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Sometimes, it’s hard to be a woman……


Sometimes, it’s hard to be a woman.

Giving all your love to just one man.

Sang Dolly Parton.

I have just spent 20 minutes trying to think of an equivalent song for how hard it is to be a man. But I’ve failed. So I’ll write one quickly.

“Have you ever caught your foreskin in your flies….ohhhhhhh, it really hurts. Don’t do it.

“Have you ever been kicked in the groin by an elephant? Me neither. But I wouldn’t want to get kicked in the groin by an elephant, because I guess it really hurts…..

Catchy huh? I think so.

Anyway, Katharine had her operation 8 days ago and I got to walk around Addenbrookes Hospital for 4 hours, 13 minutes and 12 seconds as she lay on a table in theatre.

I had two meals at Burger King, a tasty breakfast and a bacon double cheeseburger. I got lost twice. On the first occasion I was lost, I met Jim, an old chap who asked me for directions. I had time to kill, so I decided to help Jim and gave a beautiful set of detailed directions that I made up on the spot.

On the second occasion of being lost, I had started out trying to again locate Burger King for my third meal of the day but had become distracted by an abstract art display that was tastefully pinned to the wall.

As I tried to work out if I could see a fish, or a bird or an old fashioned petrol station in the swirling mass of yellows, reds and blues, I saw Jim out of the corner of my eye. I turned.


He didn’t ask me for further directions.

He is probably still lost.

Waiting while my wife was in theatre was pretty rubbish. I felt pretty useless. I must have been pretty annoying because I asked a very helpful middle aged lady with 1950’s tinge of purple hair who was sat behind a 1980’s plastic desk system (in shades of brown), on far too many occasions for an update.

On occasion of asking, one, two, three, four and five she was pleasant.

On occasion six she told me to please e’ff off. She didn’t actually say e’ff off, she said something like, “No Mr Power, your wife isn’t out yet”. But I could tell, she wanted to say, please e’ff off.

In my own hospital. When I want an update on a patient. I just go for a stroll and have a look.

Or I go for a stroll, find a relevant nurse and ask a relevant question.

Or I go for a stroll, arrive in the prep area. Realise I have forgotten why I went for a stroll in the first place and wonder off again. It’s an age thing.

I think.

In my own hospital I have a degree of control.

In Addenbrookes, I had none.

It wasn’t nice.

I never found Burger King again, but I did find a comfy plastic chair by a lift.

It was on this comfy plastic chair that I realised that the sense of uselessness I was feeling is similar to what any owner goes through when they leave Barry the Rabbit with us, Jane the Poodle or George the Mastiff.

Leaving behind a much loved friend and watching them toddle off, looking over a shoulder, down to our dog ward, or catching site of the little paw, squeezing through the holes on a cat crate and giving a small wave goodbye must be a big tug on the heart strings.

So as I was sat. On my comfy plastic chair. Thinking of my wife and worrying.

And thinking of my clients and how they worry, I made a few decisions.

We will in future be calling at a more frequent rate during the day to let client’s know how Barry, Jane or George is doing. We already call. We will just do so, more frequently.

I don’t think anyone has ever complained that, “the cheeky Vets practice called me up on far too many occasions to let me know Barry was okay……..

If an owner is at work, and can’t answer the phone, we will send a text or an email or a carrier pigeon or maybe in time, a drone.

(I’m kidding about the drone)

(and the pigeon).

We will allow clients to walk Jane and George down to ward (and carry Barry). So that the goodbye for now can occur at the last possible moment.

I would have loved to see the theatre that Katharine was in. I think it will be nice for owners to see where they are leaving their much loved…..

I would of adored text updates or phone calls.

I could have avoided upsetting the lady with purple hair.

And maybe Jim wouldn’t still be walking corridors dazed and confused.

I have just realised that I haven’t made reference to why I started this blog with a Dolly Parton song and then had to create my own version.

I can’t remember what my plan was.

I did have a plan.

Its gone.