Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Surgery

Well, now that I am feeling almost "normal" I thought I should take a few minutes and review everything that has happened since this past Wednesday. 

Ginny and I drove to Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon and arrived at our hotel in center city around 7:30.  The hospital is about 3 miles from the hotel we were staying at and Ginny did not feel comfortable driving in the city on her own so after registering at the hotel I drove out to the hospital and parked the car in the hospital's garage.  I spent about a half hour finding my way around the hospital so I wouldn't be lost the next morning getting admitted.  Fortunately it was a very easy subway ride from the hospital to the hotel and I was back in the hotel by 10:00 PM.

I had a relatively restful sleep and we were up at 4:00 AM and on our way to the subway by 5:00 AM.  We arrived at admitting at 5:30 AM and had all of the paperwork done by 6:00 AM.  Things happened rather quickly after that.   Around 6:15 AM I was taken to the prep area where I stripped, donned a hospital garment and placed on a hospital gurney.  I was then wheeled into curtained stall where I was asked a lot of questions.  I would have to tell the staff my name and date of birth at least ten times that morning.  I guess they had too many instances where they took the prostate out of the wrong person and are going overboard to make sure that mistake doesn't happen again.

A nurse came into my stall and informed me that she was going to give me a shave around my belly button.  When she looked at my abdomen she said; "Ooh, I'm going to like working on you"  I said; "what are you talking about"  she said "your not one of those big nasty hairy guys, your shave will be a snap".

After that I was wheeled into the operating room.  The DaVinci machine is pretty impressive.  The surgeon sits at a consul off to the side that looks like the cockpit of the space shuttle.  I was placed on a platform in the middle of the room and all I could see were robotic arms directly above me.  After that it was lights out.

I remember coming to and being very cold and shivering.  I was wheeled into my room where Ginny was waiting and I slept most of that day.  I was given some broth later in the day and remember feeling a bit nauseous.  I had no appetite and was fed intravenously.  I was given pain killers the first day and did not feel any pain at all.  I slept quite comfortably and did manage a short walk that evening. 

When I awoke the next morning I was famished.  I ate a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, a muffin and orange juice.  I was starting to feel almost human.  I was taken off the painkillers that morning and can honestly say that I have never felt any real pain.  Certainly my abdomen is sore and I do sit and stand carefully but I have no problem sleeping.  Dr Lee came to visit in the morning and he told me that the procedure went extremely well.  He said that my prostate showed no visible signs of cancer and that he expected me to have a relatively quick recovery.   I was allowed to take a shower at the hospital that morning and after receiving some instructions on how to deal with the catheter we were discharged from the hospital and on our way home by 10:30 AM on September 22, 2011..

My time at home has been uneventful.  I am regaining my strength every day and have no problem sleeping.  One of my biggest concerns was having my first bowel movements.  They did give me some stool softeners to take and I must say that it turned out to be a non-issue, a piece of cake.  I am walking 2 miles each day with no discomfort but I do tire easily.  My appetite is pretty much back to normal and I can see that the wounds are starting to heal.

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to getting the catheter removed on Wednesday morning.  While I really haven't had any discomfort from the catheter its just a pain in the ass carrying a bag of piss around with you all the time.  I've been told that it isn't too painful when they remove the catheter.  We'll see!

Well its off for my 2 mile walk and then an afternoon of watching football.

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