Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Home at Last!

I came home yesterday afternoon, after waiting 6 hours from being told I was being discharged, to receiving my drugs from the pharmacy. They also had to fix up the district nurse to come in each day to give me my daily Fragmin injections which have to continue for 28 days post surgery.

First of all, I want to say the hugest THANK YOU to dear Lucy for co-authoring my blog for the duration. It has been wonderful to know that all you my lovely friends out there have been kept up to date with news. Lucy has been co-authoring my blog during my absence, and getting updates from my hubby.

I also want to say another huge THANK YOU to everybody who has sent such fabulous comments, emails, cards and gifts. I have been overwhelmed by your love and kindness, and know for a fact how much you have all helped me gain a good outcome for my surgery by your tremendous generosity. I am going to try and reply to every comment and thank each person for their beautiful hand-made gifts and cards but I’m afraid this is going to take me a long time…

It is really lovely to be home. I had hoped that after 4 or 5 days I’d be up to having the laptop in hospital but I’m afraid that was not to be – I have found it very hard to focus on anything at all, and even now after 24 hours at home, am finding it a struggle to type – it is going to take time, but there’s no rush.

I am coping very well with my recovery. Shortly after my hubby brought me home yesterday, he went out to Newton Abbot station to pick up my lovely friend Alison – we first became friends at school 50 years ago! (Goodness that makes me feel old!) She and her sister take turn and turn about, looking after their elderly parents, so she works very hard, but she volunteered to take time out to come down and stay and look after us both! Not only is she seemingly a bundle of energy (she even found time to bake scones this afternoon!) and very practical and helpful, but she is a retired nurse (not many people end up with their own private nurse when they come out of hospital do they lol!!) and just having her around is a tremendous tonic – we have been chatting and laughing and remembering lots of fun things. Even if we don’t see each other for several years, we always just pick up where we left off and the years fall away. I am so, so thrilled to have her with us – more than words can say!

While I was in hospital, to start with the nurses simply emptied and changed my stoma bag for me, but after a few days, the stoma nurse came daily and showed me how to do it for myself. From the beginning my hubby was fully involved, and after a couple of days we were doing it together – he laying everything out, and helping with each stage, and one day doing the whole thing himself – learning how to do it for those bad M.E. days when I may not feel up to it. He has been soooo supportive and wonderful over it all.

I am surprised how un-freaked-out I feel about the whole thing – it is far less arduous than I ever expected. Now it is settling down and easier to handle in many ways. I shall be writing more fully about this in the coming days on my new blog, The Gutless Bag Lady.

They wouldn’t let me home until the nurses, OT, physio, stoma nurse and doctors were fully satisfied that my blood pressure was sufficiently raised (it had been very low), my mobility was improved, and my independence up to scratch, and that I could manage the bag myself. I was ready to go on Sunday, but because of the bank holiday weekend, there was nobody around until Tuesday to say that I was fit to go. The next hurdle is to wait for the next MDT meeting (which unfortunately couldn’t take place on Good Friday but will be this coming Friday) when the histology results will be discussed and decisions will be made about whether I have to have chemo. More of the waiting game…

I never thought that being in hospital could be FUN! The first half definitely wasn’t fun, but as I started to get better, things definitely improved in that direction! I am too tired now to say more, but in a subsequent post I’ll fill you in and share some of the laughs we had, and also some of the wonderful experiences I had and the lovely people I encountered.

Thank you again, everybody, for all your tremendous support and encouragement throughout my journey this year. Your love and care have meant far more than inadequate words could ever express. God bless you all.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

She's coming home!!!

I'm delighted to be able to tell you that Shoshi is due to come home this afternoon! 

I saw N this morning & he had been in and seen her this morning & all going to plan should be picking her up later today. N's face is beginning to look a bit less bruised and he was his usual lovely self. A friend who is an ex-nurse is coming to stay for a little while to help Shoshi adapt to being home again so everything is looking great.

It's a glorious day here so a perfect day to come home.

If I hear any more I'll update you, but hopefully the next 'voice' you'll hear will be Shoshi herself. It may well be a while until she's up to being on the laptop, but I know she'll be on as soon as she can.

Thanks so much everyone for keeping up with her journey. I've sent print outs of your comments in several times & she's loved reading them. I know it means the world that you're all there supporting and thinking of her.

