Very aware, the young consultant. He came out to greet me and walked back to his room - I slowed down and didn't try to keep up with him. When we went in and I'd shut the door, he said that I felt I'd thrown in the towel, but that I was making the right choice. That was exactly it, I hadn't put it in the right words. I replied that I do feel I'm throwing in the towel, but that it's the necessary decision, so I'm accepting the situation.
Then he said that the manufacturer has, in the last few weeks, withdrawn the hip resurfacing technique that they have, in Norwich, tried and found wanting. That gave me the opportunity to say that I hadn't realised, until I read his letter to my doctor, that he was left with the impression that I wanted to pursue that option - he'd convinced me that it wasn't right for me - in fact, had I been going to ask for a second opinion I'd have told him so. I explained that the main reason I was interested in it was because I knew I couldn't hold out much longer. However, I'd hoped to last another year without a full hip replacement but, fortnight by fortnight, my hip has deteriorated a lot in the last three months .
Later on, he said that a year was worth waiting but a few months isn't. That was exactly what I've been saying and my self-justification for going for it now.
Also, he used his dictaphone to say what we'd agreed, and also for his secretary to type a letter to my GP. Interestingly, he did it in front of me whereas, when he thought I might not agree with his point of view, he did it later, whilst sending me a copy. Also interestingly, he mentioned that I had walked carefully so as to minimise my limp - I knew that, but intended to disguise it. I had chosen not to use a stick, although I would have if it would have meant I'd limped less, but had walked slowly and carefully. He's perceptive and makes the effort to empathise, which I appreciate. I thanked him, at one point, for not resenting my pointed questions (he could have taken offence, I didn't hold back) but answering them fully without justifying himself. Good chap. I like him and am predisposed to trust him. He might well have been surprised by how easy I was to deal with, compared to how I was before - but if you know me well enough (it'd have to be very well or in specific circumstances) you'd understand that. I challenge if I disagree and it matters enough, or if I think there's any point to it.
Put it this way, if you came to me for a high-up job and you thought you'd had an easy interview, you'd probably not get the job. If I gave you a hard time, it'd be because I thought you might be worth it. And if you disagreed with me completely but argued your case convincingly, I wouldn't have to be convinced of the argument to appreciate the strength of your ability to make your case.
I asked about the anaesthetic, angling it rather from the hope of a spinal one (which I mistakenly called an epidural - they're both in the spine but different apparently). He said his preferred option is a spinal anaesthetic as patients recover so much quicker, but a full one can be chosen if the patient doesn't care for the idea or is very nervous. I assured him I'm very relaxed. The operation should take about an hour, which is less than I'd thought, and I will have a horizontal incision across my hip, going from the side backwards. He said I should be largely, and probably completely, recovered, in 6 to 12 weeks.
I am, as LZM says, tough (in an awfully girly and gentle way, natch). Focusing on the operation as an interesting and very clever thing will help me to ignore the bloody and creepy part. I don't want to carry on as I am, getting worse. However, I can cope. I managed perfectly well in the shop today, but carried things a few at a time instead of a whole bag or boxful. I could have, but that wouldn't be sensible. I don't want to hurt myself unnecessarily just to prove I'm man enough.
I had a lovely email today, and something lovely in the post. Tell you tomorrow. It's well after midnight now and I'm going to have to backdate to make it Friday's post as it is.