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Senior Adventures

Thursday, 18 October 2018  | John Kidson

It's not 'what' happens so much. It's the interpretation that's important.

- J. J. Furs

My latest escapade started early Thursday morning last week. Too early by choice - I would not have chosen the time - but on reflection, with the gift of hindsight, I'm glad I wasn't in charge of the timing!

Three-fifteen was a tad earlier than normal night-time excursions. While attending to the required process, I became aware of a severe pain - no, not down there, but in my right lower chest. I thought: ‘What? Indigestion? Impossible! I had cooked dinner!’ I dutifully chewed the mandatory 'Gaviscon' tablet and in two shakes climbed back into bed. But oh, the pain in my chest was worse. So NOT indigestion; but what?

My darling wife was sleeping peacefully*. I turned on my bed lamp, returned kitchen-ward and wisely placed a soluble aspirin under my tongue. Next my peacefully sleeping beauty began stirring. I waited until my darling asked on waking: "What's wrong?" To cut a long, worthwhile, but rather dull story shorter my practical wife suggested** a drive to the hospital. So we did, where I was diagnosed with a gall bladder condition. (Ugh!)

But this was the recently refurbished local public hospital. The specialist who saw me agreed with the diagnosis and announced: 'Plenty of beds in A & E, but none in any ward!'

His advice: the local private hospital. There were three good reasons to move:

- My up-to-date private cover.

- He would not charge a gap fee.

- More immediate alleviation of pain and distress.

And I was more than a little buoyed by his optimistic bedside manner. I agreed. He related that our changed dietary habits - a monthly wooly mammoth now replaced by a daily intake of smaller meals - had rendered gall bladders to the no-longer useful category, along with the tonsils and appendixes. The specialist's story was reassuring and further proof of the Creator's ongoing assistance.

So began a simple 'ninety-minute corrective procedure' - no worries! Then a shaver-waving wards-man who told me he'd once been a shearer made me wince when he called: 'Ta’. Only thanking a colleague. Later a wards-man, removing my dressings, remarked: 'I used to be a plumber'. I thanked him and smiled.

At last here I am home at 5.45 pm on Monday. The simple ninety minutes extended past two hours - the surgeon had to dig for a stone 'about to enter my liver'. Now gall bladder, stones and pain are all gone. I'm getting ready to fly to Sydney to meet my newborn, eleventh grand child: the beautiful Ruby Joy. Wow - I now have a complete mixed-gender soccer team!

P.S. I'm glad for the Master Timekeeper's control. That early Thursday start was so right. And what's an extra half hour between surgeon and patient? I'm able to look forward to duties as coach-manager. I'll cut the oranges, even help with washing the shirts. Sadly the World Cup has to remain a dream…

* Snoring loudly.

** Very strong suggestion.

John Kidson
is a former youth worker, uni chaplain and soccer tragic.

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