.........and it will come out'. Except it didnt. Not after several quick hard painful pulls.
I had an inkling it was going to be one of those days when the QE bed manager rang saying 'I have a bed for you - but its on the Young Persons Unit' Now, in a dim light and viewed from a distance I can probably knock a few years off, but there is no way Ill ever be mistaken for a 'young person' again. But it was the only female bed available so it would have been churlish to refuse it.
My fears were confirmed when we arrived on the ward, were shown to my bed, and yes - I had my very own X-Box. Martin, ofcourse, thought it highly amusing. So did the nurses by the looks on their faces.
By now it was 12 o'clock. Id been told I would be 'done' sometime between 1 and 5, and knowing 'NHS time' I guessed that meant about 6, so I settled down for a long wait.
At 1.15 exactly the surgeon appeared by my bed. It seems he had taken pity on me and had decided to 'do me' there and then. On the ward. Brilliant.
He had a trolley full of equipment including scapels and sharp pointy things which was a bit disconcerting to be honest. In a flash he was gowned and gloved up and pulling sharply on my Hickman line. The one thing he hadnt got was a scrub nurse, which was necessary as he was 'sterile' but we had got a 'Martin'.
'Nurse Martin' relished his new found role and was soon rasing the bed, adjusting the light and assisting generally. He was loving it.
Anyway as I said even after a few really hard tugs the line refused to budge. It had knitted itself well and truly in - which ofcourse its supposed to do. Hickman lines can stay in for up to a year, there is a little 'cuff' at the top of them which encourages your flesh to heal and knit around it. So out came the scalpel. Even though I was well numbed by local anaesthetic I could still feel him cutting away at my skin. It didnt really hurt, it was just very uncomfortable. I couldnt see anything ofcourse as it was right under my chin, but Nurse Martincould and was fascinated it seemed - his nose about 6 inches away.
All of a sudden with a gush and a plop and a trickle of something warm down my neck it was out. A couple of stitches, a dressing and it was all over. I could go home after lying flat for an hour. Nurse Martin was thanked profusely for his help and the surgeon (I didnt get his name) was gone.
The nurses were still sniggering as I thanked them for my couple of hours as a young person and left. Nurse Martin had had a whale of a time and on the way home described to me, in great detail, how the line had been 'hacked out'. Its a pity I hadnt been present at his vasectomy and could have returned the favour.
I expected it to be a great relief to have it removed and when the pain wears off it will be. Right now it feels as if Ive been stabbed right next to my collar bone, which in effect I was - several times.
But its ok, Ive got Nurse Martin here with me - expert in Hickman line removal now.....