Tuesday, 20 August 2013
When I was little my sisters persuaded me to flush a rather fetching pair of my red knickers down the loo; their argument being that dad would pick them up mid ocean , and bring them home again next shore leave. Exactly how this would have been possible I have no idea; but to my young mind it seemed an infinitely reasonable suggestion........ a view definitely not shared by my exasperated mother.
I have always believed in the 'infinitely reasonable'; trusting rather than questioning people's underlying motives..... although I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that 'trust no one' would be a more enlightened path to take.
My surgeon was a case in point; promising 'a few stitches under local anaesthetic' to repair two small sections of my stomach wound in order for it to successfully heal pre chemo.
In reality I lay on an operating table for the best part of an hour, whilst he carefully reopened a 6cm section to the depth of my first finger joint; then stitched it together again in three layers, using different sutures as he went. It was fascinating; if not vaguely surreal.... but 'a few stitches' it certainly wasn't!
Why then, when it was decided I needed a Hickman line, did I fall for the ' easily done under local anaesthetic' spiel?
I quickly learnt that "you will feel a little pressure" is a veiled euphemism for " this is going to be excruciatingly painful". So when the Hickman failed and had to be removed, you won't be surprised to hear that this too was billed as ' a straightforward procedure, no need for general anaesthetic' .......did I cease to believe, stamp my feet and demand to be fully sedated? No, but I sorely wish I had!
I will spare the gruesome details; save to say the theatre sister, mid procedure, firmly requested I was given more anaesthetic ; and at one point, I swear the surgeon was leaning heavily on the table; pressing on my chest in order to yank the tube out.
Despite all the pain and discomfort, I was of course right to put my trust in the surgeons; yet in my working life, I wish I had trusted less, questioned more; and yes, even stamped my feet a little!
Part of me still wants to continue to believe that trust between people is all you need; that 'infinitely reasonable' suggestions are what they claim to be, and that everyone is working together for the common good...... Alas my cynicism has finally kicked in, and that blind trust, like my red knickers, has been all but 'flushed away'.