C3: Kick-off

First published: 30 Dec 2016

It all kicks off tomorrow morning around eight of the clock. I may be in there for seven or eight hours depending on what they find and how they find it.

The explanation includes lying prone for the whole period so my eyes may be “very puffy” when I wake up and there may be “discoloration of my cheek skin”. Providing the waking up part is included I don’t see that as a problem.

The neck bolts will severely restrict my future movement but it’s been restricted for months anyway so it may actually feel like an improvement. Apparently 60 percent of the up and down movement of the head – looking up at the sky or chin on chest – is dealt with by the vertebrae which will be locked, so I’ll only have around 40 percent of that option available. Similarly, 75 percent of Exorcist-like swiveling is controlled by the upper vertebrae so that leaves 25 percent for rubber-necking as we drive past future Mumbai car crash sites. Hey-ho.

Then there’s the tumor. Naughty or nice, that’s the big question? It will only take around ten minutes to get a verdict when they cut out a small part. Then they decide what to do with whatever answer and tissue they are presented with.

It will be nice to get the neck brace off and, sometime soon, have a shave.

The hospital food is vegetarian only! Much of India is veggie, in fact, I’d guess that it may be the majority. I’ve asked for very bland food, no spices, but that request is in the too hard basket. Today I got a snack which was accompanied by a written note from the Dietician informing the Chef that it should be “chilli-free” but, guess what? Chilli-full! Coffee has been explained as “black with cold milk on the side” but it often comes with no milk, or with hot milk, or already mixed in a very milky mixture. And the ‘coffee’ is not really coffee, it’s Nescafé. Hope they can read the surgery manual better than the menu manual.

The Consultants are terrific. Very willing to explain all the procedures and, of course, I’ve asked for videos, images and annotated drawings of what they are going to do. Quite fascinating.

I feel sorry for Martini. She’ll be sitting here twiddling her thumbs or watching TV all day, waiting for Old Puffy Eyes and Discolored Skin to appear through the door. It’ll be nice to see her when I wake up, though. That thought makes me smile.

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