The hospital corridor is filled with trolleys containing files, Mr Fitch is extracting one of these files and talking to a nurse. In the distance my original consultant also extracts information from a similar trolley.
Earlier this year, in a similar situation, my heart rate would have escalated, and adrenaline would have coursed through my veins; but not today. Today I feel quite relaxed and at ease.
A nurse calls my name and Clare and I are ushered into a white room, sporting a computer, a chair, a bed covered in paper, and what looks like a vacuum cleaner for the body. However none of these things strike fear into me. Not even the title of the room “demonstration” in a discreet sign attached to the door fills me with trepidation.
My old consultant enters, clutching a large file. I immediately stretch out my hand and she takes it. I have had a strange, sometimes difficult relationship with this woman. She has wanted me to be disembowelled for a long time, and this has always been a matter of contention. Now it is done and we seem to be on a more level relationship. I am genuinely pleased to see her, and she is genuinely pleased that I am healthy. Brief conversation and then she leaves. “Back to the grindstone” as she puts it.
Next Mr Fitch enters with my notes. A large file held shut by a long brown rubber band. He removes the band and starts to twirl and twist it around his extremely clean hands.
After preliminary conversation, about whether I am getting on OK we move on to discussion of the future and possible surgery. Reconnection is the word they use.
“I think I want the full broadband 100 megabytes” I explain. The rubber band twists around his fingers tighter and tighter.
“I presume if it all goes wrong the worst thing that could happen is that I end up back where I am now?” I ask.
“No; the worst thing that could happen is that I could kill you” he says quite calmly. He assures me this extremely unlikely.
Later on we even have a joke and a laugh as he describes being in hospital himself one Christmas and being brought NHS sherry. NHS Sherry?.
"It was horrible and brown" He laughs loudly. I actually quite like this bloke.
I am not worried about the future whatever it may bring.
I must have travelled quite a long way in the last year. This would have freaked me out a few months ago.