A Knight’s Tale (62: Appendicitis?)

1973 was a bit hazy, but I think that must have been the year I found myself in Westminster Hospital because I would have been living with Giles. My crafty body/mind realised that I needed a legitimate reason to let go when I was desperately trying to hold everything together. It gave me what I am convinced was a psychosomatic appendicitis. The pain was no more than a niggle I would normally have shrugged off. I drove to the hospital, parked in the street outside, and presented myself. I was given the then welcome diagnosis.

The surgeon who removed the allegedly offending organ expressed puzzlement when he told me that there had been a “slight lesion” but otherwise it was in good order.

A day or two after surgery an attractive young nurse bent over me and said that she was going off for a few days and that she hoped I would still be there when she returned. Perhaps I should have been flattered, but I was ambivalently relieved when I was transferred to a convalescent bed, I think in a different building.

Just five days after the operation I had had enough, and discharged myself after signing the document stating that this was against medical advice. My car was where I had left it, giving another reminder of how times have changed. Not only would the car not have escaped removal today, but I would have had to park in hospital grounds and paid a fortune for the privilege.

I drove across London to what was now Jackie’s door and asked her to look after me. She did. Sadly, only for a short time.


  1. I was 7 when my appendix was removed, 68 yrs ago. I still remember the awful stomach ache leading up to it. The, 11 days in hospital in a children’s ward with many beds. Yes, times have changed and patients go home in a day, or so. Nice story, all of it.

  2. Glad you recovered and that Jackie took pity on you in your hours of need. Looking forward to the chapter when you get back together. Have a lovely Remembrance Day.

  3. I hear a chord: when I am most tense, or run off my feet, or anxious about the people I love, I revert to a vision of lying in a hospital bed where I can do nothing but succumb to being looked after. These days too they would probably have sent you home with your appendix intact.”Sadly, only for a short time.” Your cliffhangers are well placed.

  4. I’m glad that your surgery was a success! Paying a fortune for the privilege is what happens when I leave my truck at the airport for a week… ?

  5. Such a difficult time, Derrick. We all have them in some shape or form. I’m glad you came through it, stronger and wiser no doubt, but also sans your appendix!

  6. Aw. 🙁 What a tough time…in several ways. I feel for you. 🙁 So glad Jackie was there to care for you.
    Yes, sometimes we are “forced” (in someway) to just let go.
    The ending of this makes me sad. Even tho’ I know we are gonna’ get to a happy ending.
    (((HUGS))) <3
    PS…I had my appendix removed in 1981.

  7. It sounds like a hard time for you both. I am glad Jackie took you in, even if it was only a short while. Your eventual reunion was one of those fairy tales come true. Referring to love, I think it was Joni Mitchell that said if you hold onto someone too tightly, they will run through your fingers like sand. Sometimes if one lets someone go and they come back of their own accord, then it was meant to be.

  8. Though inconvenient, it’s good that you got a rest. Our bodies will only take so much stress before rebelling. I’m glad Jackie looked after you, if only for a short time. It’s like a foreshadowing of your reunion, though it took some time.

  9. That was both pleasing and sad to read. As for the change in times, we have managed to complicate our live to the point of being irretrievably sick. And no, it can’t be attended to either like an irritant appendix.

  10. I remember when I was with you nearly two year ago and you hinted at those times. But I never saw two people so content with each other. I was envious.

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