I was a guest of the NHS for a bit….
A lady dressed in a white coat came into the cubicle and introduced hersef, "Hello, I'm Dr Findlay!" She gave me a few moments silence to make smart-Alec comments about her casebook but due to a rare attack of discretion, I failed to exploit the opportunity. Instead, I saw that her badge identified her as "Dr Sarah Findlay" and resolved to call her Sarah thereafter.
Like every other medical professional I've met before or since, she wanted to know how much I drank each week. "I'm awfully sorry" I answered, "I know I'm supposed to do 28 units but I struggle to get over 14". I was rewarded with a glimmer of a smile. Then I let slip my real addiction. "Look," I said, "there's this great dance on Saturday. Will I be able to go?" She shook her head. "Ok" I said getting desperate, Saturday week?" That got me a proper smile. "You'll know" she assured me.
They told me not to eat before the operation so when I awoke from the anaesthetic it was probably because of the sound and smell of the lunch trolley arriving. That or my stomach rumbling. So I grabbed my menu card and waved it enthusiastically. At that, a small nurse ran across the ward "No! No! No! You might get sick! No food for him!" I told her I was starving but it did no good. I dozed for a bit before being woken up by the trolley coming back. Cautiously, I peered around. No sign of the dratted nurse! Maybe I could score pudding, a bread roll, leftovers, anything??? Then I realised it wasn't the same trolley. This one had a banner across the top "Churches Together" and they were selling newspapers and bibles. Just to show how ecumenical they could be if they really tried, they catered for followers of the god Mars! Furtively, I waved a fiver and pointed at the chocolate…
Oh, I did get to the dance Saturday week. Sent Sarah a thank you card in triumph!