Bed side manner.
“That’s not good, that’s not at all good…” It’s not really what you want to hear from your doctor after waiting 4 hours on a very uncomfortable plastic chair in a hospital which doesn’t have phone reception…. Let me take a step back and talk about what had happened up until that point. Two weeks previously I had noticed that my left eye was getting a bit blurry and so I toddled off to my local Specsavers, fully expecting to be told that as I was knocking on 40, my eyes were starting to wear out and I would need some new lenses in my terribly overpriced frames that I had bought 3 years earlier. It was on one of those days that was like summer had arrived, a glorious day and I remember that I had dragged my summer wardrobe out and had put on my really funky new bright orange Nike Air Jesters which brightened up my day by just looking at them! I literally had no idea what was to come next. My optician was a lovely young woman who had not long been qualified, we were chatting and she was talking about how proud she was at passing her exams and how Specsavers had offered her a job straight after she had qualified. I love talking to people and finding out their stories, what made them decide on their careers, what they like to do in their spare time and generally learning about them. I actually feel very lucky that she was my optician that day as it was clear that she saw ‘something’ in my eye that wasn’t meant to be there. The lenses that she was putting in front of my left eye In those very stylish glasses that they have, were not changing my vision at all, nothing was making it clearer it just looked like I was looking through a block of ice. After a while she asked if she could put in the stuff that makes your pupils look like you’ve had a cracking night at Gatecrasher (one for the over 40’s there) and got her supervisor to have a look. They obviously knew what they saw but couldn’t tell me and sent me straight away up to St James’s hospital in Leeds to the eye casualty department. I had a sense that something was up as everyone started looking at me in a strange way but as I was quite blind due to the drops and a bit annoyed that I had to ring the husband to come and pick me up I didn’t think much more of it. Fast forward to the next morning when I rock up at St James’s bright and breezy at 9am, only to discover that I would have a 4 hour wait as I wasn’t an emergency, I settled in for the long game and played few rounds of eye spy to myself (oh the irony) The doctor I saw was really great, around my age, a bit dishevelled but friendly and possibly a bit bored of seeing the same eye problems…there was a student in the room young, bright, energetic, you know, all the things that a nearly 40yr old, knackared, mum of two dislikes….Another round of making my pupils look like I had gone at it hard the night before and on the with bright light and microscope….. that’s when he said it….”That’s not good, that’s not good at all….. what the hell is that?” all the words that you definitely want your doctor to say….and then THAT’S when he said it….. “So I think that you have a melanoma in your eye….” errrrrrrrrrr sorry WHAT? “Yeah, not what I expected to see at all…..” Riiiiggghhhhtttttt, what the actual F***?” I saw the students ears (well with one eye I could) prick up at soon as she heard the word melanoma and she was itching to see it, hovering over the doctors shoulder, craning her neck to see what he had just seen…..”Do you want to have a look?” I asked her, nodding emphatically she jumped into the chair and had a good old look, making the appropriate gasping and oooing noises. After the excitement had died down in the room, I tried to concentrate on what was being said to me. I heard ‘melanoma’, ‘Sheffield’, ‘eye removal’ followed by, ‘is that all ok?’ Nodding and mumbling something like “yep, great, thank you so much, sorry for taking up so much of your time” (I am so bloody British) I scurried out of the hospital and drove home, not remembering any of the drive. So that was last week, and a LOT has happened since then. I think i’ll save that for the next post!