Not a spectacular start to the year which was supposed to close its door on boring old health problems.
The cold/cough which I caught at the start of my trip to London dragged on for over a month. In the end I had to postpone my major dental surgery until April and, as March progressed, became worried I would have to do the same thing for my gynae ‘intervention’ (I rather like this French word for operation).
A routine biennial visit to the gynaecologist, Dr Maistre, in January resulted in a return visit in February for a more detailed echography and then Dr Maistre referred me to his surgical colleague, Dr Anne-Marie Moutte, at the Clinique in Ganges for a biopsy.
My first visit with Dr Moutte was somehow a very French occasion. She is a delightful woman, approaching 50 I would think, but waving her head of long blond hair like someone half her age, and she combined stylish looks with a warm, voluble compassionate manner – and a rather romantic attitude to all problems gynae. When I suggested that perhaps a hysterectomy was in the offing, her response was: shock, horror – the uterus is at the centre of being a woman (she said in heavily accented English). The only reason to move it is if there is a cancer.
Well, my reason for being with her was to arrange the investigation: a hysteroscopy (camera shoved up into uterus to investigate, a routine D&C to remove fibroids etc, and a biopsy. I saw Dr Moutte on 6 March and the op was set for 19th March (yesterday) with an overnight stay as I live on my own. Another visit to Ganges on the 9th to meet the anaesthetist and then a desperate attempt to get better in the intervening ten days. This has rather preoccupied this month!
So, at midday yesterday I arrived at the clinic and was shown up to a room on the maternity floor (something I found rather disconcerting) to a large room which I initially shared with a young woman who did not utter one word in the two hours before first she and then I were wheeled down to the operating block.
I was surprisingly anxious before this op, not helped by remembering that Dad was only a year older when he died after a stroke in the recovery room after a mundane prostate op. But it was a jolly, friendly team who prepared me. Dr Moutte had said I should tell everybody about my fragile crowns and implants, and my less than six-month old hip replacement. They listened carefully and suggested I remained awake while they put me into position so I could feel if there was any strain on the hip. (And perhaps worries about my teeth explained why I was put to sleep with a mask and did not seem to have the usual tubes in my mouth.)
I have no idea when the actual op took place but it was nearly seven in the evening before I returned to my room, the young girl having now left (sadly, I suspect an abortion).
After a not very surprising poor night, this morning I was raring to go home. No pain to speak of, but strange episodes of dizziness, no doubt the anaesthetic plus loss of blood (continuing).
Dr Moutte came by to tell me that the op had been a bit longer than expected (I get rather used to hearing this) as she had had to remove a huge number of polyps and fibroids. I asked if there had been any signs of cancerous cells, but she said nothing would be known before the biopsy results are sent back, in ten days or so. And then I have to fix an appointment with Dr Maistre in a month’s time.
Peter, who is coming mid-April is going to have a jolly time with me getting up-tight about dental and gynae sessions. Actually I’m quite calm and positive about the latter. Every such experience does not necessarily end up with a cancer diagnosis, and if it does, the prognosis for recovery is usually good (about 75%). Well, I must continue to think in this way, mustn’t I?