It was particularly reassuring when the anaesthetist explained to me in a sober fashion the risks and the odds of complications.
Despite the obvious gravity of the situation, I couldn't help but calculate for myself with a wry smirk some odds of my own: that as an anaesthetist there was a thirty per cent chance he would own a negatively geared investment property.
Alas, the chap was rather too busy handling life-saving operations, and the right moment to enquire of him never seemed to present itself!
Having been privileged enough to live in a developing country quite recently - which has no health system at all to speak of, but with the option to 'medivac' myself back to Australia in case of emergency (an option sadly unavailable to locals) - we really don't know how lucky we are Down Under.
A more recent and characteristically underwhelming experience in Britain's National Health Service reminded me just how many light years ahead Aussieland is in this regard.
I mean, it's 2016 and the NHS still can't even manage to install computers (they had a crack a few years ago, tipping a lazy £12 billion or so into a system that was ultimately unworkable and scrapped).
I've recently been reading a book on Prime Minister Tony Blair's terms in power in the UK - despite unloading tens of billions of Chancellor Gordon Brown's precious pre-crisis pounds into the NHS, the organisation is still a shambles, and you can lose entire days of your life stuck in British waiting rooms.
But even the greatest nurses and hired specialists could only ever operate within the system that has existed - a bit like telling Diego Maradona he's coming to England to play under Mike Bassett* in a 4-4-2 formation, alongside Geoff Thomas and Andy Sinton. Ain't gonna work!
Even to a complete dunderhead like me it's obvious that the NHS needs to be privatised and sorted out by market forces, but realistically as an employer of 1.2 million heads the service in its present form is worth too many votes for the pollies to risk such a shakedown, so we're probably stuck with it.
No, although perhaps few of us realise it, Australia's health service is comparatively speaking a modern marvel.
It's not strictly speaking true. For one thing, manufacturing still accounts for 886,800 employees.
Having worked in the mining myself through the resources boom (I probably got out a bit too soon in hindsight - the boom continued all the way through until 2012, defying Deloitte's repeatedly gloomy forecasts) and then later in real estate, I'm probably not the best-placed person to make the counter-arguments.
But tourism and the education of international students have become Australia's latest two boom industries, boosted as the dollar returns from the stratosphere.
As is so often the case in these arguments, the truth lies somewhere betwixt and between.
It's true that mining and real estate are actually both relatively small employers in absolute terms.
In fact since the peak of the mining boom in 2012 rental, hiring, and real estate hasn't created a single new job on a net basis.
Yet indirectly these two industries account for a huge volume of economic output, as well as stamp duty revenues for state governments...not to mention national income in the case of resources exports.
Despite the annihilation of mining construction jobs since 2012, total construction employment actually increased by +21,300 in the year to August. That's all those cranes you can see on the skyline, the apartment super-boom, which is property-related work.
Residential construction employment is probably looking a bit peaky now, although the non-residential sector still has some gas in the tank.
The challenge since 2012 has been that the multiplier effect of all those mines and gas projects being constructed over a decade of excess has gone massively into reverse. Which explains why so many resources regions are in disarray, and wages growth and inflation have been so soft.