It's official. I'm a 'delightful gentleman'. Well, that's what this letter I've got from the surgeon says. He's written to my GP, thanking him for referring me, a 'delightful gentleman', to him. I don't normally get reviews like that - the best I've had to date is 'prompt and efficient payer' on eBay.
I don't mix with surgeons, as a rule. But I've got this problem, you see. I've mentioned it before, in fact. I appear to be having problems with breathing and sleeping. I can't do both of them at the same time, for starters. Over the last couple of years I've had my various tubes - well, the airways anyway - prodded and poked by the best in the Midlands. I've spent the night dressed as a Poundland Darth Vader. All to no avail.
So just before Christmas I went to see a surgeon. He actually has a title with rather too many syllables in it, but basically he's a chap who knows his onions. And when someone with all those syllables inserts a camera and says: "Ah ha - I think I see the problem," then I'm going to listen.
As a result, I'm shortly going into hospital for an operation. Well, two operations, actually. Something called a septoplasty, then a tonsillectomy. The septoplasty is designed to sort out my comedy nose. Sadly, as it's an internal op, I don't get to choose a new nose, which is a shame as I quite liked the Adrien Brody look. Never mind. And the surgeon recommended whipping out my tonsils at the same time as (a) it might improve my breathing and (b) there's a two-for-one offer on in January.
By the way, when you're due an operation, do not, under any circumstances, look it up on Google. Or, for that matter, on Youtube. It tends to give you pause for thought, that's all I'm saying.
So I'm a bit nervous. In fact, to use the vernacular, I'm ever-so-slightly bricking it. It's not the operation so much. I'm not that worried about someone coming at my face with a sharp implement; I've drunk in enough Birmingham pubs, so I'm used to that. It's the general anaesthetic that's causing me concern. What if it doesn't go to plan? Although I will admit that there would be a delicious irony in that happening, given that I'm going through all this so I can sleep better.
But here's the thing. I'm sick and tired. Literally. I want to start sleeping again. I want to get on better with the people around me, not being distant and grumpy with friends, family and colleagues. I want to be better at doing the job that I enjoy, not falling asleep in meetings and feeling unwilling to do more.And I want to be able to spend the whole night in bed with my wife, not having one of us creep off to try and snooze fitfully on a sofa somewhere.
I don't want superpowers. I just want to do what everyone else does. When people say they've had a good night's sleep, I always think, "show-off." So that's why, on Monday afternoon, I'll be having this done to me. Hopefully I can be a delightful gentleman once more.