A petite female doctor with pink rimmed glasses walked towards Oscar, she gazed at him, smiling gently as she stood next to him.
“Hello, you must be Oscar. I’m Doctor Ling. We’re going to be inserting a central line into your chest to deliver the chemotherapy. I’m going to give you a local anaesthetic during the procedure, so you shouldn’t feel much at all. You might experience some mild pain or stiffness for a few days afterwards.”
“I’ll explain what I’m doing as we go. I’ll just go and wash my hands and then we’ll begin. If you can remove your top, that would be helpful.”
Doctor Ling closed the curtain behind her. She returned, placing on a pair of sterile gloves.
“ Now then, using this ultra sound machine I’m going to look for a suitable vein. I’ll just place some cold gel onto your skin and run this probe over it. Ah here, I’ll wipe off that gel now and clean the area with an antiseptic solution, that’s it. I’m going to administer the local anaesthetic. It doesn’t take long.”
Oscar’s eyes widened as he saw the length of the tube. He stared at the ceiling, anything to take his mind off the procedure. He counted the strip lights silently. ‘One, two, three.’ He took a sharp in take of breath.
“That’s the anaesthetic in place, I’ll wait a few moments before I make a small cut and insert the central line.”
Oscar glanced at the ceiling once more, not wanting to watch the procedure, it was uncomfortable but he felt no pain.
“Nearly there now, you’re coping well.” Oscar nodded, closing his eyes and clenching his teeth.
“There that’s it. It’s in. Yes I’m happy with that. There, you can see the exit line. We’ve booked you in for a chest X-ray now to make sure that the line is in the correct place before your chemotherapy begins. Just to finish off I’ll put a dressing over the insertion and exit sites. How do you feel at the moment Mr Setterfield?”
“I’m okay, it was nowhere near as bad as I’d expected it to be.”
Oscar gingerly opened one eye, glancing at the central line. He sighed. Not as bad as he thought, although his chest appeared to be a little reddened by the procedure.
“Thanks, I’m not going to lie, I’m so glad that that’s over. It didn’t exactly hurt, but it felt a bit bizarre.”
“Yes, patients often say it does. The area is clean now. I’ll leave you in peace, but I’ll see you on my rounds tomorrow.”
Doctor Ling nodded. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you think of any.”
“I will. Oh, is it likely that it might fall out?”
“No, there’s a small cuff that can be felt under the skin just above the exit site. In a few weeks tissue skin will grow around the cuff and hold the line in place. I’ll leave you now and just tell Milly that I’ve finished.”
She smiled and walked swiftly towards the nurses station. Oscar grasped his buzzing phone. It was Ava. Dare he answer it?
“Where the hell are you? You haven’t gone home have you? Not without saying goodbye to me. What were you thinking! I’m so stressed right now, I don’t even have a clue where you are!”
“I was serious when I said it was over.”
“Whatever, but practically all your stuff is still here. Just some of your clothes are missing!”
“You were routing in my room?”
“I needed clues!”
“Well I don’t have the first idea where you are!”
“It’s not rocket science.”
“You’ve lost me.”
“Hospital. You were at the doctors appointment!”
“Woah hang one one moment, so you just flounced off to hospital without so much as an apology or a goodbye? What the hell? Well, it just proves how selfish you are.”
“Well you could at least have the decency to tell me which ward you’re on!”
“Nope, sorry. I ended our relationship for a reason. Goodbye Ava.”
“I actually despise you! You deserve everything that’s about to hit you, you selfish pri–”
Oscar cancelled the call, not allowing Ava to finish. He placed a hand to his burning forehead, attempting to hold back the tears. The last thing he wanted to do was give in to her, show a weakness and go back on his word. He tried to slow his rapid breathing and took a sip of the water from his bedside table. Milly returned to his bedside.
“Hello Oscar. Is everything okay?”
“Oh erm, yes fine.” He lied.
“Okay, if you have any worries or concerns just say, don’t be scared or suffer in silence.”
“It looks like Doctor Ling has done a fantastic job of inserting that central line. We’ll be attaching your treatment via that line once you’ve been for your X-ray. The porters will come for you soon, has doctor Ling already explained that to you?”
“Yeah she did, thanks.”
“Good. Don’t worry you wont have to wait long, I promise.”
To be continued…