This morning I hauled myself out of sleep to force myself to drink another horrible litre of salty orange poojuice. The heating wasn’t on. Freezing. Nothing I wanted to do less than get out of blanketbed. But another two hours of attempting to be a self propelled jetski but failing to take off forced me to find flushable water.

I wasn’t certain it was poosafe to travel by noon, but I wanted to get to hospital early. Clothes on and lights off and heating off. The hospital is in my borough so I can park anywhere. I drove in and parked a few streets from the hospital. I went and checked in.

One nurse on reception. I checked in and then watched. They were working front and and back end on their own. Some patients were more demanding than others. “Excuse me, it says no mask no entry on the door, is that still the rules?” “You can wear a mask of you prefer.” “But it says on the door no mask no entry but I’m not going to wear a mask. Also it says Endoscopy. I’m here for a Colonoscopy. Is it only Endoscopy patients with masks? How can you do an Endoscopy with a mask?” “Just use your common sense you passive aggressive cunt,” he didn’t say. “This is the right place for a colonoscopy too.” “Then why does it say etc etc” This is why I’m not a nurse. I would have had a secret trapdoor built in front of reception with a chute leading to the snake pit.

I’m only there about half an hour before I get called, in which time I watch that poor nurse working two jobs. Another nurse comes and introduces themselves. She takes me into a little room and gets my scrubs. All my stuff goes into bags. She double checks my identity and we fill in some forms. She leaves so I can get into scrubs.

I’m trying to make out like I’m not nervous but it’s clear I am. I get disposable shorts with an access hatch in the bum.

I put all my stuff into plastic bags and wait. She is off seeing other patients. Eventually she returns. It is time to attach the cannula to my arm. “What’s going in there?” “Midazolam and Fentanyl. But not now. This is just the cannula.” “I always pass out when I’m injected,” I tell her. “I don’t know why. Usually it’s about 3 minutes after. It’s not something I can affect. I’ve tried. I’m usually very good at mind over matter but I can’t make sense of this one. It’s a thing.” “I’m scared of needles too, ” she says and does a great job of getting the cannula on fast.

She then leaves to look after other people again. I take that photo, send some texts. A couple of minutes pass and I’m thinking I’ve gotten away with it when the familiar haze encroaches on the edges of my vision. “Oh fuck here we go ,” I think. I’m sitting down and I know how this goes even if I’m gonna be alone for the mad wake-up. I consider calling out but … I can handle this and all the nurses are overworked.

Shutters, white noise vision. I ensure stability in the chair as I am gianthand swatted right to left into boundless oblivion.

Everything. Everything. The boundless cosmos. The SIZE THE NOISE. Kaleidoscope voices. The edges are on fire. Moments telescope into aeons and I am gone forever into other lives and worlds and spaces.

I recover suddenly from infinite dreams of madness and who knows how much time has passed but I’m presently launching forward out of my seat with urgency. One of those endless versions left a memory of a need. Something I must do. In this world or their world? A powerful aegis to put on a man with disposable bumflap shorts. I’ll have to try to remember. This one is sane again and here is the world this one is in again in this idea of a time stream, and I once more inhabit this unusual being I chose. The end of the faint brings a sudden shock of cold sweat. Every inch of my body makes itself sweat wet, especially my face. The remaining laxative in my gut has not had the benefit of any consciousness holding it in for however long I was elsewhere. I’m back in this version of time and the poo is knocking at my door. I know where the loo is thank God. I asked the nurse. I rush there and it’s still a near miss as sweating and still remembering who I have decided to be right now and I clear the scrubs out the way and let the liquid contents of my gut Vesuvius downwards. Still I don’t achieve flight. The model is flawed.

I go back and I sit on my poor bum. Time passes, and since we are back in the timestream it must. Enter Mike.

“Well then, here you are,” says Mike. “You’re young. I guess you’re wondering how you got here?”


“It’s how it goes. You notice changes in your bowel, we find deep blood in your poo, next thing, here you are. I’m the doctor.” I love him. He artlessly called me young.

We fill in forms. He’s great. “You’re an actor?” “Well, yes but I think you’ll be seeing a different side of me from the one I present as part of my work.” He thinks about it. “Yes, but I mostly see a part of everyone that they haven’t seen before.”

He makes some notes and leaves me alone again. He’s evidently extremely good and extremely busy.

Eventually two new nurses come and get me. They bring me into the room and lie me down. They check who I am again and attach blood pressure and heart rate monitors. I get relaxed.

The doctor has made the call that I don’t need Midazolam. That’s the sedative that is anti anxiety. “Just the Fentanly,” he says, and says to me : “There are people out there who go out of their way for this stuff.” I respond; “Mate, there are people out there who would go out of their way for what you’re about to do to me.” “Not so many people,” he responds, and he shoves a long long camera all the way up my arse to my bellybutton.

Without the Midazolam I am weirdly happy to be fully aware and watching the screen. The invasion of the camera causes a catastrophe of farting which is welcomed by the doctor : “Good, that’s the best thing to do.” I think one of my farts lasts about a minute. Call Norris McWhorter.

Together we watch Gut-TV. It’s ok up there. I’ve just had a full purge too. And mostly my gut is all fine. Just one great big 1.5cm polyp, causing all the problems,b in my rectum. Mike is an expert in his field and happy to offer his opinion. “Big one there. Let’s get it off. Doesn’t look cancerous to me.”

I watch as it is frozen off and then stitched up with a small metal stud. They momentarily can’t find where it fell but they gather it up for biopsy. “Oh and there’s piles,” he says almost conversationally as it all comes out.

‘Twas a polyp. Nothing more. A big one though. They’ll be dissecting it now. It looked like a little brain. I’m glad it’s gone. Doctor was happy it was benign.

More nurses in aftercare and the receptionist again in discharge and good God how can the government not SEE that they are wonderful humans working so hard? Every one of them will be working long hours and without any stops, fielding nerves and pain and cleverness and shyness and all the tricky bits of humans with SKILL” They MUST be paid better. Sadly the government literally doesn’t understand what work actually is. Or skill. Unchecked privilege has driven our country almost to standstill.

Tristan picked me up. “I’m fine I can drive home don’t worry.” “Your eyes are glazed. I don’t believe you. What have you had?” “Just a tiny tiny bit of Fentanyl it’s fine it’s fine.” Fentanyl killed Prince.

I’m back at T&T’s. I brought along a jar of foie gras de canard that my neighbour gave me ages ago. We had the lot along with some excellent Bolognese, and now Henry the cat and I are settling in for an early bed. The dreams won’t be the fever dreams of earlier when I momentarily accidentally shunted out of this place to another of them. I’m back here again whatever “here” is, and this one is healthy and polyp free and ready to make some interesting and weird changes on this version of now going forward.

Thank everything for the NHS. Nye Bevan. May his legacy last 1000 years. May it certainly outlast these manicured empty incompetent liars in Westminster.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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