Of course, all was well.
The GP, who is younger, but has mastered the skill of being gently avuncular, looked over his glasses.
“Hmmm. Removal of lipomas is very simple. Except it is eight centimetres across. You will probably need a general anaesthetic”.
The heart sank. The pictures on Google showed a simple operation performed by the local doctor. You went along. He gave you a quick local anaesthetic; made a small incision in the skin; removed the mass of fatty tissue; and the sewed up the skin. You went out the door and drove home.
OK, there was nothing on the website about driving home – maybe you would have to walk on account of the anaesthetic. But there was nothing about general anaesthetics.
He picked up the apprehensiveness. “You haven’t had a general anaesthetic before?”
“No”. (I was tempted to say that I was 38 before I learned to swim so not having had an anaesthetic at 47 was just being consistent). “I thought it would be an outpatients’ procedure”.
“No. It would be a day procedure. You would get out later that day. Unless, of course, there was some adverse reaction to the anaesthetic and you felt woozy and had to be kept in”.
The referral letter emerged from the printer, he slipped it into an envelope and wrote a number on the envelope to phone to contact the consultant.
All would be well if there hadn’t been an answering machine. This office is closed until Wednesday 24th September.
The letter was definitely on my desk when I made that phone call and if someone had answered that phone, I’m sure I would know now where the letter has gone. It would be too embarrassing to phone the GP to admit to losing the letter.
There are six days to find it.
Unless, of course, I have subconsciously shredded it; the spectre of the anaesthetic presenting too much of a threat. It was the woozy bit; I don’t like being woozy; I don’t do wooziness at all well. There must be something on Google about avoiding wooziness.
Perhaps the simpler course is Panadol and avoiding doctors. All the same, domestic harmony depends on finding that letter.