Fix and mend the medical way

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WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward

As I write this and not before as I was busy, I am getting over the effects of having a minor op as in the medical kind and before you wonder or at least show some interest, it was nothing serious but a fairly common operation (apparently) that is performed these days and it affected my shoulder and is the one on the opposite side to the other one I have and that one is (hopefully) in fine fettle.

The medical world seems to have come along in leaps and bounds, more so in the lower limb section and those involved in local amateur league leap frog teams must be grateful, regarding operations performed on said limbs and other bits of the body that you would be lost without their full function. Consider as in loss of the limb and will-power to put another shovel of nutty slack on the fire or opening the door to let the cat out, even if you have to borrow a cat to do it with, at least it shows you have the tenacity to do the job.

Some years ago I had an op on my knee and the surgeon was very good in explaining everything before the job being performed and with curiosity being inbuilt, I asked his opinion of the numerous magnetic devices that range from bracelets to strait jackets you wear that abound and profess to have ‘healing powers’ and once you hand your hard earned over for such a device, it’s up to you sort of thing.

He looked at me, which I felt was encouraging as it showed decent eyesight, more so as he would be ‘opening me up’ at some point. So it was comforting to know he can see sharp and seems keen to ‘work wonders’ as then he explained that he had spent umpteen years studying his profession, worked many hours under at times dire conditions to get to the elevated position he occupied as being one of the most respected in his profession.

He then asked me the question of had he wasted his time all those years as instead he could have popped to a local DIY outlet and bought a box of magnets to do the same job - allegedly - as opposed to performing surgery and I said he had a good point and hopefully it was on the tip of the scalpel he would be using on me.

I explained that friend Dave was kitted out with two magnetic bracelets, ditto for his ankles which until he showed me, I never knew that such devices existed plus one he wore on his shoulder in a sort of sling arrangement. My surgeon who had not dropped off to sleep by now asked if it had made any difference to him, merely from a professional point of view, and I replied that while they seemed to keep rust at bay as he did not seem to be bothered with it. However he only had to walk within mere inches of his fridge and the door would open on its own - the freezer was not so quick but close and could have explained why the frozen meal for two of Jawbone of Ass, covered in Red Berry Sauce, served on burnt oak wood shavings, had thawed out unexpectedly.

Once this was digested he told me that my (then) forthcoming operation would be basically a ‘key-hole’ one and I enquired if perhaps, and bearing in mind the cost involved, would it not be better to use ‘letterbox’ surgery as he would have more room to swing his tools of the trade about, in a manner of speaking although I could tell by his mouth wide open, silent stare that this might be more expensive and I apologised for suggesting it in the first place. But key-hole surgery? - you would have at least have thought they would let him into the theatre as opposed to standing outside wiggling his tools though a small hole in the door, although it may well be saving money I suppose using this procedure but what do I know?

Back to the recent present then. It was scheduled to be performed at Boston Pilgrim hospital, the Boston in Lincolnshire - and not the one in the colonies should you be reading this in Mumbai and thinking these buses don’t run all that regular - and the thought of the op I could take, but the trauma of car parking – agghhhh!

Luckily a friend offered to take me there on his way to work. I arrived early morning obviously and being dropped off at the main road entrance I walked down towards the main building and as I did I passed the dreaded car park and there was a couple, standing with heads bowed close to a parking bay. With time to spare I walked over to see if they were all right as they just stood there in a solemn state as I asked if they were okay.

As I looked down, I caught sight of a small bunch of flowers that lay at their 

They looked at each other, then at me with misty eyes and they explained that this was a pilgrimage as they were leaving the area to move down south in their retirement. They had come to pay their respects and lay flowers as they once were able to park on that very spot, just the once, and I said this was indeed a wonderful gesture and then the lady made comment it was the least they could do. She explained as they were pensioners and with the sheer cost of getting a brass plate, the engraving and installation, she said the flowers was a cheaper but respectful option of doing the job justice.

I left them as I then proceeded to go to the Main Reception or Checkpoint Charlie to let them know I was there and looking round to see if anybody was about, I shouted out “Shop!” and a cleaning lady looked up in my direction and said I was “too early” as it was only just “gorn seven o’clock and they ain’t ‘ere yet, luv..”

There you see - keen as ever to be punctual and not only that, on time as well plus I brought my shoulder with me as well to cut out any messing about.

Once it was close to opening hours, I was instructed to proceed to the actual department dealing with such operations and make myself known. Once there I explained I was checking in and was asked: “Ward?” and I said yes as this had always been my name apart from when I was a spinster. The op seemed to go well – they tell me – as to be honest I was completely out of it as whatever it is was that I was given that ‘knocked me out’ was as powerful a sleeping potion as listening to the results of the viewers voting coming in on the live final of “Celebrity How To Boil An Egg While Dancing On Ice” .

Meanwhile the physio sessions are going well, and it looks as if I won’t have to sell the dartboard after all.