join WeightWatchers? Exercise? I hate exercise if it means running or weight-lifting or both...How about if I take up tae kwon do?
Anyway, while waiting to speak to the anaesthesiologist, I leafed through my file. Decyphering my orthopaedic surgeon's handwriting wasn't easy, but as far as I could tell he intends to do a ligament-plasty and something I could only read as 'reving' (though that's not a proper Dutch word and I have no idea what is meant by it) of the plantar tendon when I go under the knife on July 9th. Not a word about removing the exostosis for which I had initially been referred to him. So I went down and talked to his assistant, who promised to pass on my question and get back to me as soon as possible, on my mobile. Of course, I haven't heard a peep yet.
Coming back up to Anaesthesiology, I was just in time to see the anaesthesiologist step out onto the hallway and call my name. My consultation lasted all of 5 minutes, and we agreed that I would have the surgery under a 'regional' anaesthetic, i.e., I will get an epidural and my bottom half will become immune to pain for about 3 hours.
Then I was sent up to the ward for a little chat with one of the nurses, a surly young man who first kept me waiting for 40 minutes, then went over the forms I'd filled in at home, kept coming back to the fact that I hadn't listed any medication (I'm not ill! why should I have any?), and finally snapped that I would be responsible for bringing my own crutches. I was flabbergasted: they don't hand them out in Dutch hospitals? Thank heaven I've still got the ones Manchester Royal Infirmary generously donated to me back in October 2004.