Sorry to be a couple of days late with this review but I almost feel as if I have nothing positive to report.
Here goes: Wednesday, January 20th, 2010.
Left Sarnia around 8.30am. with wife Debbie, daughter Chantale and best friend and driver Tommy.
Drive takes around 1 hour, 15 minutes. Pretty quite trip but felt good and positive walking into the hospital. Went thru pre-admission smoothly and quickly and went up to the 2nd. floor for pre-op. Only took a few minutes to get in, change into the hospital gear including the stockings. Debbie is called back into the room to hold my hand. Met the lady who was going to put me to sleep who in turn promised to stay by my side all the time. Next came a nurse who promised to do the same.
We hear a phone ring and someone comes to my bed to inform the nurse that Dr. Chin is early and to get me into the operating room a.s.a.p.
So, off we go to the op room. Nice nurse is busy chatting away to keep my mind busy. It's on the same floor but still some distance away. Now I'm in the room and it looks like the insides of a space ship. (although, I have never been in one of those either)
Problem, I, may be ready, but the room is not. Many people rushing around while I lay on the operating table, tied down but still trying to see just what is going on. The Dr. Chin comes in and wonders the same so we chat a bit while we wait. Finally ( I'm guessing 15 minutes) I hear some one say, "I'm going to put you to sleep now" Then I hear it again and again and again!. At least 5 attempts and one week later, the colours of black, blue and yellow still dominate my entire left arm.
UPDATE: Feb. 4th. Arm colours pretty well back to normal but an artery from my elbow to the wrist is still sensitive and pain in the wrist area wakes me up many times, every night.
Next, I wake up to what seems like a nightmare. Busy, busy people, can't focus, drift out, wake up, where am I and why? After 2 hours in recovery room I'm finally taken to my room where a rather impatient wife and daughter are waiting. So lucky to have Chantale come along as she is an absolute delight to every one.
Now this is interesting : Although we have been paying, thru Debbie's work for PRIVATE room care for the last 20 or so years, I'm assigned to a four bed ward, even though my entrance papers included a PRIVATE room assignment. So when I asked why I was not in the private room, I was told with a big smile, "Oh, those are for special people" and here Debbie has always told me "I am A special People" the hospital apparently was not aware of my "special status"!(LOL)
Now I recall a topic here a while back asking what the costs of surgery might be. Mikey1955 reponded by explaining that in the Province of Ontario, when you have an OHIP card, (every legal person in the province for more than 40 days gets one) you automatically are privileged to have a bed in a ward. To get more (better ?) care you can opt to buy extra insurance as Debbie has done thru work. Mikey, being some what self employed did not have the extra but did not want to be in a ward, so according to his response, paid
$ 600 per night, in cash, to be in a Semi-Private room, and he got the Semi-Private. Now I'm wondering of course, did I have the option to pay extra for a semi or pay even more for a private, so, I too could be Special?
Now I'm starting to think sinister thoughts. How about this theory: Hospital knows I've got the whole package but tells the insurance company they'll keep me in a ward if the insurance company would "DONATE" the difference of the cost between a ward and semi private to the hospital and why not, since they are still not having to pay for private coverage so they in turn save that amount ? Okay, maybe I've been sitting around to long.
I've been told and have read in the news that Ontario has a severe shortage of hospital beds and if so, why was one of the four beds empty ALL the time and a second bed also empty the first night. ( yes, I know, I'm now in a semi private environment.
I'm in and out of it that night but next morning, here comes breakfast and it is not what I'm supposed to have, i.e. clear fluids, soft stuff like yogurt, ice cream but I get a hard bagel and "breakfast cheerios"
I complain but was told that my name is on the tray so that's it. Next morning, same thing. Saturday morning, the server comes in with a wide grin and explains that today, "I can eat what I'm being served!"
I knew that this is a "teaching" hospital which I interpreted that as being a good thing. NOT SO.
The nurses ( here to learn ? since they all seem to be from another country) have 12 hour shifts and during my stay I had 7 different nurses. No consistency or continuity here. So on the final morning before checkout, it's the usual routine of checking the numbers, removing the leg socks, hooking up the leg catherder etc. By now there are two ladies who do not talk much or try to explain anything. Debbie has questions about the cath and was quickly given a brochure, 'Home care for you Foley Catheter' and also handed the larger night bag with the explanation: "This is the night bag"
When we asked about a prescription to take with us, Debbie was told, "Good question, I go ask" When she came back with the prescription, Debbie asked, "what's it for?" "response, "Good question, I go ask!" When the nurse came back once again, response ? "Pharmacist will explain everything"
So Debbie goes down to the hospital pharmacy to get the prescription filled while I change into street clothes since my ride back to Sarnia should be arriving anytime.
She came back within minutes saying, the pharmacy is closed, the gift shop is closed the Tim Hortons coffee shop is closed, the admission desk is closed, in fact the main lobby of the hospital is complete void of people.
It's a Saturday!
We have a shortage of beds in Ontario but everybody goes home for the weekend ?
Time to go and since I have only been off of oxygen and
the intro feed into the back of my neck for less than 15 minutes, I'm expected to walk to my ride? I ask for a wheelchair, get one in ten minutes ( and the nurse disappears) so Debbie gets her first attempt to push one ( not very succesful but we make a game out of it by awarding points for everything she hits) down to the lobby.
WE got no diet instructions, no home care info (except that a home nurse will call) as to how to keep the incision clean, no nothing, not even a goodbye hug.
I was not encouraged to sit-up and try to walk as much as possible, drink as much as possible, although I had read about these on web blogs.
Perhaps the powers to be at the London Health Science Centre should review their brochure: Patient Information, Radical Retropubic Postatectomy, with the nursing staff at University Hospital.
There was no sponse bath on Day 1. (or any day)
No shower. (any day)
No catheter care or instructions.
Very little help or encouragement to walk.
My early assessments of the University Hospital had been near the ten out of ten range but now, thinking back it is a 7 for all the pre-surgery and a dismal 5 out of 10 for the post surgery.
Age, only 71.
July 2009, PSA 9.1, free ratio 0.16
September GLEASON 4+4=8, T2A
Calcium: 2.46 (range: 2.20 - 2.65 mmol/L)
25 Hydroxy Vitamin D: 102 (range: sufficiency:
76 - 250 nmol/L)
Bone Scan: Negative
CT Scan scheduled for Dec. 1st. Negative.
Started Casodex 50mg. on Nov. 6, first pill of 30.
Got Lupron 22.5mg ( 90 day ) on November 19.
No real side effects as of Dec. 15 except dry skin and hair but getting quite 'porky' in the belt area even though now I go to the gym, three times a week. Also I dont have a need to shave anymore so now I can save my 'shaving' allowance and direct it to my stash of Depends !
Christmas Day got my first hot flashes. Thanks Santa!
Open surgery scheduled for Jan. 22 by Dr. J. Chen
at London (Ontario) Health Sciences Centre.
NOPE, that just changed to January 20th. (2 days earlier) and the venue for entertainment gets moved to the University Hospital.
Open surgery done on Jan. 20th.
Cath removel scheduled for Feb. 8th. Yes, I know,
that will be 19 days. Dr. is out of country until then.
Need to get this over with ASAP so next season
I can continue with motorcycling, sailing and enjoying life, TOGETHER with my wife, Debbie
who has been the most supportive wife possible.
Post Edited (JB71) : 2/6/2010 11:18:41 AM (GMT-7)