I went into hospital on Wednesday at 6pm. It turned out that I would be sharing a side ward with another lady having the same op. She's only a few years older than me, but she's in far worse health, and she was in constant pain from her gallbladder, compared to my frequent niggles.
To be honest, I didn't think we were going to have much in common. But I felt sorry for her, and cheering her up took my mind off me.
Then the nurse breezed in with a BIG smile. "Hello ladies. Who's having the first enema?"
And we shared a Look.
And then we shared the experience of an enema. I'll spare you the details.
It went on like that. We shared an insipid, meagre dinner: dishwater soup and apple purée. We shared out symptoms, including plenty that you don't want to hear about.
In the morning we shared hunger, and silly-looking bandages on our legs.
I went down to theatre during a thunderstorm. As they strapped me to the operating table, the anaesthetist asked me whether I wanted a holiday in the Caribbean, or somewhere else. I said I wanted a young man with a feather fan and cocktails.
And it all went buzzy and black.