Recently I had the unfortunate experience of requiring an operation. It had been a long time coming and as you might expect, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it.

As you know these things nearly always result in instant, painful death with much screaming and agony. Then there’s the life insurance to worry about and one agonises over exactly what one will say during that last tear jerking conversation with one’s darling partner. Something about making sure there’s enough cat litter probably.

So there I sat, on my it has to be said very comfortable hospital bed wondering deeply about the serious things in life. Contemplating the world’s wrongs and debating for some time why it might be they call it an operating ‘theatre’ as opposed to a ‘room’. Was there some kind of performance afoot that I would miss? Was I the albeit unconscious performer?

Now this may seem to you some trivial thoughts perhaps. Especially when as I’ve said, I was entirely convinced that my untimely death was upon me. But you see something odd had just happened. A nurse had just visited.

A Dutch chap named Houp had come over with a bag which contained a very soft warmed blanket, a dressing gown and one of those hospital nighties that show your bum off. Houp explained what was going to happen and it was very strange. He at no point suggested there would be any pain. At no time did he advise that I’d be required to write my final will and testament. In fact, he seemed to give the impression that all would be perfectly fine and that save a trifle of inconvenience, I’d be on my way home, skipping, gaily perhaps.

Shortly thereafter, the anaesthetist popped over. A Canadian guy who appeared as Mr Cool with Hendrix hair and wristbands a plenty, no doubt signifying his support for the Lower Gambian Gingbobo Monkeys. He again, with humour filled tone of voice, furnished me with quite detailed information as to what was about to happen.

And with that I was invited to walk into the ‘theatre’ and introduced to various lovely people who were busily putting on masks and getting things prepped for my operation. In what seemed like just over 20 seconds, I was asked to ‘hop’ onto the ‘table’, given a small injection, someone said something intended as amusing, I giggled and woke up in recovery.

My point here, other than to seek some form of sympathy, is that everyone who spoke to me during my short time in hospital was absolutely, utterly brilliant. More understanding and more professional folks I believe I’d struggle to find in any other environment. Moreover, that our health service is so underfunded to the extent that it is fills me with horror. That these people, who were so kind in my moment of worry should struggle for anything is simply disgraceful.

Our health service workers are amazing, and they should be held aloft like the gods they are.

That said, they didn’t give me enough drugs and now I’m really quite sore. I shall surely die most painfully at any mome….

Gordon Lockhart