Lucy x

Here it is at last on her way home with her new bear Rupert named after the consultant. He was in a local charity shop with a note saying 'Please take me home' - so I did! Also a pic of our lovely river Dart with paddle steamer Kingswear Castle  heading for Totnes. I long to get my old speedboat Sundancer on the water


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Update 4th April

I saw N a couple of days ago. To say he looked like he'd taken a beating after his fall is an understatement! Big black eyes and lots and lots of bruising. He was in good spirits and felt fine so it appears to be cosmetic. The lovely man had tried to hide the damage from Shoshi when he went in the day after the trip....... unsurprisingly she wasn't convinced when he wasn't taking his woolly bobble hat off!!! The result was a few tears and worries that he had no one to look after him. The nurses on the ward then saw and gave him a good telling off and marched him off to A&E to be checked out! All assessments passed so he's doing fine. 

Shoshi loved the printed out blog comments. N left them with her to read through at her leisure. She was definitely feeling the love and send love to all of you. 

I spoke to N last night & had this email so here's the latest update.

Have a lovely Easter All of you

Lucy xxx

S cheerful today and at last improving, eating adult but simple food, walking better, showered and hair washed and back in the land of the looking forward to being home. This may happen on Mon/Tuesday. I am a lot happier now, but apprehensive about having her here, but it will work out. We are looking after bagging all on our own, and I just wish it had been me as Shoshi finds it hard,ed but will get into a routine soon.
My bruised face and head looks like a ninja panda but is healing well.
All in all a better day and we send our love. 

N & Shoshi

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Surgery +3 - an update on yesterday's post

N emailed me last night after I went to sleep so here's yesterday's events in his own words. 

I've spoken to him today and his head is fine. Still a fair bump on it but no ill effects. I'm very glad as it sounded like he fell good and proper last night and I was worried about him. 

I've sent the printed put comments into Shoshi today so hopefully she'll have seen them. I've got more to catch up and send in tomorrow 

Lucy x

Picture of Shoshi in morning after first change of bag which Shoshi I and stoma nurse did together without any accidents or problems. Later in the day there was a problem with her cannula from the syringe driver so no pain relief for about 2 hours till they did it again, a young doctor hurt her hands digging with the needle, .Shoshi hurt and sobbed, not a lot of energy, lot of pain (8 out of 10) and helplessness. glad I was there. Within half an hour the pain was less 3 out of 10.
She is with Nursie bear which I often sent to hospital with patients that understood bears, Horace a new bear given by couple I married to Shoshi, and Mr Humphrey Roberts named after the consultant who did her hysterectomy 20 yrs ago when I got him in London and slipped him under the covers of her ward bed to hold to her tummy He is a Earls Court Aussie platypus.

I was wacked out tonight and fell down in the road and hit my head. Big bump halfway shrunk thanks to Tesco frozen peas. Just having a mug and a rock cake, may have a golden nectar and head to bed soon. All well and no colour. See what tomorrow brings.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Surgery +3

I've just had a chat to the lovely N who's been updating me on Shoshi's Day. 
Poor N has been in the wars himself tonight after tripping while crossing the road this evening!
He's got a big bump in his head but says he's ok. 
Poor man not one thing but another happening this week!

Shoshi is ok and sends her love to everyone.

She's had a varied day.

This morning was good. The Stoma nurse arrived in the morning while N was there and helped change the stoma bag for the first time. The Stoma behaved beautifully and Shoshi was totally unphased by the experience so that's a great step.

This afternoon N's Brother and his wife went to visit. N took in Shoshi's wheelchair for her to sit in and that was a lot more comfortable than the attempt yesterday in the too tall chair. 

Later today wasn't so good as Shoshi's syringe driver got blocked so N thinks she had about 2 hrs without adequate pain killers. A newly qualified Dr came and tried to give pain killers by syringe in her hand but completely failed and ended up stabbing her loads of times until she was in tears (not saying anything negative about newly qualified doctors - just this one for this task). A nurse came along about half an hour later and fixed the syringe driver and Shoshi was comfortable again when N left her this evening 

Apart from that hiccough everything seems to be going well. 

I let you know when I hear more. I've got all of your comments printed out to send into her tomorrow. I know they'll make her smile. 

