June 1st: I am in hospital. Drugs, backless gowns, attention, no phone calls about work, lovely nurses and room service, I finally see the attraction. I am in for the noblest operation a man of my experience can have. It’s called the triple F solution, forty, fat and football fan – an arthroscopy.
I sit in my gown, feet on bed trying to think up a bold and dangerous sounding reason for being here to tell the nurses. My pre-med addled brain thinks that these 20 something nurses see before them a distinguished yet strong, nurturing and irresistible man of experience. I realise it is a combination of the medication, the surroundings and the slight dread of being knocked out and my secrets laid bare.
It’s a doddle. If Arthroscopies had a fan page on Facebook I would Like it and invite friends. I am like a grandfather looking at an iPhone for the 1st time. 3pm Op. 5pm Morphine. 9pm Home. This is better than an iPhone, better than ESPN Goals being free to download and better than last week’s pain.
I make all sorts of bargains before I go to sleep. I will do my exercises religiously (more spiritual than religious), I will be climbing mountains with Didsbury son and the cubs by September (well, does driving count), I will save the sample of the knees creaking to remind me each time I fancy a trip in a lift and a Snickers. I will campaign for better knee health for all. I am gone, in a haze of morphine and relief.