Saturday, 7 September 2013

GK's Little Outing





Yesterday Grumpy Knee went to hospital, like a doggy to the vet.

At a private Preston hospital used by the NHS, at 8:30 am precisely, GK had an x-ray, and at 9:00am precisely, a blood test was taken. Here we were treated with the deference accorded to those who can pay. GK was impressed. Our surgeon had specified the right knee. GK is on the left. The staff were worried. I thought GK was going to speak up, but his scar and absence of such on the right finally allayed fear of litigation for the radiologist.

At Preston NHS hospital appointments for the scan were at 10:00 am and 12:00 am, the location being the alarmingly named Nuclear Medicine Department.

The hospital is massive. The Nuclear Medicine Department involved a nerve-wracking journey along corridors too long to see the end of, descent to the lowest level in a lift, right and left turns, and a feeling of increasing isolation. GK thought he was off potholing.

Thoughts questioned the reason for Nuclear Medicine’s location in such a remote part of that labyrinthal building. Concern notched up more on learning I was to be injected with radioactive juice - so that’s how they get rid of all that nuclear waste, eh?

Scan number one took about five minutes, and we were on our way instructed to return at 12:00, “when the radio-active juice has adhered itself to your bones!” GK said nothing.

We returned at 12:00 for scan number two, then we were sent off with instructions to drink plenty of water to wash away the nuclear stuff, not to get close to young children, and not to sleep with pregnant women - I think GK was a bit disappointed about that last instruction.

4 comments:

afootinthehills said...

Hi Conrad. Quite a day. When I went for my MRI scan the surgeon had specified my right knee. I assured the radiologist that it was the left, but this had to be cleared with the surgeon.

Previously, reading from my notes, he had commented " I see you had open surgery on your right knee in 1995." I had keyhole surgery actually.

NHS or private, it doesn't seem to matter. My 1995 op was done privately and on the morning the surgeon visited me he said something like," left knee, isn't it"? I was glad he marked the right one there and then.

Anyway, I hope GK isn't glowing in the dark and drawing unwanted attention to himself.

Roderick Robinson said...

Excellent idea; too excellent, in fact. If you use it again you'll have to be careful not to repeat the individual conceits (eg, GK disappointed, I thought GK was going to speak up, etc.)

Style becomes ever more important and it seems to me you've recognised this. Even so, thirty words here and there could be cut, aiding the telegrammatic delivery.

Some examples: Out goes "like a doggy to the vet". Out goes "nerve-wracking". "and at 9.00 am precisely a blood test was taken" becomes "At 9 am precisely, a blood test."

"I thought GK was going to speak up, but his scar and absence of such on the right finally allayed fear of litigation for the radiologist." suffers from over-compression. In fact I'm not sure of the meaning. Something more direct like: "Would GK speak up? But he's got a scar and Right Knee hasn't. Suing the radiologist became less likely."

Punchline structure needs close attention. Here superfluous words are tin cans tied to the back bumper. Perhaps: "...not to get too near to children, and (I felt GK quiver) not to sleep with pregnant women. GK was definitely offended."

Phreerunner said...

Roderick has hit the nail on the head here. And has diagnosed problems with your writing style. Does that make you a 'flawed genius', Conrad? Brilliant...
Gibson's contribution is also a valuable enhancement to the 'reading experience'.
I wonder whether your doctor would have the nerve to give you a free prescription along the lines of an entry ticket to Sellafield?

Can you tell - I'm reading this whilst dosed up with a cocktail of Tramadol, Naproxen an Diazepam...

Sir Hugh said...

Afoot - GK is not glowing, but I think the word has gone round amongst the local pregnant women.

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RR - thanks for the professional crit. I worked hard to get within 300 words, and settled for self satisfaction when that was achieved. Overcompresion? Heavens, I'll be writing poetry next

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Phreerunner - I'm puzzled about your drug intake, but perhaps it explains publication of some surreal blue cast pics from an alien world on your last post.