When i woke up from the anaesthetic, following my surgery, I noticed that one of my arms and part of my neck had turned bright pink.
It looked like terrible sunburn - as if I had somehow had a long and foolish nap on a really hot beach.
In my confusion, I suddenly remembered one of the nurses had been asking me earlier where I was planning to go on holiday.
She had suggested Sardinia might be a nice choice, though I never even got to reply.
That had felt like minutes ago, but it was several hours.
What was going on?!
In reality, I had been wiped in chlorhexidine - a ‘surgical scrub solution’ used to disinfect skin before treatment.
Why did nobody forewarn me about this?
Why does it seem I am always only learning things retrospectively?
I was chlorohexidined!
Even the word sounds like a spell!
Then there was something else. A brand new shame to discover.
An object had been attached to me. Something plastic on a sort of strap.
My first thought was binoculars, my second a camera. Ooh.
Obviously, I had not let go of my hopes for a happy holiday.
But it was merely a bottle with a tube coming out of it (and out of me as well, from its other end).
And that bottle was steadily filling up with red liquid which I assumed was blood.
Actually, it was worse than that: it was literally a cocktail of saline solution and my blood.
It was one of the most disgusting ‘drinks’ I have ever (yet) seen.
A Vampire smoothie!
Apparently, this is really my so-called ‘drain’.
And it will be by my side for 5 days and 5 nights.
Like a persistent frenemy.
It will be interesting to see how we get on with each other.