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As I was saying …

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted …

I’d been cruising across Tasmania for summer in big loops based around Hobart as I sorted out a number of medical appointments — annual checkup, dentist, optician, brain surgeon (just kidding … I think).

Was booked in for a precautionary biopsy in late February, attended the pre-op sessions, and then took off for a few days of well-earned relaxation.

Met up with an old friend at Sorell, shared a fine meal and good wine while twilight lingered.

Next morning, in the midst of my daily housecleaning chores (one-minute sweep, one-minute vacuum) the phone rang.

It was the surgical bookings office at the Royal Hobart Hospital. “We’ve had a double cancellation. Can you get to hospital tomorrow for pre-op procedures and be available for a full knee replacement in five days time?”

Could I ever!

For years I’ve been in constant pain with my right knee in increasing decline, and was unable to get on the elective surgery waiting list. About two years ago I was ambulanced to hospital with a knee twice its normal size, and in such pain that even morphine had no effect.

I was rushed into theatre and emerged to wake up from the anaesthesia with a drip in my arm and a drain emerging from my heavily bandaged knee.

A few hours later a very cheery orthopaedic surgeon came round to check his handiwork and asked how long I’d been on the waiting list. “You’ve just got bone on bone and no cartilage.”

When I explained that I was still trying to get on the list, he looked a bit shocked but replied: “You’re on it now.” and kept his word.

Coincidentally, he was also the surgeon on duty who did the full knee replacement nearly seven weeks ago. Thanks Mr Harvey.

The x-rays above show the before and after results, and the x-ray on the right with what looks like a row of fish bones, is actually revealing the the 29 stainless steel staples that held the scar together.

Since the operation I’ve managed to walk a fair bit with only the occasional limp, drive the bus several hundred kilometres and go cycling with comparative ease.

And the biopsy? I’m now on another waiting list. UPDATED.

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