If I am allowed to anaesthetise again, I'll share a few quiet reassuring words with my patients
I had spent the past 25 years working in hospitals, intensive care units (ICUs) and theatres. So many thousands of operations on so many patients, and yet here I was, fearful and frankly embarrassed. I lay motionless, face fixed in an unconvincing grin for the benefit of former colleagues as I floated past them, a single off‐white sheet covering my goosebumps. Just another patient this time. Paraded down the corridor; relatives and staff trying to guess whether you were haemorrhoids or a vasectomy. I was no longer the operating room DJ, “gasman” and “wannabe comedian”. Rather than choosing a playlist and sipping the first of many espressos that morning, I had stiffly, illegibly signed a consent form and wet my parched lips from a plastic cup.