The current upshot of my “Colonoscopy posts is that my on line pre-assessment questionnaire disappeared into cyber space and has never been heard of since. But we did get an appointment by phone from the DGRI to go an see an Anaesthetist and to be told what he thought. This we did on 5 September last, I had my height and weight measured, had an MRSA test, the Nurse took another collection of tubes of blood and hooked me up for yet another ECG. There may have been more tests she did, but if so, I forget.
After a suitable interval of waiting (not very long, in fairness) we were ushered in to the presence of a charming young Pakistani who was called ‘Cassius’ – an unfortunate name for a Doctor – who took great pains to put us at our ease and said we must ask questions without inhibitions. He explained that he had inserted all my information, past and current, in an assessment programme run by an professional association of American doctors whose name I tried to see and remember but failed. He had the result in his hands in the form of a print out, and there were at least a dozen, if not more, headings down the left hand side with the results as a bar charts going out to the right. Each chart was marked with the score for an average person and mine was shown in red. It was quite obvious that all my red bars were way out to the right beyond the ‘average’ person mark.
He then went through each item at some length and the whole thing covered my life from the present, through the whole surgical process, post–surgery, and life thereafter. It was amazingly well thought out and included the possible effects on the life of my wife, and by simple extrapolation, quite possibly, my family too. The general conclusion to be drawn was fairly obviously that for me to have the surgery involved a high degree of risk. If all went well it should be OK, but if things went wrong, I could just as easily end up in a nursing home with a permanent stoma bag – and all sorts of permutations and combinations in between. If I did need nursing care it was quite likely going to be well beyond the capabilities of an elderly wife to do at home with or without carers.
The Surgeon has already said in his letter to our Health Centre that he intends to see me again, but not until at least October – which will be six months after my hospitalisation last May. Then, I guess the final decision will be made, and he has already expressed his worries on that score in detail, in that same letter. So, as the Anaesthetist said, it looks as though I shall continue as I am at present and if my pre cancerous bits develop in years to come, I shall get whatever therapy or relief is available as the condition proceeds. In other words, being eighty-eight now, will I with cancer, or of cancer ?
Or will something else carry me off before then, and solve the problem ?
As an addendum to all these posts, neither I, nor my wife, much fancy the job of driving to Dumfries now, and we know full well, that the parking situation at the hospital being what it is, it might take some time to find a vacant space, and that space might then present a long walk to the main entrance which would be very trying, or impossible, for us. We have made our journeys with the aid of Allan’s taxis of Kirkcudbright and have got to know the proprietor (Allan) and his partner. The latter – whose name I do not know yet – is one of the best drivers I have sat with for many many years. The car, a Skoda Octavia, slides along as though it is on a magic carpet. It has a manual gearbox, but I defy anyone to know (without looking) when she changes gear, and similarly when she slows down you never fell the actual application f brake pads to discs or drums. If the appointment is too long for them to hang around (which they will do, and have done, without extra charge) we return by Mcleans taxis of Dumfries, who seem to have an immense fleet – much more well worn, as you might expect, but nevertheless, clean, and providing a good service – though a bit more costly than our local man. To be wafted along through our green and pleasant countryside with its fields of black and white cattle is a very pleasurable experience – and you see so much more than when you are yourself, the driver.