Well, here i am on the other side of a prostatectomy. Since finding out i had cancer only a little more than a month ago to having my prostate gland removed, i've run through every possible emotion. Strangely enough, i'm running through all that again since the surgery.
I had surgery on 11/16/2006. I showed up at Parkridge Hospital at about 5:00am to have the DaVinci Robotic Laparoscopic surgery performed by Dr. Patrick Foley. If anyone is in need of a urologist in the Chattanooga, TN area, he comes with my highest recommendation. He is a straight shooter, not full of crap, tends to be a little on the quiet side, listens more than he talks, doesn't pull punches, and in general doesn't have the cockiness i've seen in so many doctors. Anyway, i was registered, sent to a room, and later prepped for surgery. The anesthesiologist started an IV in each hand. When i asked them "why two," they said it was because of how i'd be reclined for the DaVinci procedure and if anything happened, it would be more difficult to start an IV again. They could've told me "blahblahblahblah" at that point and i would've nodded my head seriously in agreement. lol. Anyway, they gave me a slight buzz, my preacher came in to pray with me, and the next thing i knew i was waking up in a room about 6 hours later with people looking at me and smiling. lol
The first night in the hospital, i was very restless, but not in much pain. I was up and walking a couple of times, but they were very short trips since i was so dizzy from all the meds. I remember being extremely thirsty since i'd been on a liquid diet the day before and hadn't had any liquids since the midnight before. The worst pain i felt was rawness from my throat from something they had in my throat during surgery. I have no idea what they did, but that has been my worst pain so far. I got very little sleep the first night, mainly sleeping for about an hour, then waking up for a couple of hours.
The following morning, Dr. Foley came in at about 8 and gave me the go ahead to go on home. He debated whether to let me get the catheter out sooner because of my age and health, but decided to go for the full 10 days. He told me that he took extra time on me during surgery to spare both sets of nerves and that everything turned out really well. He expects me to be fully continent and fully able to resume sex within 6 months. I sure hope he's right. He seemed confident that we got all of the cancer inside the prostate gland, and i'm anxious to get the pathology back, but for now i'm just going to concentrate on recovering.
The hospital finally got us discharged at about noon, and i swear, i hadn't been home 2 hours when i got a call from their billing dept wanting a check for $400. I got mad at the woman and hung up on her. Anyway, the pain is settling in a little more since i've been home. There's really nothing major about the pain...it's just a general discomfort. Like i said, the worst pain i've had has been my throat. Last night i dealt with gas pains. Before surgery, i was pumped with gas and this stuff is trying to make its way out. That has been the most troublesome thing, and by far the greatest discomfort of the surgery other than the catheter being in the way all the time. Last night, it felt as though i needed to make a bowel movement, but every time i'd try i couldn't push enough to get it done. One thing that i'd definitely recommend for anyone undergoing this surgery.....do NOT take a laxative before you've worked this gas out of your system. Wait a couple of days before using a laxative. The nurse gave me a light one at the hospital before i left, and i really regret having taken that. I should've waited until the gas had subsided.
The gas is mostly gone now and the comfort level is increasing exponentially. Sara appreciates the decrease as well, though mainly it was me shooting blanks....very loud, long blanks. LOL. At times i sounded like i had a demon inside my stomach with all the wierd sounds and howls. Eventually it sounded like a WWII battle. Now it's down to nothing, leaving me alone with my hatred for this freaking catheter. I know it's necessary, but hate having this thing attached to me. I'm scared to death that i'm going to forget it's there and do an impression of a dog on a leash. LOL
Well, anyway....this is really long-winded and i'm rambling, so i'll shut up now. I really just wanted to leave a history trail here since i've not posted anything. I want to tell you all how much your thoughts and prayers have meant to Sara and I, as well as just being able to read your experiences and know what to expect. That has truly been golden, and i hope to give back somehow. I'm only a couple of days past my surgery, and i hope for someone out there who is considering this surgery that i can help them to decide. I want them to know that it's not bad...the surgery itself is just not painful outside of gas pains afterward.
Thank you all for what you're doing here. And most of all, thank you Sara for your steadfast love and for your beautiful prayers. I love you.