Friday, 13 November 2009


Yes, at the third attempt the poor soul finally made it. He had the operation on Wednesday morning and I went to see him just after lunch on Friday afternoon last week.

It's a bit of a trail through consisting of bus, metro train, and bus but it didn't take as long as I was expecting because I didn't have to wait for the bus or the metro and at the other end the buses to the Freeman Hospital were every 10 minutes and only a minutes walk from the Metro station. But that was during the day. I wouldn't have liked to try it on an evening.

Barry was still in ITU, intensive care, and getting in was like going through customs. Inside I had to shed my jacket and bag,wash my hands and put on a plastic apron before I could see him. And there he was, all wired and tubed up. Apart from the various bits and pieces monitoring his heart, he also had a couple of drips inserted into his arm. Plus a catheter. Having been on the other side of the counter about three years ago when Barry was looking at me all tubed and cathetered up and lying on a bed, I could afford to indulge in some mild schadenfreude at his discomfort. The lucky sod had been unconscious when the catheter was inserted so I told him it was agony when it was removed. This wasn't true, as I admitted, a little later, but I couldn't resist the chance to wind him up.

He was sitting in a chair and in good spirits but obviously weak and hadn't eaten much. Been there, not eaten that. His voice was also low and I had to put my hearing aid in to catch what he was saying. They were generally pleased with Barry's progress and the operation had been relatively straightforward. They'd repaired rather than replaced his heart valve which should be good for another 20 years now instead of the 4 or 5 prior to the op.

I've since heard that his progress has continued to be good. He was due to go home today but was kept in a for another day because of fluid retention. I'll call him on Sunday after he's settled back in at home and arrange to call round soon with some DVDs to stop him getting bored while he's housebound.

Get well soon, mate, we're overdue for a trip to the pub.

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