“Right,” says the doctor, removing his hand from the LTLP’s vagina. “Caesarian this afternoon.”
Things are all happening at once. First there is my sore toe, now there is a caesarian.
We go downstairs to have a coffee, her waddling, me limping. She turns to me when we sit down. “Are you SURE that your foot is no worse?”
“NonoI’msureitisnoworsehonest,” I mumble.
“Let me have a look,” she demands.
I make up some excuses as to why she cannot have a look, which stretch the definition of the word ‘weak.’ Eventually and reluctantly, I pull off my sock.
“For fuck’s sake!” she exclaims, an expression of horror on her face.
Earlier in the week, the second GP that had examined my foot had drawn a long black line, in special medicinal NHS Bic biro, around the red and blue creeping stealth that had enveloped the limb. I recall that she had, very firmly and distinctly, told me that if the infection continued to spread beyond the line, then I should go immediately to A&E to be put on intravenous drugs.
“Well I sort of did not want to worry you,” I say, not wanting to mention that I had assumed that the LTLP had got up in the middle of the night, erased the biro line, and redrawn it in a different place just to play a small practical joke on me.
“It’s going right up your fucking leg!” she replies.
0.00001 seconds later, we are in A&E, which is a bit of an unnecessary hurry as 2 hours and 0.00001 seconds later, a doctor appears. By this point, the gravity of the situation has dawned upon me and the LTLP is starting to cry. “I am due upstairs in ten minutes,” she begs. Meanwhile, I have gone all subdued and am feeling very low. The whole day is going horribly, horribly wrong.
“Actually – wasn’t there an article about you in the paper the other day?” asks the doctor. “You’re the writer?”
I beam broadly, This is the best day that there has ever been, ever.
“Oh for Pete’s sake,” snaps the LTLP, storming off towards the operating theatre.
Five minutes later, the doctor announces that he is not going to cut off my leg etc., and that I will be OK if I swallow the UK’s entire output of antibiotics for the next ten days and do not abuse my limb. He draws another line on my foot, although whether that is for medical reasons or because he wants to draw on the foot of a famous writer I do not know. If it is the former then there has been no further encroachment; if the latter then I will be writing to the GMC as this is not appropriate behaviour for a medical professional. I hop in to the maternity ward, smiling happily.
Everything goes well. I will probably not have time to write much for a bit, as my priority is to continue to offer the LTLP the high levels of moral support that she needs.