Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Home from the hospital

My purpose in writing about my prostate cancer is to encourage men to get tested. The PSA test caught mine very early, and despite it's moderately aggressive nature, I'm probably 100% cured. If anyone you know has to go through this, please don't hesitate to recommend me as a resource. The truly scary part is not knowing what to expect.

On a local web forum, one of the frequent posters said that he had to renew his blood pressure meds just as I had, and his doctor requires a checkup. The problem lies in the fact that he doesn't have insurance. I checked on the county health department web site, and while they offer some blood tests for free or reduced costs, they apparently don't do PSA screening. If anyone knows of a no-cost/low-cost PSA test service, please let me know about it.

I had surgery on Monday and came home yesterday. I snoozed on the couch most of the afternoon. It's kind of nice to wander around the house in a bathrobe, PJs, and slippers all day.

The pre-operative preparation was a chore. I couldn't have any solid food on Sunday, not even a glass of milk, so I was a cranky old man. Thankfully, the surgery was scheduled at 7AM. The anesthetic killed my appetite, so I wasn't really hungry Monday afternoon and evening. Lyndsay and Mary ordered cheeseburgers from the dietary department, something they actually encourage at the hospital, and they were very good. Oklahoma Surgical Hospital is plush!

The surgery went well. The after effects mostly involve some abdominal pain and what feels like gas pain, but is more likely bladder spasms. Part of it was removed, and since the bladder is a muscle, it's letting me know. I'll have a catheter until Monday and by then there's no doubt I'll be thoroughly sick of the thing. Normally I sleep on one side or the other, but with the catheter and bag I can sleep only on my back or – with difficulty – my left side.

It's almost impossible to get a good nights sleep in a hospital, and this one was no exception. I probably didn't sleep longer than an hour at a time. Since I was awake so often, I developed a nearly obsessive fascination with the breakfast menu. I hadn't had solid food since Saturday, so the prospect of breakfast was very appealing. Still, I behaved myself, limiting it to a blueberry muffin, a banana, orange juice, and the obligatory coffee. Dietary opened at 7AM. I called at 7:01.

Late night television is truly weird. Besides the noise of chat shows, reruns, and news, I found a Spanish language infomercial that went on for at least an hour touting a penis enlargement device. The ad featured a bevy of women smiling hugely.

Last night I had cling peaches for dinner and a granola bar for breakfast early today. I made some oatmeal around mid-morning. The post-surgery instructions advise against getting constipated, and believe me, if simple coughing hurts this much I don't want to think about straining.

As I write this, it's late afternoon on Wednesday. Duchess the Wonder Dog stares at me longingly, wagging her tail in the hope that I'll take her for a walk. It's not to be. Maybe we can get back to our regular routine next week, though she won't be going to the park because I'm not allowed to drive for two weeks. Still, I'm seeing rapid improvement. I had great difficulty getting up and down yesterday, and walking upright was painful. Today, I'm still feeling it when I get up and down, but straightening up is much easier. I don't bend easily, though, and reaching the floor is nearly impossible. Putting a bowl of cat food down for Tiggr required some ingenuity and an old Sierra cup.


Blogger Steve A said...

Walnuts and almonds have LOTS of fiber and are a switch from oatmeal. Have you noticed all the catheter ads lately? So smooth and polished. Glad to hear you're on the path back to being spunky.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I like oatmeal, Steve. Most mornings, I make it with brown sugar, a bit of sea salt, and some dried fruit, usually jumbo raisins or cranberries. Some days I slice up a banana too.

And I've taken notice of the catheter ads. I'm glad that this is only temporary. It irritates the end of my penis enough to cause bleeding, so as per doctor's instructions, I've been painting it with Neosporin. It makes a big difference.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Justine Valinotti said...

I'm glad you're recovering well. I remember the pre-operation ordeal, which I also had to undergo before being screened for colon cancer.

I hope you have a good holiday season!

10:56 PM  
Blogger PM Summer said...

Welcome home!

6:58 AM  

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