On September 1st I was finally admitted to Llandough for my hip replacement. I was given an epidural. Anaesthetics are pumped into your spine. You can have the choice to be awake or not during the operation. I chose not to be awake. Towards the end of the op I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness, chatting to the freckled face anaesthetist perched at my head.
'What's that banging?' I asked her. 'It sounds like someone's hammering decking or demolishing a wall.'
'Is it my hip?'
I asked if I could see my old hip and the surgeon pushed a red bald tennis ball into my face pointing out the white bits of arthritis and the total lack of cartilage. Someone else whipped down a plastic splash sheet and like the sawn-box magician's trick my lower half miraculously appeared again. Smiling doctors stood round me dressed as spacemen wearing welding visors. At the bottom of the bed the consultant held my feet together and said,
' You now have two legs the same length.'
I was then pushed into the recovery room, where I guess you're supposed to wake up.