Lucy x

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Two Days Post Surgery - Update

I've just had this email from N. All seems to be going well which is so good to hear.

Lucy x

The medical team were stars and rallied around Shoshi and stayed on and did her op, and she was looked after with personal care over her first night.. She was all woozy with a happy morphine grin when I saw her in the recovery room.

 Yesterday pretty sleepy and full of pain killers and morphine but very happy and relieved whilst   quite at peace with her bag..

Today improved and sends her love to you all. She was sat out for 10 minutes but the chair was awful. Her feet did not reach the floor and her weight was on her tummy. So she was back to bed. She will walk a little. As they have not known her before they will need to realise that if she used a chair and crutches she is not going to be striding corridors in a few days. they are a kind lot so she should be ok.

She is not up to reading and a laptop may be several days yet so I will have to suffice.

Here is a pic of her yesterday with "Nursie Bear" who went to hospital to look after dozens of my old parishioners and now is with Shoshi.

So love from Shoshi, Nursie and N

Friday, 27 March 2015

Surgery Happened!!!

I'm delighted to be able to tell you that Shoshi's surgery finally went ahead!!!

I had a very brief phone call from her husband just now saying that she had just come out of surgery.

Then this email:

"Sue through op. tired and sore. We had a drama today as we got in and it was again cancelled this morning due to no High Dependancy Bed, but there was no phone call before we set off half an hour before set time..So we went and were told, poor Sue burst into sobs and was desperate. The wonderful team then pulled out all stops and made a decision to go ahead, the anaesthetic will be very different and she may have some more pain but she bravely accepted their offer and went ahead. We will get through. she sends her love to you and all bloggers."

I sent all of our love and will print out any comments so Shoshi can read them in hospital while she's waiting to feel better enough to have her laptop. 

I'm Soooooooo pleased to have finally been able to write this post!!!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Here is a picture of one very tidy (and very unproductive!) desk, from someone whose mojo has vanished without trace for the duration.

WOYWW 303 25 Mar

I am not worried – it will return once I’m on the road to recovery from my surgery, I have no doubt. It is something nice to look forward to. Yesterday I had a bit of a blitz in there and tidied up – it was beginning to look like a neglected dumping ground again. Surprising how quickly that can happen, isn’t it!

I have heard from the hospital that my surgery is definitely confirmed for Friday afternoon – 27th March. After two postponements, we can only hope that it goes ahead as planned this time, because too many more delays and the cancer is going to start to spread…

Both postponements turned out to be blessings in disguise, giving us the extra time we needed to climb down from all the Mum-induced stress, and to enable us to do some more things (mostly nice!) and have some treats. I have also been able to spend a lot of time on the ostomy forum, acquainting myself more fully with this weird and wonderful world I am about to enter, populated by people who cr*p out of the front instead of out of the back. Well, Shoshi’s never been one to be conventional, has she, you have to admit.

During this time, I have created a new blog (see the link at top right on this one) called The Gutless Bag Lady, which will chart my progress into my new life with an ileostomy. I am hoping it will help others on the same journey, and it will also serve to encourage me as I look back and mark the progress I’ve already made, as time goes on. I have started entering stuff on the tabbed pages but have not yet done any posts, but most of the page elements are now in place, so it’s ready to go, once I’m well enough to start. I am glad that I have done all this ground work in advance, because it would have been more difficult after my operation when I shall probably be a lot more foggy than usual, and it’s taken some time.

I am sure that as Friday approaches, the currently sleeping hoard of voracious and ravenous butterflies will awaken and start attacking my stomach lining again – after all this time, I wonder why we don’t just let them get on with it and do the surgeon’s job for him! Much more of that and I don’t think I’d have much left to worry about anyway.

I should be in for about 7-10 days, I think, depending on how well I do. To start with, I am spending 24, or possibly 48, hours in the High Dependency Unit so that they can monitor me a bit more closely, owing to my other medical problems. For the first few days I won’t be up to doing much, but hopefully fairly soon I shall be feeling well enough to get on the laptop, at which point my hubby will bring it in for me, and I hope to get online so that I can regain contact with everyone! In the meantime, my friend Lucy is co-authoring my blog and will post any bulletins she gets from my hubby about my progress. Knowing my hubby, these are likely to be pretty succinct, but I hope informative enough to let you know how I’m getting on! So please keep an eye on my blog. (Do visit Lucy’s blog too – she does amazing colouring with her copics, and I’m sure she’d appreciate a visit. You’ll find a link on my blog.)

