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Date: 29/10/23

Future Shock

Apologies for the long silence. I'm sure that some of my loyal readers might have been slightly concerned given what I was talking about last time.

It's just that I simply haven't had the inclination to sit down and write anything, whilst still processing the past month's events, either in my own life or in what passes for the real world outside.

I'll take the story up more or less where I left off.

October 10 rolled around, and I found myself once more in the Cardiology department. After a few minutes' wait (and I had arrived well in advance of my appointment time by catching an earlier bus just to be really sure), I was ushered in to see the doctor.

This time, it wasn't my own local bod but the delightful Dr Jenkins from Manchester (the specialist nurse - not doctor - who was in the room when I spoke to Dr Thaman on the 2nd was also in attendance). Dr Jenkins said that she remembered me from 2016, which was a statement open to a variety of interpretations; however, she simply meant that she recalled my case as being one of the worst of its kind she'd ever seen. Now there's a distinction.

We discussed the impending cardioversion (that's the process whereby they give me a jolt to try to do a reset on the heartbeat thing). In her usual upbeat and encouraging way, she said that for what I had wrong, the success rate of the 'procedure' was about ninety-five per cent. I told her that I'd take that any day of the week.

She then dropped another bombshell on me. From the ultrasound I'd had last time, it looked as if that sodding pulmonic valve is starting to be a problem again, although I've had no indication of anything which would make that obvious to me. In order to be sure - because she said that an ultrasound can sometimes overstate things - I have to go early in the new year not only for another MRI but for a CT scan as well. And this time it won't be in Manchester, but at a hospital in Liverpool. You see, they've centralised things (and that word always means that it has been done for the convenience of management and bean-counters rather than the patient; or, indeed, the medical staff). She did clear up one thing I'd been wondering about for years, though; although there are scanners in Wrexham which could do that side of things, we didn't have the specialist staff necessary to analyse the results. This is why I had to go to Manchester on the previous two occasions.

So here's how things roll right now. I will be going in to Wrexham Maelor hospital this Wednesday morning (November 1) as - in theory at least - a day case. They'll carry out the 'procedure' shortly afterwards, monitor me for a few hours (I'm taking my .mp3 player with me and the copy of Terry Pratchett's authorised biography which I haven't got around to starting yet) and then - I hope - let me go home to complete my recovery over the subsequent twenty-four hours. I have my niece on standby for transport home.

And how's my state of mind regarding all this?

Well actually, I'm quite relaxed about it now. What happens, happens. Insh'allah. Even if the 'procedure' doesn't work, I'm not likely to be any worse off that I am right now, and they can always try it again at some point in the near future. Failing that, there's another 'procedure' they can carry out which is bit more complicated, but not troublingly so.

I'll report back either late on Wednesday or on Thursday if I can. I may have an electrifyingly amusing tale to tell...