A couple of years ago I had a pacemaker fitted since when I have had to take a drug called Sintrom which apparently is the same as rat poison only I presume in smaller doses! It thins the blood so there is no danger of a clot forming and my goodness it certainly works; hands and forearms show, sometimes for apparently no reason, what look like bruises that come and go and are rather unsightly. Actually a little bump or the slightest pressure will bring one up. Also a miniscule cut and I bleed like a stuck pig which is not so good. Once a year I have to go over to Heraklion to the university Hospital where I was treated to have the pacemaker checked.
I am sure I have told this story before so, if I have, forgive the repetition. On the day of my discharge after the operation, Chris, Douglas and I were standing by reception in the cardiac unit waiting for some papers when Doctor Goldentummy and another doctor approached. Goldentummy was the surgeon who put in the pacemaker and he now informed me that I had a hole in my heart that needed seeing to and, pointing to the other doctor, informed us this was the surgeon who would be performing the operation. Evidently the blood was going round and around like the music in that old song and the hole needed to be sealed by cauterisation. ‘You won’t feel a thing,’ Goldentummy assured me, and Chris and Douglas went off with the other surgeon to make an appointment for a couple of months time.
The day arrived and Chris drove me over to Heraklion. I was fully prepared to be admitted and all psyched up for the coming op but, as we were sitting waiting to be seen, a nurse passed by and Chris asked her how long she thought it would take to which she replied, ‘about ten minutes.’ This was hardly the expected answer and, when we went in to see the good Doctor Goldentummy it turned out we were there merely to have the pacemaker checked. ‘But what about the hole in the heart?’ I asked. ‘What hole in the heart?’ Goldentummy asked. Now maybe if I had been on my own I could have dreamt up the whole scenario but three of us? All three remember Goldentummy’s words exactly so whatever happened to the mysterious missing hole in my heart? Well, rightly or wrongly I have come to the following conclusion Doctor Watson – I believe it is possible that for a brief moment in time my notes were mixed up with those of another patient and it was he who had the hole in the heart. Could easily have happened. Doctors are not infallible and mistakes are made, in this case thank goodness without untoward consequences. The pacemaker is working perfectly and there has been no sign of any other condition so my thanks to the good doctors at the University Hospital, Heraklion. I wonder if they ever did sort it out – the missing hole I mean.