I shall be posting up until Thursday night, and then I’ll pack up the laptop ready for my hubby to bring in when it’s required.

Happy WOYWW everyone, and thank you all so much for your messages of love and support, and above all, for your prayers. Hope to have some good news of my progress soon.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Drapes for Half Tester–A Mock-Up

I’ve decided to do a temporary mock-up of my bed drapes. I haven’t done any more embroidery for a while, but when the pieces are finished, they will go around the top.

This is what the frame of the half-tester looks like without the drapes:

01 Half-Tester Construction

You can see, from this photo which I took in the evening some time ago, that there is a light attached inside the frame – you can see the pull cord for it hanging down.

There are still 3 banana boxes remaining from when we moved house, which I still haven’t unpacked (!) and one of these is in the bedroom, and marked “Bed Drapes.” I opened it up today and got them out, and put up what I could onto the half-tester frame. It’s a mock-up and looks a bit messy but it gives me an idea of what needs to be done to make the drapes fit properly.

25 Temporary Set-Up

The curtains with the dark red patterned outsides and green linings were designed to go at the four corners of the four poster and are unfortunately too narrow to extend the full length of the half-tester, but I have put two curtains on each side. Eventually I shall probably sew them together to make one. Also, each curtain is made so that the lining is attached along the long sides, apart from a short distance at the top, to allow the curtain to go on the outside of the frame, and the lining on the inside, sandwiching the frame in between. Because of the diagonal struts supporting the top of the half-tester, I had to unpick the seam a bit further down the length of the curtain, to enable it to go past this piece of wood.

The red woven strip with the wool tassels on it (can’t remember where I got that – probably from some ethnic shop or other) was also in the box, and I’ve pressed that onto the single line of Velcro on the frame as a temporary top edge until I can complete the embroidered pieces – it sticks OK for now, because the fabric is fairly soft and fluffy. It is not long enough to extend the full length of the sides of the half-tester frame, so I have just pressed the ends down onto the Velcro that goes along the top edge of the frame for now. (That Velcro will eventually hold the top canopy.)

The dark blue piece hanging at the head of the bed is supposed to overlay another length of fabric, but I can’t use this until I’ve altered it. The soft Velcro is on the front, because originally it was stuck onto the outside of the four-poster frame, against the wall at the head of the bed, and the half-tester frame is up against the wall and I can’t get at the back of it. It used to hang flat (ungathered) but it is too wide now, so I may cut off the excess, or I might put it up gathered – I haven’t decided about that yet. The dark blue piece is also too wide, and is gathered at the edges at the moment, so that it fits the half-tester frame, but it’s a bit wrinkled and doesn’t hang quite right. This piece was originally going to be covered with shi-sha embroidery but I never got round to it! Probably a good thing, if the piece doesn’t fit properly! I’ve got more of that material and I may cut another piece to fit, but I’ll live with it as it is for a while and see how I feel about it.

Because the half-tester is screwed to the wall, the knobs on top at the head end are very close to the wall, and I cannot hang the big tassels over them because their cords are too thick. I’ve just laid them on top of the frame and stuffed the excess down behind, and it seems to work! The tassels at the foot end aren’t a problem, of course, as I can just hang them on the knobs as I did with the four-poster. These tassels are actually curtain tie-backs that I bought to hang over the knobs of the four-poster, as they looked so rich, and co-ordinated so well with the drapes.

Also in the box of bed drapes I found the two long pelmet pieces I made for the bedroom in our old house. They have rufflette tape on them, and I pulled all the gathers out when I washed them, and folded them away in the box. There were two windows in that room, and I think the pelmet piece from the smaller window may be just enough to go round the inside of the half-tester frame, to cover up the wood and provide a backdrop for the front pieces once I’ve made them – I might not be able to gather it very much. The green bobble trim on the pelmet pieces matches that on the bed curtains. The longer pelmet piece I may use as a pelmet to go over the window which at present doesn’t have a pelmet at all – a wooden one would have to be made, or perhaps a purchased pelmet rail? Not sure about that yet. Anyway, if I do it, it will all co-ordinate.

