This time tomorrow I’ll be Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) in situ undergoing an exploratory angiogram procedure. A followup op to an investigative treadmill stress test I underwent a couple of months ago.

That being said, I’m not overly daunted that in twenty four hours time my radial artery will be punctured to allow a camera to examine the highways and byways around my coronary arteries. Why should I be?….. I underwent the same procedure in January, following my heart attack, which wasn’t an overly distressing experience…… The angiogram that is, not the heart attack.

I’ve every faith in the cardiology team who’ll undertake the task. I’m also comforted by having an insight in the vast array of state of the art equipment they draw upon to undertake their work. The whole procedure played out on a large TV screen; this monitor’s remit to guide the cardiologist(s) around the patients cardio-vascular avenues and alleyways.

Footage I declined to witness in January. At that time, whimsically informing a member of the operating theatre’s medical team I’d revisit the broadcast on Catch Up TV on my return home. My decision not borne from any squeamishness on my part; moreover,  because I wasn’t wearing specs or contacts during the procedure, I just couldn’t see the screen clearly enough…… Luckily the cardiologist wasn’t as lax about correcting his vision pre-op!

Thankfully, most of the medical team laughed at my attempt to lighten my inaugural angioplasty.  Subsequently, proceeding to fit four stents, despite having to endure a few more erratic operating table quips from yours truly. This banality my way of lightening the situation when undergoing a heart procedure without general anaesthesia.


When suffering a gastric haemorrhage in April, I utilised a similar whimsical approach. This time whilst undergoing a back passage examination. On this occasion, though, attempting to counter embarrassment rather than apprehension about what I was about to endure.

Trying to lighten the atmosphere, just as she was about to undertake the procedure, I asked the young female doctor who’d ‘drawn the short straw’, “Is this really necessary?  I’ve only come to deliver your mail!”……. Thankfully she saw the funny side, and that my off-colour humour was a vehicle being utilised to counter my embarrassment.

Ordinarily medical staff take my attempts to lighten these situations in good heart. And, to be honest, why shouldn’t they? After all, my self-deprecating quips are delivered without spite or any intent to offend anyone.

That being said, not everyone may’ve enjoyed my whimsy during my first angioplasty. While wheeling me out of the theatre a medic incorrectly relayed my name to the waiting hospital porter, claiming “Here’s that Kent!”……. To avoid any ongoing confusion I pointed out to my ‘driver’ that I was a Strachan and not a Kent.***

*** – I’d like to clarify I adding that paragraph for comedic affect. It isn’t true in any shape or form that a member of the medical team handed me back to the porter service with an incorrect surname. Even if they thought I was a Kent, the medics supporting me through my heart attack procedure would’ve been far too professional to reveal such candid notions.

As I alluded to above, I’m not overly fazed by the prospect of tomorrow’s operation. Barring any untoward difficulties, it’s a out-patient procedure which’ll see me return home late afternoon/early evening.

I’ll no doubt have a sore wrist from where my radial artery was punctured, however if they can sort out what’s caused a recent drop in yours truly’s energy levels it’ll be a price well worth paying.