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Standing on two legs again


Well, well. I’m finally back on my legs again. help

Having endured double knee replacement surgery, I’d like to encourage all of you out there to take my advice – look after your knees! You’ll need them when you’re older.

Whilst it certainly hasn’t been the easiest experience of my life, you should see me now – I’m walking! Soon I’ll be running. In fact, I think a marathon could be on the cards.

But isn’t it always the way – this all happened during the busiest time of year – Christmas. But thank goodness for the our fantastic teams on the road and in the office.

In particular, I’d like to thank my daughter – Catherine – who looked after all of the moves. It just goes to show – perhaps I’m not as important around here as I thought I was …

Thank you also to the rest of this great crew who worked tirelessly throughout the holiday pressure and hot weather. All the readers can imagine how tough it is to move furniture in the heat.

My first exposure to knee surgery was when I saw it on a medical program on TV. I thought to myself – this is horrendous! It looks like a butcher at work more than a doctor. Sawing bones and banging metal joints into place. I never would have thought that I’d have to go through this experience, let alone twice.

Thankfully, I got a good deal because I ordered two at once … !

I’m thankful also for the fact that I got them both done at the same time. Knowing what it was like, there is no way I would have turned up for the second operation if there had has been a choice.

And isn’t hospital an interesting experience. Gorgeous little Rosy, the Irish nurse, had me well and truly under control. Despite being young, she was incredibly tough and she wasn’t about to take any of my nonsense.

I tried to be a model patient but I did tend to wander around the corridors a lot. Perhaps I should say ‘hobble around’. I’m not the sort of person that can sit still. I’ve got to be active. I’ve got to be doing something all the time.

They must have suspected as much because they had me doing physio sessions all morning and ballet lessons at night – all the patients were lined up in the corridor doing exercises while we hung on to the railings along the wall.

“One leg up and bend you knees”

“No, like this Richard!”

“I’m not a gymnast.”

The instructor told us to lift our sore leg up in the air and, of course, I crashed to the floor – I had two sore legs.

The hospital ward may as well have been a Two Men And A Truck social club. All the folks in there knew about our business and we had helped many of them move. They said “are you the one that sends us those newsletters?”

In hospital everything runs to a routine. The dinner trolley comes around at 5.15pm and then a nurse come around to make sure that I’m still alive and I’m following the routine procedures.

But by 5.40pm the routine’s over and I’m there lying in the bed wondering what to do with the rest of the evening.

It might sound like a great time to catch up on books and films but with all of the drugs and painkillers, I could hardly concentrate on a book or even a TV show. I was stuck sitting there, staring out the window, watching life go by …

But with all of this spare time, I did make time to reflect. I reflected on my good fortune to be an Australian where I could benefit from such a fantastic health system. We have services that other countries can only dream about and most of the cost of this was covered by insurance and the government!

OK, hospital is not a holiday. It’s not the best place to be but I shouldn’t complain. The medical staff and the nurses were just sensational, everyone was friendly and the efficiency of the care was out of his world. I was terribly impressed.

So it’s time for me to propose a toast. For those who are able, please be upstanding and raise your glasses.

We do a lot of complaining but we are really very lucky to be in Australia where we get so well looked after in the moment when we need it the most.

To the nurses and the medical staff who looked after me so well.

Folks, please be seated and I’ll thankfully keep on moving!