I need to attach more Velcro onto the frame, so that the top pieces as well as the curtains can be attached. I have been using the self-adhesive hooks and the sew-on loops, but after a while the glue on the self-adhesive hooks tends to fail, so when I redid the first lot of Velcro, I stuck it on with extra-sticky double sided tape as well, just to make sure. I’ve also got to adapt the pleated canopy I made for the four-poster as it is much too large at present.

I think my temporary mock-up looks quite cool, but it’s going to be soooo much better when it’s all done properly! I’m not going to be able to do anything more about this until I am well and truly over my operation, but I wanted to get something up over the bed as I was getting a bit fed up with looking at the bare wooden frame! The mock-up will do for a while, and may give me the impetus I need to get the job finished eventually.

Friday, 20 March 2015

My New Buggy, and an Outing to Brunel Woods

Today, after many months’ waiting, the new buggies arrived in the mobility shop. Some time ago, I inherited my uncle’s big buggy which is a very, very good one; very powerful, very comfortable and goes a long way on a single charge.

Me on Big Buggy 11-01-14

However, there is a major problem with it, and that is, it is much too big and heavy to go in the car. It is fine for getting to the shops, or to church – launching forth from the garage at home as you can see in the above photo.

However, many of the outings we go on involve going in the car. We belong to the National Trust, for instance, and if we have a day out, visiting one of their properties, the wheelchair is ideal for indoors, and for sitting in the restaurant, but not so good for going around the grounds – despite the power assist wheels, after a fairly short distance, I become too fatigued to self-propel any longer. My hubby has never forgotten (and never lets me forget, lol!) that time we went to the zoo, and he had to push me all the way up the hill to see the tigers! Last time we went to the zoo, the other day, we hired one of the zoo’s buggies and this was ideal.

So what we needed was a smaller, lightweight buggy that could fold up and go in the car, and still leave room for the wheelchair. We visited our local mobility shop, and I tried out quite a few. You really do have to try them – it is too risky to buy a buggy off the Internet, for example, without trying it, because however comfortable it may look, everyone’s body proportions are different, and what suits one will not necessarily suit another. The problem with the ultra-compact foldable buggies is that most of them are not adjustable at all, because this would interfere with the folding mechanism, and most of them were simply not comfortable enough. My arms are too short, which always causes problems, and having to reach further than is comfortable is very fatiguing. Some of them had really uncomfortable seats, and with the small wheels, many of them provided a very bumpy ride.

There was one that was different, though, and this was the SupaScoota. The control column is adjustable for height, and fore and aft angle, so that with it tipped towards me, and the whole thing raised, it was within easy reach and comfort for my arms. The battery is very powerful and it fairly zips along, with a choice of two speeds. With the seat removed, the control column can be folded flat against the base, and even with my adjustment, it still folds OK. Removing the battery makes it lighter for my hubby to lift into the car.

When we first tried it, the only drawback was the awful seat! As you will see from this photo:

Old SupaScoota

The seat is triangular, and very uncomfortable, despite the sprung suspension. I was very disappointed, because apart from that, the rest of the features were ideal for me. The man in the shop told us that the manufacturers were about to bring out a new model with an improved seat, which was rectangular, and with a better back support. The buggy would also have an automatic setting that caused it to slow down when you turn a corner, but there would be a button to override this feature. We were very interested in this new model, and he said they would be getting some in soon. This took months longer than we’d hoped, but they knew we were interested, and let us know as soon as the prototype model arrived in the shop, and we went to try it.

New SupaScooter

You can see how much better the new seat looks. The foot rests are also larger. This is the four-wheel model (which we chose), but there is also a three-wheel model, and you can also have the extra “training” wheels for the front if you want. The new model is actually gold, not orange, and I much prefer this colour.

Here is a video of the original SupaScoota – the new model is so new that there aren’t any videos yet. (Perhaps we ought to make one!!) The new model is slightly easier to disassemble and fold, but apart from the new seat and suspension, the details are pretty much the same as on the video. I chose this Youtube video from Canada because it seemed to show best how the buggy folds up, and a lot of its features.

