The Unpleasantness At The Bellona Club*

“That’s all healing up nicely,” says Jackie the plastic surgery nurse after she’s peeled off the steristrips.  Clipping the plastic stitches with her tweezers, she sticks pink micropore tape over my almost-healed scars.

“That’s a relief,” Mum says, looking a bit less miserable for the first time in days.

“Oh good,” I say, looking down at my chest.  “Well done us for not getting it infected and…”

“It’s not infected,” she says, pulling off the tape on my left side – the main side.  “There’s a bit of puckering, but that will stretch out as we pump up the expander and…”

“Hope so,” I say, looking at the puckered skin for the first time.  “It’s a good shape, my new boob.  Better than the right side but I suppose they had more skin to work with.”

“Yes,” Jackie says.  “So what are we putting on?”

“My new present please,” I say.  Jackie has given me a new black post-surgery bra which looks a hundred times nicer than the flesh tone one.

“Right you are,” she says, pulling the bra around my back, clipping its sides together at the front.

“Oh, need to put those incontinence pads in at the bottom, otherwise it presses too hard,” I say.  “Especially on the left – is that lump under the skin on my top rib, at the side, the port?”

“Yes,” she says, running a finger over it.

“You see the bottom elastic of the bra or top or whatever pressed against it,” I say.  “Seems a silly place to put the port.”

“Yes,” she says.  “Strange choice.  So, is there anything else?”

“Need some more codeine please,” I say.  “Have run out.  Also: a couple of things happened when was in hospital that want to tell someone about – some of the nurses were horrible to me.”

“Who would we speak to about this?” Mum says.

“I know just the person,” Jackie says. “I’ll page her, and let’s get the duty doctor over here to see you about the codeine – I can’t write you a prescription I’m afraid.”

“Thank you very much, Jackie,” Mum says.

Had better finish this: need bath before Lily arrives for supper.

Rescued the person in the attached photo from the hospital car park and put him on a bush.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

*1928. By Dorothy L. Sayers. The fourth Sir Peter Wimsey detective novel. Features opiates.


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