The Day That Dignity Died

Well, it looks like I owe you all a number of apologies.

First, I missed a day, which means you had to survive for 24 hours without my daily ray of sunshine. I think it was 111 days, but even if  I miscounted it 111 is a good number to remember.

I also misled you by claiming things were under control and getting netter.  This turned out to be inaccurate. Looking on the bright side, the further developments turned out to be more interesting (and cringeworthy).

And finally, after leading you into the apologies in a flippant manner, I’m going to apologise in advance for some of the words and details I’m about to use. If you dislike posts with unsavoury details of the interior of my trousers you may wish to pass on this one. I will be as refined as possible, but remember the “as possible”; that’s a long way from the sort of anecdote I’d tell my mother.

Cast your mind back to Wednesday morning. It is bright and clear with the gentle hum of traffic and the muted twitter of urban bird life. All is well in the world and I am getting ready for my pre-operative check. The only fly in the ointment is a slight feeling that I should be feeling better as I am positively crammed with antibiotics.

I was not fated to make that appointment, and half an hour later I was at the A&E department at QMC shouting at the receptionist. It wasn’t that I was annoyed with her, just that they have put up glass security screens and you now need to broadcast embarrassing personal details at high volume to make yourself heard. So much for patient dignity.

They sent me straight to the Urgent Treatment Centre. It’s a two minute stroll for an able-bodied, or a crippling lifetime of toil for a man with a bad foot. Not only that, but it’s not all that urgent.

When I was finally seen (which wasn’t really that long compared to a wait in A&E) the doctor asked me to describe my symptoms. Part way through, she seemed to be looking bemused.

“Is there anything wrong?” I asked.

“Well,” she said, “they seem to have booked you in with joint pain.”

“I do have joint pain,” I said, “but that’s not what  I told them at reception.”

I distinctly recall what I had told them at reception.You remember such things.

So, once again, I took down my trousers. It’s getting to be automatic and really doesn’t bother me any more.  In the last three months I’ve exposed myself to more strangers than the average flasher.

“Yes, you’re right.” said the doctor, “that’s definitely an abcess, in fact it looks like there’s one here too.

She squeezed.

“Eeeek,” I said, trying not to cry,


(To Be Continued…)

24 thoughts on “The Day That Dignity Died

  1. Pingback: Stitches, Cloves and a Happy Ending | quercuscommunity

  2. Pingback: Part 2 – The Pain Continues | quercuscommunity

  3. tootlepedal

    I liked it! As long as you survive to write about it, I can enjoy your travails vicariously. I particularity liked you having to shout your personal details at the receptionist. No wonder they have to have security screens when the security screens make the customers so cross.

  4. The Snail of Happiness

    nope… I can’t ‘like’ this. Max the dog had an abscess earlier in the year – on his bottom – it burst just before we were about to take him to the vets. I was out for my early morning swim at the time, so Mr Snail had to clean up the puss-splattered hallway. Never before have I felt the benefits of exercise so much!
    I hope that the doctors got to you before you went pop and that Mrs Quercus was not subjected to the same fate as Mr Snail.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I just though it was sore from the chafing of the catheter, didn’t realise it was an abscess until it opened up. (No dramatic “pop” for me). The drama was to come later. 🙂

  5. Clare Pooley

    I didn’t click the like button because one can’t say one likes something as painful as what you’ve described. I hope these new problems can be alleviated quickly and easily. You are in my prayers.

    1. Lavinia Ross

      Sometimes I am not sure whether clicking ‘like’ is a good idea or not, such as reasons you mentioned, but I ‘liked ‘ in solidarity with this poor suffering soul here. 🙂


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