Woody Allen, old man Steptoe and a hospital update

When SJA member MARTIN KELNER was an emergency admission to hospital recently, there was no immediate interruption in his output of work. Now back home, he has posted this update

Martin Kelner: hoping to be back on the airwaves as soon as October
Martin Kelner: hoping to be back on the airwaves as soon as October

I thought it was all closet homosexuals in bed with ingrowing toenails as the ward echoed to the thundering rhythm of Hattie Jacques’s enormous breasts, the action culminating in the insertion of a daffodil into Kenneth Williams’s anus (Carry On Nurse, that one, I think…).

Which is all by way of introducing a complete update for those who have asked for one on Facebook/Twitter etc, and especially for those complaining of a lack of humorous Amazon reviews/appearances on Fighting Talk/amusing tweets…

Tell you what. Get what laughs you can out of this lot.

I’m home from hospital, and these are my discharge notes (Ha ha, he said “discharge”):


Reason for Admission/Brief history

Known to have abdominal sarcoma. Admitted acutely (5/8/13) due to increasing abdominal pain. Underwent laparotomy and packing for tumour bleeding (5/8/13)

6/8/13 – Underwent excision of abdominal tumour, right hemicolectomy, ileostomy, excision of right mid ureter and ureteric repair

Mr Kelner spent the following 7 days on ITU

Mr Kelner’s postoperative recovery was complicated by bilateral pleural effusions, bilateral pulmonary emboli and multiple abdominal collections.

… and that’s why I’m not reviewing tinned fucking peaches on Amazon.

I have to go into hospital again to have a stent removed, which is some little device they put in so I could continue to enjoy the pleasure of a wazz. I’m also hoping at some time in the future to have my ileostomy reversed.

Yes, I now have something in common with Petula Clark and Cliff Richard. Is it that we (a) all had number one hits in the ’60s, or do we (b) all have a colostomy bag? Guess. Come to think of it, I could be having a shit while I’m writing this.

The big thing, though, is that I have yet to hear from the pathology lab what the hell my tumour was. I hope to find out when I go to the sarcoma clinic at St James’s on Sept 9th to meet with my wonderful surgeon, Mr Horgan. He and his team did a remarkable job.

Clearly conscious of their great responsibility, having West Yorkshire’s third or fourth most popular radio presenter under the knife, their work was without parallel. A surgical triumph, no doubt, your feelings about which will depend on your attitude to the principle of saving disc jockeys.

Obviously, there is a national disc jockey shortage at present what with Operation Yewtree and all that, but what a palaver to keep one of us a going concern. Still, the experience will come in handy, I expect, when they have someone worth treating.

I’m hoping against hope that the pathology lab report indicates a minimum of further treatment. Because, despite some of the comments on Twitter, what I am not involved in is “a brave battle against cancer.” To quote Woody Allen (in Love and Death, I think) when he was accused of having a yellow streak running down his back, “No,” he said, “Across. It runs across.”

I am not one of those “brave battle” guys. I can’t tell you how many hours of the day I spend whinging about how ill I am, how ridiculously metaphysically tired I feel, cursing the professionalism of the National Health Service in failing to allow nature to finish its work.

And talking of the NHS, one of the unintended consequences of my stay on Ward J45 at St James’s Hospital, is that I never again need read any long think pieces in the Sunday Times about the trouble with the NHS. Those people who looked after me were the greatest, all of them.

It can’t have been easy for them. First couple of days on the ward, I was dangerously delusional. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was very much on the lines of “they’re stealing my clothes you know”. Yet they dealt with it all with total equanimity. And all the changing bags, clearing up vomit etc etc. The NHS may well be an unwieldy, unmanageable leviathan, but if you want someone to save your life, they are the people.

Not just that, but Rose, a Filipino nurse working at weekend, gave me my first assisted shower in the ludicrous accessible bathroom, where instead of a proper wall mounted shower head, you have this loose fitting device that sprayed water all over me and Rose, which might have been a borderline sexy scene had not the strain and my unfeasible weight loss left me looking like old man Steptoe.

….and as we started in the closet with Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtrey, Wilfrid Brambell seems an appropriate place to finish..

(Oh, in terms of when I might resume professional life, my Doc tells me to write off six months. My own view is that I shall start writing my Racing Post column again for this Tuesday’s paper and continue semi-regularly, return to Fighting Talk some time in October, and Radio Leeds about Christmas time, but the way I feel at present, I might be a little optimistic).


Mon Sep 9: SJA Golf Day, Muswell Hill Golf Club: sign on for this great annual SJA social event by clicking here

Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Venue and ticket booking details to be announced soon