Under the knife

On Tuesday I visited the day surgery unit at St Thomas’ in an attempt to fix a chronic and very painful condition that has bedevilled me on and off for a number of years, and which in recent months has become so bad that I have been reliant on Tramadol (which I can heartily recommend btw – it’s the absolute business). Early indications are that the operation has been successful, but I don’t want to jinx anything just yet.

The visit itself was not without a fair amount of faff: I was given the wrong time and so showed up several hours early, and then my medical notes went AWOL (probably because I was there as the result of a last-minute cancellation). But I was struck, not for the first time, by both the remarkable devotion of the staff and their general camaraderie, from West Indian receptionist to Portuguese doctor to Filipino nurse to Eastern European anaesthetist to Middle Eastern porter. The NHS is the clearest demonstration of the debt owed by this country to migrant workers, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many of my fellow pasty invalids had voted to imperil the livelihoods of so many of those who were caring for them. As the fentanyl was kicking in, I seem to recall apologising to my friendly anaesthetist for the sorry state of affairs, to which he shrugged his resignation.

All of which is to say:

– viva the NHS!

– fuck Brexit!

– screw anyone who seeks either to promulgate xenophobic bullshit or to further denude our crucial public services!

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