After a few weeks of intermittent pain, I decided it was time to see my doctor and find out if it was, as I suspected, a hernia that was troubling me. As he wasn't 100% certain, I was referred to see a surgeon at my local hospital. I immediately found this odd. Not quite sure whether you'd see a surgeon at this stage in England for something as relatively minor as a hernia.
At the hospital you need to take a ticket, wait for your number to appear, and then go and see someone at the front desk. Makes you feel like you're waiting at the post office. I always have to go through the usual procedure of explaining to the puzzled receptionist that I don't have, or need, a Belgian Social Security card.
After a ridiculously long wait (1 hour and 30mins) to see my surgeon, he confirms that the Ultrasound scan I had taken the previous week confirmed the presence of a very small hernia in my groin. The fact that this was only going to get bigger over time meant that surgery would represent the most sensible option. This meant a general anaesthetic, surgery, and at least one night's stay in hospital. Not something I was particularly relishing doing. Even more strange for me was working out a suitable date with the surgeon, there and then. No letter in the post jobby.
But, before this I had to go and see someone else in order to make appointments for a blood test, an ECG, and a trip to see an anaesthetist.