Tuesday, 11 September 2012

"Hanging on the telephone ..."

Just when I thought that I might not have much more to do with hospitals, people have started phoning my home thinking that it is one!

It first happened a few weeks ago, when a very croaky man phoned up. I started chatting, thinking that was it was Mr P:

Me: “Hello”
Caller: (croaky) “Urgh ...”
Me: (laughing) “Oh, hello”
Caller: “Urgh ... hello”
Me: (still laughing) “What’s the matter with you?”
Caller: (indignant) “I’ve got a sore throat ... *cough, cough* [long pause] ... Is that the hospital?”
Me: “Er. No.”

But it’s happened again and I arrived home last night after my extended stay at Mr P’s to a number of answer phone messages. You’d think that hearing a casual “Hi, this is Kate ...” might alert them to the fact that I’m not Barnet Hospital, but apparently not.

Anyway, after two more calls today, I’ve looked into it and my home phone number is only one digit different from the hospital’s day surgery. Fair enough, easy mistake to make. But ... the reason why this has rattled me so much is that I have had EXACTLY the same problem with my mobile phone number!

That has only one digit different to the out-of-hours number for a Homecare facility in south London. As you can imagine, Christmas and Bank Holidays are a particular joy: old ladies asking when someone is coming round with their milk; old guys asking me to change their dressings ... I do seem to have extraordinarily bad luck!

But, yes, it is also quite funny. (Although, not sure I thought that as I nearly bust a stitch to get to the phone this morning!) I have now got those hospital and care numbers on standby, should distressed callers contact me again for medical assistance.

And as for me, I’m doing OK. I’m still popping the painkillers but am up and about and trying to get back to normal. My torso muscles are, obviously, very bruised and strained and that limits my arm strength and movement, but every day it is improving.

I’ll be back at the hospital on Thursday to see my surgeon but judging from the immediate reactions last week post-surgery, they did seem pretty happy with the way it had gone. The main thing now is to find out if I’ll need radiotherapy and that depends on the histology report - that is, the analysis of the breast tissue that they removed.

Whatever the outcome, I still have lots to feel positive about. My boob is looking good and, while I have yet to see it ‘sans nipple’, the shape under my clothes – after what is just the first stage of reconstruction - has come as a pleasant surprise.

I’ve also got my sister coming to stay. She’s coming down for the weekend and, together with many wonderful friends, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the theatre group to which Mr P and I belong - The Beaufort Players.

They really are a fantastic bunch and Mr P and I are so enormously grateful for all the love and support that we’ve received over the last eight months. It really is like having a big extended family.

And as with all good family gatherings, I’m looking forward to a nice piece of cake, a few drinks and a bit of embarrassing dancing. They’re even letting me DJ and play some 80s tunes. I’ve already picked my first (Blondie) song ...

“Call me!”  ;-)

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