It was the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield I seem to recall, whose definition of the perfect woman was: A cook in the kitchen. a lady in the parlor and a mistress in the bedroom. This probably wouldn’t be acceptable in this day and age but has a ring of the truth about it, well I think it has! I have no idea why I’ve started in this vein, probably something to do with the naming of this post, and I lost all respect for friend Benny, the 1st, just before he turned his toes up for the last time.
As the title suggests I’m about to regale you with an essay of gigantic proportions on the subject of two very special women, Susan and Michelle, I’ve named Susan first as I met Susan first, simple when you think about it, and that’s me. Simple! 🙂
How they would rate by friend Benny’s criterion, I neither know nor care, and furthermore it’s none of my business. 🐻
On Wednesday past the 13th July I had my appointment to see Michelle, for those who don’t know, Michelle is the dietitian who, since the “big op”, has watched over me like a mother hen. For the immediate week after the operation I had took nothing by mouth; which is understandable when there’s no where to put the stuff, so I was fed and watered through a tube.
Those that read the previous post with a picture of God, aka Dr. Unohoo, may recall seeing a picture or two of me, with a dirty great tube shoved up my nose in one of them, and as you might expect, it went down my throat, into whatever was acting in lieu of the recently dearly departed stomach; and the murky looking stuff in that tube? My sustenance for that week.
The Chef? Michelle! Prepared by some person or persons unknown, as they are wont to say in the constabulary; and administered by the nursing staff, ever standing guard and keeping a watchful eye on my well being.
And for six days and nights did I suffer, which you can also see from the thing shoved up my nose in that picture! 😉
For the remainder of my stay I believe that Michelle was responsible for my food, she did pop in to see me now and then, and she instructed me that after my release I was to come and see her after a couple of weeks and then whenever she felt it necessary. I knew that this was true because God had told me that I had to go see Michelle after my discharge.
No throwing you out, and forgetting about you, after major surgery from the Royal Prince Alfred. No sir, I was given my instructions, and after a month of doing as I was told, I was very compliant!
So, at 11am on the aforementioned date, I presented myself at Michelles office; I was a bit apprehensive as I hadn’t seen her for 3 months, (usually it was a 2 month gap) that time she was very happy with me, my weight had stabilised around 65kg, and I knew it had dropped a bit below that magic number.
I’d prepared myself by piling on plenty of extra clothes, I reckon at least 2-3 kgs, being the middle of winter I thought I’d get away with it, and the first thing Michelle does is weigh me.
As you can imagine, Michelles scales are not your average bathroom scales, they are very big, they are very accurate, and they show the weight to the 3rd or 4th decimal place as I gingerly stepped on I warned her that I’d lost a little bit; and sure enough those damned scales showed 62.765kg I think it was, something like that; I took a sideways glance to see how she was taking it. Michelle looked devastated, I felt bad! Michelle is such a sweetie! 😮
She bucked up when I told her that I’m feeling extra fit, (although at the time I had a rotten cold in ‘da’ nose) and that I’d increased my walk to more than a kilometre from half a km, I was eating more and actually enjoying what I was eating. So why did I lose the weight?
That was Michelles main worry; so I confessed that I hadn’t been taking my “pig pills” ; these are the Creon capsules, which contain thousands of little coloured things made from ‘Porcine pancreas” what these do apparently is what my late stomach used to do, collect all the good stuff from the food I eat and fatten me up, and as I’d stopped taking them I’d stopped that, so I promised I’d get back onto the ‘p.p’s.’.
Michelle is not letting me off lightly, I have to go back in one month to see her; see, I’m being punished, and I have to go ‘cos God told me I had to do what she told me.
Not long after my meeting with Michelle commenced, we were joined by Susan, for those that haven’t met Susan before, she is the”Co-ordinator”; sounds like somebody from “The Godfather”; who I first met a few days after Doc. Sandroussi said he was going to play silly fella’s with my stomach and that is what she does. Co-ordinates!
Susan works tirelessly for all of Doc Sandroussi’s patients, he’s lost without her, his words not mine.
Lets not forget, I’m not his only patient, he has many, not all major surgery cases, (he’d probably go bonkers if they were, although somehow I don’t think it’s possible for him to go bonkers) and Susan is his conduit, between his ward; – W9 W2 was his own ward although it’s since been moved to H something or other- he and the patients, no wonder she sometimes looks frazzled.
