A year ago today Eleni and I were in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a weekend break. On the second day there I had a stomach ache which wouldn't go away. I tried antacid but it didn't work. Eleni eventually insisted I go to a doctor. The doctor tapped around my abdomen and insisted I go to hospital directly. "You have appendicitis", she said. I thought it only happened to children.
The opinion of the hospital doctors varied somewhat from the GP. They thought I had peritonitis because my appendix had already burst. I was rushed to theatre...and woke up very groggy the next morning, dosed with morphine. My appendix hadn't burst; it did that on the way out. The hospital, doctors and nurses were terrific.
Not only did I think I was too old for this, but it was one of the few intimations that something awful was happening and I might not survive. My mother's first husband died of peritonitis. I was depressed for a while after and then encroaching deadlines took me out of it.
It's my first anniversary without my appendix.