Today I was to be transferred to Castle Hill Hospital at Hull. I had had swabs taken from up my nose, armpit and groin to hopefully prove that I wasn't incubating anything nasty, but ward experience had taught me not to expect anything to happen until it happened and when Sister Sara said "Your transport will be here within the next ten minutes or four hours" that pretty much summed it up. As it happened it was within the hour and when the ambulance crew complete with wheel chair came to collect me there was a rush of goodbyes to my fellow patients, especially Bob, who I hoped to see in Hull on the following Tuesday and of course the wonderful nursing staff, with hugs, chaste kisses and a few tears. They are stars, every one of them.
It had been decided that Jacquie wouldn't visit today; she had made arrangements for two chaps from the Selby Boat Centre to help her move SKYY from her birth beside the lock to an on line mooring at the Centre. About half a mile away. Here it should be possible to pick up a TV signal, but more importantly SKYY could be plugged into mains electricity, thereby saving having to run the engine for several hours a day.
Before being snugged into her new home, which would be with another narrow boat breasted along side us SKYY was pumped out and filled up with diesel ready for my return.
I arrived at Castle Hill about one hour after leaving York and was wheeled into a very smart two storey state of the art Cardiac Unit and was made very welcome by both the staff and residents of bay three ward 26. The other three residents were all post operative and it was very encouraging to see how well they were doing.
The big surprise was when I was told that my operation was being brought forward to tomorrow. Less time to worry about it for me, but Jacquie wasn't planning to decamp to Hull until tomorrow by which time I could be on the operating table. Jacquie had made arrangements for her and Duggie to stay in a dog friendly B&B close to the hospital. Fortunately a call to the B&B confirmed that it would be fine to arrive a day earlier. Jacquie coped with the pressure of ensuring she had everything packed in time to get to visit me that evening and without getting too lost found her way to the welcoming B&B.
During the afternoon I had more swabs taken, had all the risks explained by a Doctor and the odds of surviving the operation were about 97%, had a chat with the anaesthetist and the Doctor who would be removing the donor vein from my leg and stitching me back up afterwards and finally Mr Choudary, the surgeon who would be doing the actual grafting, scuse the pun. After all that I was supposed to sleep well, but surprisingly I did.