I must confess that on one occasion, and one only, I flipped my lid, and took it out on poor Susan, as if she didn’t/doesn’t have enough to worry about; this is dragging on more than I intedend so I might just as well tell you.
You may have noticed if you’ve been following this saga, that pic with the thing stuck up my nose, mentioned earlier; well now this tube was supposed to be removed on the Monday or Tuesday after the op, I forget which; (time heals all wounds says he self righteously).
The first two or three days after the op the tube and the lack of food and drink passing through the mouth was no problem. About the fourth day though I was starting to get parched, no worries regarding food, I was getting plenty, but the fluids, I was starting craving for a nice cup of tea would you believe; I was drinking 4,5, 6 cups a day before I went in; I loved ‘me cuppa’.
The heat in my throat! This became almost unbearable (must have been bearable as I’m still here); the throat was on fire and it felt as if I was being choked, to assuage, this the nurses brought me a beaker of crushed ice, and I was allowed to put miniscule amounts on my tongue, and let it melt. And this was my relief for three or four days.
Now before the tube could be removed and allow me to take food and drink by mouth, I had to be taken to a secret room, there strapped to some contraption and raised upright. Thereupon, I would be given some stuff to hold in my mouth, the word would be given to swallow, and some doctors/nurses sitting in front of this consul thing would watch it go down very slowly. Twice!
They were checking for leaks!
I was told the day, and approximate time, I’d be subjected to this, and bore the discomfort of the parched and arid throat stoically and bravely for the last few days. In other words I just had to grin and bear it.
Came the day, I was all keyed up, ready to go, and then the bomb was dropped, sorry but there will be a 24 hour delay, you get another day to grin and bear it!
Poor Susan copped it; the calm, quiet, co-operative me exploded. I couldn’t help it; I’d been promised for the last few days, that this thing would be removed, and the parched throat, and unquenchable thirst, would be gone. I’d been counting the hours and the minutes and then to have bear this torture for another 24 hours! I could have screamed except the throat wasn’t capable of assisting in such an act of despair. Truly I was shaking; I’d schooled myself from the Thursday, the day after the op, and I felt shattered.
It was the only bad moment I had in the month I was in the RPA, and I took it out on the last person I should have, I’m still ashamed!
When it came time for me to leave it was Susan who was there, it was she with her big smile that pushed me in a wheelchair, out of the hospital and down to the taxi rank. I’d said how I’d like to feel the fresh air after being stuck inside an airconditioned building for a month. And on that cold mid July winters morning Susan chatting and smiling saw me off after bundling me, and Kerry, into a cab.
It doesn’t end there. A couple of weeks later, I had my first post op visit with God at his rooms, and who’s there? Susan; I thought that once leaving the hospital I’d not see her again, but not so, she is ‘The Co-ordinator’ and she is still keeping tabs on me, checking and reporting or whatever it is she does, she’s there for my appointments with Michelle. I’m damned if I know how she fits everything in.
And remember this, I am not the only patient of Doctor Sandroussi, there are many, many more and Susan and Michelle are working away, quietly, with him, for him, for the well being of them all.
When I went to see Michelle last Wednesday week, Susan joined us and after Michelle had finished with me and given me instructions, Susan told me that she is wanting to help newly diagnosed patients, who will be in need of major surgery, overcome their anxieties, whatever, by having someone who’s been through the mill and she thought of me and was wondering if I’d be available to meet with them and help to allay their fears; in her presence of course.
Of course I said yes, how could I not? She also suggested that it might be an idea to have me do this on video, (probably thinks I’m going to cark it and wants to keep it going).
I suppose she remembers I had a great old time after the tube was removed, lots of students, doctor & nursing, from Sydney Uni – The RPA is the major teaching hospital for the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest most prestigious- got to give them a plug, 🙂 used me for practice which was fun and broke the monotony of the long hospital days, and is the reason she suggested this to me.
On Thursday I had to go to see God at his rooms, and he’s very, very happy with what he saw, so much so that he doesn’t want to see me for six months, used to be every three, and if I’m still going as well in 6, he says it will be a year before he’ll want to see me for the last time, when he’ll give me a clean bill of health, but I’m drifting off as usual; I ran Susan’s idea to him and he thinks that it’ll work and is a good idea, so now I’m putting myself at Susan disposal and command. 😀