Day 11 – ‘Anne Widdecombe saves the day’

Today was ultrasound day, hopefully just a formality, but nevertheless an important one if we were still to craft our departure on Saturday.

The risk of blood clots increases with surgery but particularly with this surgery where you are immobile for a longer period of time the risk is higher.

In the early days whilst you are immobile circulation boots are fitted. (Whilst they may be effective they are also another strand in the lack of sleep offensive, as they click and hiss and squeak with annoying frequency)

This Allied with the Japanese schoolgirl stockings and regular movement (when able) is all part of the ‘anti clotting strategy’.

So I briefly escaped earlier and was taken by a lovely porter to the ultrasound department. Oh to be free from the confines of the ward. I got to see parts of the hospital that were hitherto unknown to me. The smell of bleach, alcohol gel and incontinence permeating my nostrils as I whisked through the corridors. As we passed reception the front door opened and for a brief fleeting moment my lungs were filled with icy cold, crisp FRESH AIR. Oh how i’ve missed that.

As we sat in Ultrasound it suddenly occurred to me that I was wearing no undergarments.

“Do they just scan my calf’s?”

“No, your whole leg, thigh right down”

“I’ve not got any boxer shorts on, they’ll have to give me a gown”

“They might not have any, we might have to be inventive”

Thankfully the sonographer took kindly to my predicament and someone was dispatched for a towel . Mrs C suggested they ‘get a flannel’ (always the comedian).

The scan itself is pretty innocuous in the greater scheme of stuff that is done to you. Those of a ticklish disposition may find it ticklish but the pressure of the transducer on the legs displaces any of those feelings.

Thankfully no clots were found and veins were in good order generally. Tick

Annoyingly no matter how much I pressed him he wouldn’t tell me the sex of the baby, judging by the size of my belly it’s twins.

It’s just my final ‘show and tell’ with the Stoma nurse and we are good to go.

Before my surgery it was explained to me that due to the location of the tumour and the intricate surgery required to successfully remove it there may be a risk to certain nerves that affect well, certain ‘man functions’.

  • Establishing and cessation of a sound urine flow
  • Establishing an erection
  • Achieving orgasm

In the greater scheme of things I considered this to be a small price to pay to stay alive. It wouldn’t be my first choice but worse things happen at sea. It would also be the great unknown, in so far as I would not know definitively after surgery if these had been affected but more over as each is ‘demanded’.

The first test was on removal of the catheter, the agonising 4 hour delay until ‘first water’ was hell on earth but when the first and subsequent ‘pee’s’ happened it was pure bliss, so much so that to prove beyond reasonable doubt that I was firmly in the driving seat I would stop and start mid flow grinning smugly as I did so.

Ok, so the wee function is ‘A’ ok that just leaves, well , umm..

Let’s be honest over the last few days ‘conjugal relations’ have not been at the forefront of my mind. That region has been very much in retreat, indeed I am sure whilst subject to a catheter that the old chap questioned it’s own future.

That was about to change.

My new sleeping pattern now means I sleep most of the night, soundly, or as soundly as you can in these surroundings. Yesterday was no exception, I awoke at 6:30, on my back, arms confidently above my head.

Taking in the sounds from around the ward whilst I stared into space I suddenly realised that something had happened, something had awoken from its slumber, no I wasn’t dreaming ‘you beauty!’ I thought, ‘thank you god’

But no, god, no, at the same time as I reflected in my morning glory I see the silhouette of the night staff out side the door assembling the blood pressure ‘Obs’ equipment.

Swift ‘time till entrance’ calculations were permeated in my head, I had 20 seconds at best, ’20 seconds that’s not enough’.

Now panicking my eyes are dancing around the bed to look for cover, covered only in a single sheet I quickly pulled up the covering blanket… it hasn’t worked. God now what?!

‘Anne Widdecombe Anne widdecombe Anne Widdecombe’

Never before has such a graphic picture been painted in a mans head.

It worked, the combination of the standard issue NHS blanket and the ‘Anne Widdecombe’ anaphrodisiac saved my blushes. Obs undertaken, staff none the wiser, reputation intact.

Welcome to a new bright new day.

That just leaves, No. 3, . I think we are a bit way off that one yet, but, well let’s keep some things sacred.


Day 10 – ‘Show and tell’


Day 12 – (part 1) ‘Unlearning’


  1. Tracey HoneyC

    Simon, me and my husband were crying at this part of your blog – Anne Widdicombe will now be known as the perfect contraceptive aid 😂😂😂 – where can I buy a fancy dress outfit of Anne widdicome 🙄 🙄🙄 I think it could come in handy 😂😂😂 xx you definitely need to write a book about yourself – I for one would buy it xxx

  2. Tracey HoneyC

    You honestly need to write books !!!!!! And also your blog isn’t finished yet – you can write more once you’re home and I’m sure the cats will be in mischief to write about lol x onwards and upwards Mr Cowls 😄🌟 x

  3. Mark Bullard

    Hi Simon, it is amazing to read your coming home today. Not sure it is the great escape or released early for good behaviour, although not sure anyone would believe that!
    When your ready for a visit at home let us know, I am sure several from Armada will visit.
    Won’t say too much too soon, but that praying looks to have worked, no induced coma, no hospital for four weeks and it appears the old chap is working.
    Make sure you both get some rest and don’t over do it.
    Take care both of you

  4. Rosemary and Francis Polglase

    Simon I agree with the comments you should write a book….you have been so brave and hilarious with it even if there have been times when you probably havent really felt like it. You certainly have had the best care from the NHS Service I’m sure and with Ali’s continual support you are now on the way home so continue to recover one day at a time. Every good wish goes with you. Lots of love to you and Ali xx

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