I think I have figured out why so many people are under the false illusion that I am brave. My discovery of this results from the latest fluctuation in the inflatiness of my right lung (ok here’s a game, complete the following: “Emily’s lung has been up and down more than…………” I look forward to reading some of your suggestions!).
Anyway. Things have been getting slightly more uncomfortable every day, and yesterday I could really feel the big fat airpatch sitting fatly on my lung. If I tried to lie down, said airpatch would also put its feet up on my heart, and was generally making itself more and more at home. An Xray revealed that it was indeed getting fatter and so yesterday evening the decision was made to put in chest drain number 3 (or 4? Not quite sure now) which would be a smaller drain (yay!) put in using CT guidance fat airpatch has cleverly surrounded itself with large blood vessels to make everyone’s job that bit harder.
I think the scariest thing about any procedure is actually the anticipation and fear of the unknown. Technically this is the drain to worry about least – it was all carefully planned, to be done calmly with the aid of a CT scanner with no time pressure as it was not done in an emergency as all my previous ones have been. But weirdly all this made me more anxious. Before I have always been so frightened and breathless that I have begged them to put a chest drain in, anything to feel some relief, whereas this time, as they approached me with the trolley, I felt that I wanted to either shout “look over there!” and then roll off the bed and hide behind it (cunning) or behave in a menacing manner so they wouldn’t come any nearer. Somehow the feeling that I could technically opt out of having the procedure made it more frightening, and as a result I may or may not have made a bit of a fuss as they set everything up, sobbing something about it all being too much in the space of 4 weeks. This you see is the proof that I am in fact not brave and what makes it extra amusing is I had been beautifully behaved when they put in the emergency drains (which are the size of hosepipes) whereas this is a nice tiny drain, about the size of a biro and here I was wailing like a banshee. Lovely. Once they actually started, I was absolutely fine, as it was already underway so I could accept that no biting or beating with spoons on my part would change it, and just lie there very tense saying “is it done yet?” every few minutes but other than that behaving rather well. Towards the end of the procedure I apologised profusely for my behaviour and said to the poor man I understood he was doing it all for my own good it’s just the idea of it was quite scary, and remembered to thank him for what he was doing (I always thank staff after any procedure, even blood tests because I doubt they get thanked very often and I think it must be horrible to have to perform unpleasant procedures on people all day even if you know it is for their own good).
Sure enough, when it was all over and I was thanking them, they were all enthusing that I had been a wonderful patient and very brave and it was their pleasure. It suddenly struck me (making me smile which may have looked a little bizarre) that this is the key to my brave façade, and it is all thanks to my drama background. You see I had it hammered into my head at an early age from my drama teacher Ms Heath, that no matter how the performance has gone, the all important bit is the very last number, and it is vital that it goes well with extra sparkle and flair, as that way the audience is left thinking “crikey that was good” because that is the bit which sticks in their minds. It is this “final act” which I put on at the end of the show which is what has everyone fooled thinking I am in fact some brave and courageous person. Although now my secret is out...