Friday, June 20, 2014

One Down...

I'm back! Out of surgery and home recuperating. So now for all the details...

Showed up at the hospital as scheduled and went through all of the typical pre-op preparations. Met with the surgeon who marked my belly on the side he was going to operate on and answered a few questions on any allergic reactions from the anesthesiologist.

I must say, anesthesia has really improved over the years. I've been put under numerous times for various surgeries, going way back to when I was a little squirt getting my tonsils removed. They used ether back then...deep breaths and count backwards from 10. I think I made it to 8.  In later years I can remember going down dark tunnels as things around me faded to black. These days it's like flipping a light switch. One moment you're in the operating room, next you wake up in your room with lots of pain. My wife says I was loopy, trying to crack jokes that weren't really funny. I don't recall much of that, but it didn't seem to be a gradual waking up process to me.

They started with the daVinci robot, but as they got near to completing the operation they saw that the tumor was more invasive than they previously thought and sliced me open to take out the entire kidney. I ended up spending about 7 hours under the knife. I won't know if it was cancerous until the pathology comes back.

I've heard a lot of nice things about the hospital, but I must admit I wasn't greatly impressed. Things looked just a little bit dirty in the room. Housekeeping came in and all they did was empty the trash can. No sweeping up or anything and there was all sorts of detrius all over the floor.

So, they wanted to send me home the next afternoon. Out came the catheter...ouch! And I experienced some bashful bladder problems. Not the first time for me, I just can't seem to pee on demand sometimes. I once kept a surprise drug test technician at work waiting for 6 hours before I was able to perform. The hospital only gave me 4 hours...surprise, back in goes the catheter...ouch again! I got to come home with it and wait 5 more days to see my local urologist to check me out again.

They also needed to raise my magnesium level before I came home, so I got a last minute IV...which failed and puffed my hand up like a toad.

But the bottom line is, I'm home. Minus one tumor and a kidney. Percosets are my friend right now. I don't like taking pain medications, but I've decided to ignore my prejudices on the matter for the moment.

Still more followups with various doctors and a mass on my lung that needs to come out also, more to come as time marches on.

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