Apr 13, 2013 - 10:45 am
had procedure on Wed, morning. The surgeon stopped by the next morning. He said everything went well and added that he’d probably bought me an extra 20 years of life and that I shouldn’t sweat the potential impotence issues too much given that context. He’s right. I was fortunate to have such a surgeon. Now we just wait for the path report. Hopefully it will be good. I didn’t get much sleep the first (only) night in the hospital but wasn’t in that much pain, what with the pain meds pretty much on demand. I got up and walked about 100 feet total Wednesday night. That wasn’t much fun but wasn’t a big deal. I walked multiple times for longer distances the next day. I was discharged from the hospital around 4:00 pm Thursday afternoon, the 11th. I was supposed to take a pain pill before I left but I forgot to ask and the nurse forgot to give it to me. That was a mistake as by then traffic was heavy and it took a fairly long time to get home, about an hour and a half to two hours. By then instead of being ahead of the pain, I was behind it…the first night was very rough. There is no way they should discharge patients who’ve had this procedure after only 1 night. 2 nights would have been much better, but 3 or 4 is probably the optimum. The patient can walk in the hospital and the hospital is much better prepared to handle the pain, getting in and out of bed, etc. Most of my pain was in the abdomen and appeared to be due, at least in part, from my stomach being distended from gas. I doubled up on the pain meds at home Thursday night and finally, by Friday morning, I caught up to the pain. Also, by Friday AM I started hearing gurgling sounds from my abdomen, which hopefully meant some of the gas was moving around and leaving.
It’s now Saturday morning and the gurgling continues. Doubled up on the meds again at midnight Friday and again at 5 AM on Saturday. Recovery is slow. Perhaps the robotic procedure would have involved less pain, but that wasn’t a good option for me. I was expecting the catheter to be the biggest pain and discomfort. It’s not. Next to the pain in my abdomen the catheter is small potatoes, though it is a nuisance having to trail that bag around everywhere and empty it routinely.
Bottom line, this is not a pleasant experience, made even less so by the unrealistic notion of discharging after only 1 night. Hopefully, things steadily improve and the path report comes back ok. I owe my surgeon a big round of thanks both for his skill and his reminder that this is a life and death struggle. I recommend keeping that perspective for those who have to contemplate this operation in their future.