Then they got to my stomach and they had worried that my blood vessels weren’t quite big enough in my stomach. And they poked and prodded around. I think they had about five goes at it to insert the cannula. And they showed me what they were doing, and that was kind of an interesting thing, just sticking the large bore needle in, then feeding the tube through with a wire and then pulling it back out and connecting it.
And despite the fact they were saying, they were using infant sizes, they still couldn’t persuade my veins to accept it. It wasn’t too bad because they were giving lidocaine injections just to numb the areas. So having failed to get the cannula into my stomach vein or stomach artery, I can’t remember which bit it was, they had to drop one part of the test. So we switched the test to just, it was sort of a, [pause] it was a blood flow measurement.
And so that was interesting, although it meant I couldn’t hold a book, because I had one hand in a box. But that aside, it was all perfectly comfortable. They, I had a little electric blanket to keep me warm and it was quiet. A bit of Radio 4 to listen to or whatever. I think I switched to Radio 3 eventually, because Radio 4 can be too much after the first half hour [laughs]. And then, that was that side of it. And that was relatively pain free. Every time they stuck a needle into me they put a smaller one in with lidocaine in so it was locally numbed.
And then at the end of it they just said they wanted to take some biopsies. And they were the slightly more painful elements, in that it’s a much bigger needle, despite the lidocaine. And I’ve got a photo of the bruise, if you want to see it. [laughs] I took a picture of it afterwards. But it did bruise quite - they take one out of your stomach and one out of your thigh. The thigh was fine, and I think it’s just to do with the muscle mass. And they, what they were doing was extracting a very small amount of fat, in order to analyse it.
And, as I say, I’m not a medic or biologist. My dad was a pathologist, but I was never too bothered about that. I grew up hanging round hospital but I was never tempted to it. So my medical understanding is what you get from reading the Guardian, or the BBC website, or things like that, on an infrequent basis. But, so the, the details of that I’m not entirely sure. But they were very good about doing that. They did warn that the biopsy would be painful and would bruise, and could bruise quite nastily and possibly – I think they always have to tell you what, not necessarily is the worst case but, you know, what sort of maybe 80 per cent of the population might undergo. And they said sort of, you know, bruising for, you know, up to six to eight weeks. But in the end it wasn’t. It was slightly tender for about a week, and then after that it was just pretty to look at and just showed that I’d - I could show my kids and say, “Look, I’m poorly. Take pity on me.” [laughs] And that was it. And they sort of, that was it, got me up, gave me some food at last, so I could have a breakfast, bowl of cereal, bit of a mix of breakfast and lunch, some toast, cup of tea, and sent me on my way.