Posted 2/13/2007 9:38 PM (GMT -7)
Here is my journal starting the day before surgery to a couple of days after surgery. Everyone is different but I believe that I was fairly typical of those that have the Da Vinci.
Pca Friends and Supporters,
Life is Good!! Here is a rundown of my week.
Tuesday - Began bowel prep. No fun but what the heck! Got a call from my surgeon's office at 5;00 PM. My surgery has been moved up from 10:00 AM to 8:00 AM because the 8:00 AM had an EKG problem. The drive to Nashville is two hours. I have to check in at 6:30 AM that means leaving at 4:30 AM. All in all, between the schedule change, anxiety and apprehension I do not get any sleep Tuesday night.
Wednesday - Check in for surgery at 6:15 AM. Taken to holding area at 6:30 AM. Meet many people: anesthesiologist, tech prep, nurse anesthetist, two recovery room nurses. Was asked by all what procedure was being done on me. They want to make sure that no mistakes are being made. My surgeon's assistant then comes in and places her initials on my abdomen where the main incision is going to be and shows me where the others will be located at. At 7:30 AM was told they were ready. Kissed my wife. They said here comes the valium and I was gone. Wake up at 11:30 AM in recovery. Although several men that have had the Da Vinci said they did not have any pain I was surprised to wake up and not have any. I did have a bladder spasm and they took care of that right away. Waited in recovery until a room opened up. It was a very busy morning and there were a lot of men in recovery. At 2:30 PM was taken to room. My wife had been told at 11:30 AM that I was in recovery and I would be there for two hours. As I was being taken to my room they were going to stop by and get my wife on the way. We met her as she was coming donw the hall to check with the recovery nurse. I can tell you that was one of the moments when my wife looked like an angel.
In room at 2;30 PM and leg air bags are hooked up and turned on. One thing of note for those that will be going through surgery the air bags pulsate every few seconds and they also have a warm and cool setting. I did not know this until later that night. The nurses are used to patients coming out of surgery cold and they have the bags set on warm. I am a warm nature guy and they leg bags were really heating me up until I found out about the cool setting and they switched it. Had another bladder spasm and they gave me a pill for it and it immediately went away. The side effect of the bladder spasm medication is a severe dry mouth. Given that you are already dry from surgery and I was not allowed anything by mouth incuding ice chips I felt like I had chewed cotton. They did bring me a sponge on the end of a plastic handle and allowed me to take some water and wet my mouth. This was the last spasm that I had. I felt really good and had no pain or nausea. I began calling relatives and giving them an update. Needless to say, they were all surprised to be talking to me just a few hours after surgery. At this point I began to survey my abdomen and the catheter. First impression was that the catheter was a lot bigger then what I was expecting. The incisions were about what I expected. Since I was already out when they shaved me this was the first time I saw that I was shaved from just below my sternum to right above the pubic bone and all the way across. I am a fairly hairy guy so this was somewhat a contrast. I do not know if they give you anything to wake you up but I was pumped and not sleepy. The nurses came around about 4:00 PM that said that they would be getting me up to walk. I told them I was ready to get up now. At 8:00 PM they did get me up. I did fairly good but got nauseous and dry heaved. Felt better and did not get nauseous again. As Dawgfan noted you cannot sleep with those air bags going so I just got up and walked all night. I would do three laps around the area and then rest for about an hour and a half and go again. Kind of got a kick out of it! One of the male nurses kidded me that I was going too fast and I needed to slow down. I challenged him to a race if he would insert a catheter and hook up an IV and grab a stand. He said that no way was he going to do that.
Thursday - Allowed a liquid diet. Ate some of the liquid breakfast. I am not a big fan of cream of wheat. The coffee though was great!! Kept walking. They set up a video on the room TV that showed my wife and I how to take care of the Foley(hang!!). This was a big help. The only problem I was having was that the Statlock that clamps the catheter onto my leg was not in the right position. It was okay when I was laying dwon or standing up but when I was sitting it pulled and has made the end of my penis sore. My abdomen was fairly sore and they provided an abdomen binder that helped supply support especially when I was walking. My surgeon came. Good news in that he did not see any evidence of cancer in the lymph nodes or seminal vessels are the margins of the prostate. Path report will be back on the 13th and will know more then. My prostate was enlarged and he said because of that he took some extra time making sure that he did the best he could. He has done over 800 Da Vinci's so I feel that I got the best that I could. His nurse practitioner then began the discharge procedure. The last thing that was done was the removal of the JP drain. She told me that men said that it did not hurt but felt weird because it came across your abdomen. She told me to take a deep breath and blow it out and she pulled it out. As I was blowing out it did hurt and I was telling her that the other men had lied. Despite that the pian went away quickly. Checked out and discharged at 2:30 PM exactly 24 hours after I had gone to my room. We stayed that night at a local motel. I did eat some soup. I started passing gas this day right after getting back on liquids and had a BM which made me feel a lot better. Thursday night had another BM, passed a lot of gas. After two nights of no sleep I was ready for a decent night. A couple of Tylenol PM's and a few pages in the novel I am reading and off I go to have a good night's sleep.
Friday - Got up and cleaned up. A little dizzy. Ate breakfast at the motel and headed home. Surgeon's nurse practitioner calls and checks on me. Home and on the computer letting you guys know my experience.
This is a little long and detailed but I wanted to provide as much as I could for those that follow in my footsteps. Now it is on to getting rid of Hang on the 13th and seeing what my level of continence will be. Already have the prescriptions for Viagra and the schedule for penile rehabilitation which will start three weeks to the day from the date of surgery.
Step by step - here we go!!
1 of 10 core samples, 40%
Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06
Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path
Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06
No more pads as of 1/13/07