I tried the prototype in the shop, and after the control column was adjusted for me, I absolutely loved it! I took it for a good little spin outside, and my hubby practised taking the seat off and folding it up, and if he removes one seat from the back of our car, it will go in beside the wheelchair with no problem at all. He can also use the crane in the back of the car to lift it in. So we paid a deposit, and we then had another long wait, until this morning when the shop phoned to say they were in at last.

We went to collect it, and I am one of the first people in the country to get this new model – apparently there are only two shops that supply the SupaScooter – our local one, which is the importer, and another shop which I think he said was in Hampshire. Afterwards, as it was such a beautiful spring day, my hubby took me on an outing to try it out – this was by way of an experiment for him, too, to see how well he could get it in and out of the car. We went to Brunel Woods, at the entrance of which is a kissing gate to prevent mountain bikers invading the woods. This makes it very disabled unfriendly! There was no way my hubby could get my wheelchair through, but today, he tried the disassembled buggy – it was a bit of an effort but he managed to lift it over. He said afterwards that if he’d removed the motor as well as the battery, it would have been a bit lighter.

Off we went, and it was pretty steep! There was also a thick covering of beech nuts on the ground, and at one time I did lose control a bit and started sliding back! It was only when we got home that my hubby read in the instruction manual that you shouldn’t take it up a slope steeper than a certain number of degrees (and we were sure our path was steeper than that!!) and also that it should be run on a firm surface! So we broke all the rules on Day One lol! Anyway, we put it through its paces, and it was fine.

In Brunel Woods there is an extraordinary collection of wood carvings in honour of our greatest engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the central feature of which is a dead tree trunk which has been carved into a totem pole, depicting all the things that I.K. Brunel constructed. It is surrounded by three more carvings, one of which is a statue of the great man himself.

01 Brunel Wood Carvings

02 Brunel Wood Carvings

03 Brunel Wood Carvings

04 I K Brunel

Here is my hubby with I.K. Brunel, which gives a sense of the scale of the carvings.

05 N with I K Brunel

Here is the totem pole, a bit closer up.

06 The Totem Pole

At the base of the totem pole, the date when it was made has been carved.

09 Totem Pole Date Carving

After admiring these things, we went for a wander in the woods. The sun was shining through the trees, and all the birds were in full song. There is something about birdsong in a wood – it echoes off the trees, and sounds so full and rich. In a few weeks’ time, these woods will be full of bluebells! To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a beech wood with a carpet of bluebells, with the sun filtering through the translucent, young green leaves of my favourite tree. If the oak is the king of the English wood, then the beech must surely be the queen.

07 The Way Through the Woods

Finally, here are some pictures of me using my new buggy. You can see that there is a bag on the back of the seat – we had hoped that the bag from my big buggy would fit, but it wouldn’t, so we got the one to fit this mini-scooter while we were at it. The basket on the front is actually surprisingly capacious – better than the one on my big buggy, but I shall still need to be able to carry more, especially after my operation when I will need to carry my emergency kit with me, for bag-changing etc. There is also room underneath the seat for another basket if I want it.

You can see from these photos how the control column has been adjusted to suit me. (Note my new hair colours!! Also, the felt poppies hair clip I made last year in the felt class.)

08 Me with I K Brunel

Me on New Buggy 20-3-15

It’s a very nice, zippy little buggy and will do just fine for our outings, enabling us to go further afield and not be tied. It isn’t quite as comfortable as the big one, but with its improved seat and the sprung suspension, it’s not at all bad.

Today was another of what my hubby calls “spoilies” before I go into hospital. We were so pleased that the new buggies arrived before I went in! We have now got it all ready for when I am better enough to go out and about again. Another purpose in the second postponement of my surgery, perhaps?

Talking of which, having had nothing in the post from the hospital today and it being Friday, I thought I would phone them just to see if they had any news, and I spoke to Mr. Pullan’s secretary. She said he would be away until Tuesday. I asked her to phone me as soon as she had a date for my admission, and she said that would be fine. She said I was already at the top of his list, and it looked likely that I would have it done a week today, Friday 27th March, which would be exactly a month after my first scheduled admission on 27th February. (I am getting a bit concerned at the delay now, because that’s another whole month for the cancer to be growing… However, if they were worried about that, they would have got me in urgently and I’d have had another surgeon to do it.) She obviously could not confirm this date in the absence of Mr. Pullan, but hopefully we will get definite confirmation as soon as he returns to work.