Home Again!

There’s no place like home!

My last entry was Tuesday 10/21/2014. We had made the momentous decision to wait a while longer for the bleed to stop and not institute more invasive procedures. It was the right decision. By 10:00 PM Tuesday my urine was running clear.

Needless to say by 6:00 AM Wednesday I’m ready to get out of this torture chamber. I let that be known to the nurse and of course he cannot do anything without orders. Orders only come from doctors who don’t make rounds or do anything before 9:00 AM. Again Shawn does his thing and gets in direct contact with Dr. Braun and gets permission to remove the catheter and begin the discharge process.

Removal of the ‘garden hose’ was quick. The most painful part was the 3 inch square sticky patch on my inner thigh. I now have a bald spot in that location. Having this ‘garden hose’ in place for this length of time causes the bladder to forget what it is supposed to do. So the next milestone that has to be passed is that I must urinate on my own before I can go home.

That’s great I get a big breakfast with lots of liquids and figure I’ll be out of here before lunch. Wrong again! I do manage to urinate but after urination they want to do an ultrasound on my bladder to check how much I retain vs. what I expelled. Guess what, they can’t get  a good reading because the battery is dead on the ultrasound machine. So I agree to a second try a little later. (I contemplate sending out a prayer request for pee.) Bring me more fluids I’m going to get this job done. I drink myself full and the IV keeps running. I manage a second unremarkable pee. The ultrasound works this time but I’m told I can’t leave because I’m still retaining too much. So again they want me to wait in the hospital for my body to relearn how to function. It can do that at home as far as I’m concerned.

Nurse Shawn again directly contacts Dr. Braun who OKs my discharge. Nothing happens fast in a hospital. I end up having lunch there and we head home by 1:00 PM Wednesday.

Here we are more than 24 hours later on Thursday. I’ve had a great breakfast and lunch at home. I’ve enjoyed my recliner, bed, cat, TV, fellowship with friends and lack of interruptions. Except for a few potty calls I had a good nights sleep in a comfortable bed. As expected my plumbing systems are returning to normal albeit with a bit of reluctance. The “need for potty” warning system is on a very short fuse. Hopefully that will improve.

I have not had any pain meds since Monday. I still have a fair amount of abdominal soreness from the surgery and I’m basically just a bit worn down by the whole process. ( I did do one pill at 3:00PM I got tired of being the tough guy.) I have lost 5 pounds since the beginning of this ordeal. Which is OK with me. I’ve been trying to lose weight the past few months anyway. I have every confidence that in a few weeks I’ll be my old self and this life adventure will be all but forgotten except for the bills that already have begun to arrive. A new blog on this will probably follow.

There has been a lot of speculation as to why after being 5 days post surgery did I get this sudden bleed. The consensus seems to be that I resumed two of my normal meds two soon after surgery. When they sent me home on Thursday the discharge papers said resume normal meds. I had been taking 81mg aspirin and Saw Palmetto (both of which are blood thinners). So three doses of both of these drugs were apparently enough to break loose the healing scab/clot and start this whole mess. It only took another 3 days for the thinning to wear off and for the wound to heal again. Needless to say I’ll not be restarting either of these for several weeks if not months. The devil is in the details.

Why God sent me down this path I’ll probably never know. I do know that I have controlled my overall attitude and frustration through this encounter with the medical community better than I have in past encounters. Either they are getting better with interfacing with me or I’m becoming more tolerant and understanding of the system.

Every doctor, nurse, aide or assistant has a different level of expertise, personality, risk tolerance level, willingness to think outside the box, etc. This was greatly illustrated with a couple of the decisions that needed to be made in my treatment. What I know is that in order to get the treatment that you want and deserve you need to take an active part in the decision making process. Ask questions, say no, change doctors, do whatever is needed to be comfortable with what they are doing to you.

My cynical side believes that there is a considerable number procedures, tests and protocols that are done just to add to the bottom line of the hospital or doctor’s balance sheet. In addition many of these things are done just to keep the lawyers happy. For instance I asked my kidney doctor if I could get the video CD of my procedure. He was in agreement that that could be done but wasn’t sure that he would be allowed to do it because of liability. I am a strong believer in the rule of law but we are in extreme need of Tort reform in this country!

Another small but extremely annoying thing is why does every one that touches you look at your wrist band and ask you your name and DOB every time they come into the room to check your vitals or do something??? I was that person when they put the band on me. Why or how would I change the band. Why would I want to change the band? Makes absolutely no sense to me what the purpose of this inane procedure is. But its got to be done. It’s the rule. How stupid can intelligent people be?

This is likely to be my last post on this subject so I just want to give all the praise to God for the marvelous machine he has given us to live in. I also want to praise the skill and patience of each of the Doctors, Nurses, Assistants, etc. etc. that make our modern medical community work. They have a special gene that allows them to minister to old grouches like me and keep smiling. I could not be paid enough to pursue a caregiver profession. It’s not in my genes. When we need them I’m very glad they are there. Nevertheless I know where their skill comes from and my ultimate faith for my well being lies with my creator and God Jesus Christ.

Thank you all for being my friends and caring enough to read through all of this blather, pray for me and send your thoughts and good wishes. They do make a difference. Also getting this off my chest helps even if no one reads it.