May 26, 2012 - 11:21 pm
Hey all, thanks for all the great advice and comments here. I have just had an I/O of my right testicle yesterday, and I'm in recovery now. I have a few general questions that I hope you can help me with. I'm doing pretty well, but I'm a bit freaked out. Probably will be until the tissue and CT results come back later this week. Some of these might be better aimed at my physician, but everyone is on vacation for memorial day weekend here, and they're not exactly communicative folks at the best of times. Any help with this stuff is much appreciated. I'm doing pretty well with the diagnosis, doc said probable stage 1 seminoma, so I feel pretty good about my chances. I'll feel better in a week if everything is well... But of course, like anyone in this situation, I'm still oscillating between handling it and freaked out.
Here goes with the long, long list of questions:
1.) How long is it going to feel like someone socked me in the groin ? I'm ON the pain meds, and while it's tolerable, it's not exactly a comfort :D
2.) Can I sleep on my side ? For some reason I'm afraid that the fetal position I usually sleep in will be bad for things down there. I've been on my back, but I have trouble sleeping that way.
3.) How long til I start weening myself off the hydrocodone ? The pain is getting more tolerable slowly here, and I don't want to risk addiction or anything. That runs in my family.
4.) I have a big trip planned in a couple of weeks to a conference for work. I have a blast there every year and look forward to it for months. The doc said I can schedule radiation or whatever treatment I end up with around it, but I'm wondering if anyone tried anything like that 2 weeks after recovery ? Will I be too beaten up to get around ? Mostly it's meet and greets and sitting watching presentations, walking around down town a bit. I've already shelled out about 5k for tickets, flights, hotel, etc, an I really want to go, but not if it will compromise my health. Especially worried as I've heard some things about clotting and flights, although less important for abdominal surgery than some others.
5.) I feel a lot of energy, I want to be up and about, but it's only day 1 of recovery here. I should probably ignore that urge, right ? I have a lot of natural energy and staying in bed is a PIA.
6.) They say I can take the main bandage off come Monday. How bad is the wound gonna be ? Should I be prepared for some jekyll and hyde nightmare down there ?
7.) They gave me a sling thing, kind of like a jock strap, to wear. They said I could replace the gausse, but no guidance on how tight I should pack the thing. If it's to put pressure on my testicle (ha! Only one) to prevent bleeding in other parts, wouldn't this have to be tightish ? They packed it pretty loose themselves...
8.) I have a little redness next to the wound where the ice pack was sitting, and where the crease in my leg is, and where the band from the jock strap apparatus attaches. I'm thinking this might just be irritation, but how worried should I be about infection ? I'm not running a fever and I'm watching for it to worsen. I don't even know who to call about it if it is infected, since everyone is MIA, and my normal care givers are basically charging me up front for everything (I don't have insurance).
9.) I don't have insurance. Anyone have any experience with PCIP ? Any gotchas there ? I can handle some bills with help from my family, but not likely the ongoing cost of this thing.
This next one is about going to the bathroom, so you MAY want to skip it.
10.) I'm basically afraid to poop. I haven't felt the need to go since I got back from the hospital, and it seems odd to not have to go after about 36 hours. I'm on a stool softener to counteract the hydrocodone. But I'm afraid if I put pressure down there that I might tear or hurt something. Usually I tense my whole abdomen to go, and this'll be worse if I'm consipated at all.
11.) How worried do I have to be about tearing my wound by making odd movements ? I've been treating it really gingerly, but sometimes I get up and move around without thinking about it.
12.) As for a long term perspective, will I ever feel normal again ? How long until I'm back to my normal self ? And how long am I going to be living in fear of this thing coming back ? :(