The Old Man had been called for his pre-op assessment. So me and him set out in the car to drive the 100 miles to the hospital in the next county, where he will be treated.
OK. I have to say the place is bigger and newer than our county's main hospital. And the bit I saw - brighter and more cheerful. Some bits of our hospital have a ... "run down" feeling. But then if you want "Run Down" nothing could beat the East London Hospital which I had to visit some years ago. We're talking Victorian and next to a Flyover. Articulated Lorries running past the ward windows.
Anyway. Waiting for The Old Man while he had his nose scraped for superbugs - I overheard another woman saying how she was counting her missed trains as she waited.
"Come far then?" say another.
"West Cornwall," say the woman missing trains, "I need a back op. They don't do it in Cornwall."
So the Old Man was not the only one travelling 200 miles there and back for an assessment. And another type of operation that apparently "can't be done" in Cornwall.
I know that they want to move certain kinds of cancer treatments from Cornwall to this Devon hospital. In fact there's been a bit of a hoo-hah after the sacking of the Cornwall Hospital's Chief Exec on the grounds of presiding over a failing hospital. Turns out his supporters say he was turning the hospital around; and it was in fact because he was opposing this move of some cancer treatments out of county without due public consultation - that the Strategic Health Authority and the Hospital's Trust wanted him gone. If you don't believe my cynicism, well... he's just won his industrial tribunal into unfair dismissal. And all sorts of bigwigs are coming out of the woodwork, huffing and puffing about inquiries into such unheard of behaviour.
It's hard when people are already sick and worried - and their friends and families too - to have to handle this distance thing. Anyway.
At least I've seen the place and now know where the Old Man will be snoring and cussing.
Days being ticked off now. And I'm getting nervous.