Fashion really has no place in a hospital. Style is probably useful to employ to distinguish oneself from all and sundry; but being fashionable in hospital is pointless unless you are celebrity exiting the Portland with baby as new accessory to the waiting paparazzi.
I realised this when a couple of weeks prior to my minor operation on the 22nd of April to remove a 'pearl ganglion'. For those of you interested in medical matters a small hard ganglia called "pearl ganglia" may occur on the flexor tendon sheaths of the fingers. These are very tender and painful when gripping objects. Mine was at the base of my left index finger. When I went for my pre op - which was a MRSA swab under armpit and in nose - I was very fashionable. Even in a private hospital (thank you Mr MDS for our medical insurance) I looked 'overdone'.The only reason I was getting the thing removed was because it hurt. It hurt when driving and working, think carrying clothes removing hangers, undoing buttons. It popped up last September and when I went to the doctors the NHS waiting list for ganglion removal was probably years down the line due to it being non essential z list medical stuff. If there was a leaflet on it, it would read try hitting it with a heavy book in the hope it bursts and goes away. If not come back to us and we'll try book option. Then after all book option hitting sessions have been exhausted there may be a consultant we've dragged out of retirement who might do it.
So I opted to use our medical insurance and having stepped over that line it is actually quite addictive. Mainly due to the carpets, the receptionists focused on their job and not drinking a cup of tea talking to their colleagues. They smile in private hospitals and look you in the eye. The trouble with entering such a world it is like an upgrade to club on an aeroplane, you always hope for one and the moment you get on it spoils travelling for ever as it really highlights the misery that is economy.
When I arrived for my operation even though it was a minor one under local anaesthetic, I was shown to my room. I had decided to use my time productively and engage my focus on a script. After my pre op talk by the consultant who found me sitting in the chair working on the script I abandoned such nonsense and watch ITV's 60 minute makeover. What worried me is this is not the first time I've seen it. On the few occasions I've been to the gym I've watched it on one of the screens whilst listening to my ipod. What I've now realised is you must have a hard luck story told by family and freinds to the production team to get help, plus be in possession of a really old, preferably ugly, gas fire in your living room.
As the local anaesthetic worked and I watched TV, I found out I didn't have MRSA, that my blood pressure is still 110/60 (low stuff) and amazingly I've lost 2kilos. In my hospital operation gown I wished I'd done matching underwear or something more exciting, and had a better pair of slippers and a dressing gown. The only style advice I would give is go luxe on the underwear, slippers and gown. My cosy Celtic Sheepskin slippers and Toast flannel dressing gown might cut muster in a highland log cabin but when it comes to that catwalk stroll to the operating theatre I wish I'd selected a few lovelies from Net-A-Porter.
As they've yet to offer slippers I'd opt for these from Holistic Silk.
After my walk of style shame to the theatre, I was able to marvel on the insides of a hospital theatre, having not set foot in one before. Whilst laying down as the prep started (it was like being in a medical drama), I noted that the varying medics are graded with the colour of their gowns, trousers and clogs. The clogs were the only on trend feature, although the clumpy cut and the white (hue) were not the most flattering. Not a double C in sight. Also the fabric and colours range from a green for one type of person and then varying shades of blue. They were all very nice and tried to engage me in conversation to allay any fears but I was far too busy imagining animal print, nude and even an injection of double denim for them to wear. Even if they stuck with all the necessary uniform , the headgear could go fashion. Personally I'd want a Pucci headscarf rather than the paper shower cap number despite the hygiene issues. To my eternal shame I thought this would be an improvement.
With the operation under way, one of the team hit the music button and despite Holby City and Ian McEwan giving us dramatic consultants who choose their classical music to assist them during the op with the music creating a crescendo to their surgical brilliance, I was treated to a random selection of film scores.
Moi: The music is film scores
Consultant: Is it? Right we're just starting.
Moi: Yes this is from The Way We Were with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford.
Quiet for a few minutes. My left arm is encased by something which is blown up to stop the blood flow.
Consultant: Ok, it is out now
A few more moments silence whilst proper work matters going on.
Moi: You'll all recognise this one!
Consultant: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly?
Moi: Correct, directed by Serio Leone and music by Ennio Morricone.
Thankfully I stopped at this point as I had begun to feel slightly done in. More proper medical stuff is conducted and then I sit up, alight off theatre bed into waiting wheel chair.
Moi: So how big was it?
Consultant: Oh yes I forgot to show you (I actually am glad I didn't see it!). It was the size of a small grape.
Moi: What! That's hideous!
Consultant: Yes is was bigger than I thought. But it is a pearl ganglion so it moves and hides a bit.
Moi: Did you not thing it was slightly freakish?
Consultant: No (laughing) it looks like a pearl.
Moi: Seriously I would have thought what a freak with a lump the size of a small grape .
I was given some more medical spiel and advice on post op matter regarding care of hand then wheeled back to me room. I spent a while recovering which meant having coffee and biscuits and slightly regretting not selecting a sandwich, as I was surprisingly peckish. I settled down to watching Countdown which I haven't seen in years. The young whipper snapper who's the new Carol Vauderman was either wearing Miu Miu or a Miu Miu-esque swallow print dress. It was very short I thought for Countdown. And exactly what place does Miu Miu have on a Channel 4 show in the afternoon watched by students, retired people and the hospital bound.
Soon afterwards I was released from my fashion rage and pondering back out into the world with a sling. Slings are not a micro trend.