The Importance of being Ignorant

Posted: March 29, 2010 in Random Ramblings

Ignorance is a great thing, they say it’s bliss. Ignorance can be many things, it’s used to refer to people who are (technically) actually brash or even rude. But in reality it merely means that you don’t know something or other. Then again I don’t need to tell you that, because you are not ignorant. That’s not true, we are all ignorant of something, I don’t speak mandarin chinese, so maybe I’m ignorant of that. Did you get the nerdy reference to Oscar Wilde that I made in the title of this post? If not you were, in fact, in some little way, ignorant.

As I say, ignorance can be a good thing. Imagine a man who has incurable but non-debilitating cancer. He has one month to live. In this instance surely ignorance would be a good thing. What’s the use of knowing that you are going to die next month if it gets in the way of what you are doing this month. The cancer will not infringe on the man’s last month if  he does not know about it. Therefore, here ignorance is bliss.

However in my experiences ignorance is detrimental and on it are founded all the negative aspects of my disability and many other disabilities like it. I often wonder what life would be like without ignorance and prejudice. Just because I am in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that I can’t hold a conversation, yet because of their ignorance, strangers are almost always reluctant to start talking to me. This is only one example. I worked in a school for the deaf as part of “community action” a programme my school co-ordinates in transition year. There I discovered how it is not the disability of deafness itself that impedes on the lives of the deaf. It is the ignorance of others, their inability to speak sign language, that creates the problems associated with deafness.

I realise this stuff is all quite deep and heavy and all that but it’s actually just an introduction to a funny story I wanted to write about. If you are one of those who are sick of hearing this story, stop reading now. (You know which one it is.) Furthermore, this story is copyright of David Berry (me) so do not copy it in part or entirety or place it on any other site. I will be using this in my comically genius comedy shows (when I get around to it) so Tommy Tiernan, Dara O’ Briain, Neil Delamere etc, (that’s the equivalent of Frankie Boyle and Hugh Dennis for you brits and Chris Rock for the americans) hands off, get your own jokes.

Anyways it happened a few years ago. It was a highly dragged out ordeal looking back on it. I had a certain medical condition, called a pilonidal sinus. Sounds painful doesn’t it? Well although it was a major hassle, it wasn’t life threatening, because technically it was a spot… However because of its location (on my lower back) and it’s nature (being a “sinus”) it had to be gotten rid of. A sinus is like a track filled with puss that travels from the surface of the skin where a spot can be seen to deep below the surface. In my case the sinus wrapped itself around my spine. So a neurosurgeon had to perform the operation.

First of all they decided to pop it like the spot it was. (Have you vomited yet?) Now the technique employed to do this was to use a local anaesthetic and slice it open with a scalpel, in my senses. In the subsequent weeks the open wound was stuffed with cotton soaked in disinfectant. Thank god I couldn’t feel it, I can usually feel everything above my knees so not being able to feel the insertion of this cotton into a large open wound was just wierd.

Long story short this did not work and weeks later I was on my way into hospital to have the whole thing cut out.

Friday, Day One: I was due to go in on that day at around six o’clock in the evening. Unfortunately someone else was admitted with an aneurysm. For all of you who are ignorant as to what an aneurysm is, it’s a brain bleed and was probably a little more important than my zit. Surgery was postponed. Fasting would have to continue till the next morning.

Day two: On Saturday we were about to set off in the car for the hospital when the phone rang. At this stage I was like an antichrist, having fasted for a day already. Someone else had been admitted with an emergency torsion. (Really showing up your ignorance today aren’t I?) For those of you who do not know, a torsion, is a strangulated testicle. I’m guessing that every man reading this just crossed their legs. He (well at least I hope “he”) had been tackled in an early morning soccer match, went down badly and got his manhood in a twist. Now they were using the operating theatre I was supposed to be in to untangle his family jewels. The operation was once again postponed.

Day three: On the sunday, the staff at the hospital decided to go on strike and only the skeleton staff were available. Did you just laugh? That’s really immature. I wasn’t operated on by a skeletal doctor, skeleton staff just means that nobody decided to turn up to work that day. Meaning my operation was further delayed by twelve hours.

Then came the closer. As I sat in my hospital bed waiting to be wheeled into theatre, I was thoroughly bricking it. There was only 1 anaesthetist available. He had just walked by and as a nurse stopped him to request that my mum be allowed into the operating theatre until I was knocked out. He turned to me, gave me the once over and casually replied: “No, you’re a big boy.” and then walked off. It is important to reiterate that I was much much younger then and was just as severe a belonephobe. I have and had then an abject fear of needles, so strong that I would always faint when jabbed.

It’s also important to note that not only was that doctor ignorant in the “brash” sense of the word, he was also ignorant of the fact that my mother has been a nurse for thirty years. She was well versed on patient rights and laid right into him. Eventually he agreed to jab me in the waiting room, but remained stubborn on the issue of letting my mum into the theatre. So there he stood at the side of the bed, poised to stick the intravenous canula into my arm, I sat there, looking the other way, praying I wouldn’t projectile vomit on the doctor.

He was doing his best to be friendly at this stage, but now he had burnt all his bridges. He hammered the last nail in his coffin however as I felt the cold metal of that needle plunge into my vein.

“Do you play much soccer?” he asked, having not seen the wheelchair parked beside my bed next to him.

The last thing I remember before darkness closed in around me was a sharp intake of breath by all the nurses who realised what kind of hole the doctor had just dug himself. I may not have heard it through my comatose state, but apparently my mum tore the doctor a new one.

When I woke up from the faint, all I saw was the biggest syringe I thought could possibly be used on a human. It was full of valium. For me at least, that was the problem solved. This time around, my dreams were a little sweeter.

When I finally came around after the operation, I turned to the other bed in the hospital room. There in the bed was another boy, his rear in the air, his pelvis had to be elevated with a hoist to keep the pressure off his, recently operated on, strangulated testicle.

I guess his day had been worse than mine after all. But I think that doctor must have realised how ignorant he really was that day.

  1. chrislipjournal says:

    Interesting blog! I got a little woozy halfway through the medical procedure, but I lived to read another day. 🙂

    Rob Hanson at Chrislip Journal

  2. Laura says:

    WOW that sounds pretty scary!!!!!!!!!!!! i see you have been through a lot! And I hate it when people are so ignorant, and then you call them ignorant, and they get mad cuz they think ur calling them stupid! SO IM LIKE UGH!! So yeah wow thats an interesting story, the testicle one reminded me of when Tre got hit right there and one of his went inside his body >.> OH MY!! And that sucks that the doctor was being so dumb but ur mom sure got him back!!!! I laughed at some parts not where unfortunate things happened to ya, like ‘have u vomited yet?’ and no i didnt vomit 😛 nice post btw you make every story very interesting!

  3. sexonwheelz says:

    Thanks for your comments so far! Hope I didn’t make you too sick! I had hoped to make the post a little more comic but I think it came out very serious in the wash… thanks for reading!

  4. […] The busiest day of the year was March 29th with 93 views. The most popular post that day was The Importance of being Ignorant. […]

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