I got home from hospital on December 7th, last Friday, but couldn’t post anything as I had lost my glasses and was blind as a bat.
Anywho, for those who feel squeamish, I am doing okay and am moving about at the speed of a racing snail. Those who want more details, please read on.
I went in on November 20th for what I expected to be a 5 hour surgery. The two doctors (Dr Herschorn – Urologist & Dr Lee – Uro-gynecologist) were to fix a prolapsing uterus and build a stoma for me (sealing off the urethra and allowing me to catheterise through a new opening near my bellybutton). My mother and brother showed up to lend me support and to hopefully check on me after 5-6 hours. What ensued was not a 5 hour surgery but 11 brutal hours on the surgical table.
Seems the bladder augment done by Dr Hardy 24 years ago had gotten twisted and old and the augment portion had adhered itself to my uterus – they were stuck together. So what ended up happening is that no only did the two doctors do what they needed to do, they also re-did the augment from 24 years ago. I have even less intestine now, so I am now even more sensitive to foods because of my inability to digest certain items. What Dr Lee wasn’t able to do was to adjust the cervix and lower area as it would require a plastic surgeon.
So my surgery that started at 1pm went til just a bit after midnight – my brother and mother weren’t able to stay that long though it turns out that my brother kept asking questions when it was going overtime. I was transferred to Recovery and then at 4am to C2 (the urology ward at Sunnybrook). My father showed up the next day with my backpack which had my glasses – it was a good to see a friendly face. He didn’t stay long – he didn’t want to tire me out and he hates hospitals.
I fell asleep and the next minute I was in ICU – seems I went unconscious and my blood pressure plunged to dangerous levels. I was in ICU from November 21 to the 25th. I actually became aware of my surroundings on the 24th. The whole time I was on a PSA pump (morphine). To get my blood pressure to normal levels the medical team ran a lot of fluids into me – I was a puff ball, similar to the Pilsbury Dough Boy. I was so puffy that my wrists and the rest of me quite literally doubled in size.
I was transferred back to C2 and for the next couple of days it was a daily struggle of barfing and running high temps. I have very bad veins and it seems that in ICU I was poked way too many times. They had exhausted all my viable veins, so they started to take blood from my ankles, the tops of my feet and even drawing blood from my femeral vein. Eventually that didn’t work and they weren’t able to draw any blood for 5 days – and in the meanwhile my temp was increasing, getting to 38.8C at one point, and my incision was beginning to go grey (means the flesh is beginning to die) so the residents had to open up the incision in 2 places so that the wound could be more carefully cleansed.
Eventually I was able to get a PIC Line inserted. A PIC is a catheter that gets inserted into the vein so that blood can be drawn cleanly and easily. It was a 3 hour process but the Angioplasty Team was able to insert the PIC.
I had quite the medical team working on me. In consultation with the Resident in Infectious Diseases I was put on a broad-spectrum antibiotic to combat whatever infection I had. I was also put onto potassium tablets as my potassium levels kept dropping. In the meanwhile my two open wounds were being packed with surgical gauze twice daily – the purpose being that the packing was to soak up any impurities. After a couple of days the wounds were no longer grey but pink and draining well.
I was sent home on December 7th with the two open wounds and 2 tubes still in me – a malicott, which drains the bladder directly, and a red-rubber catheter in my stoma which is still healing. I get daily nursing care at home, and three times a week I get home care. I am still incapable of cooking, doing dishes, doing laundry and even bathing myself (it’s still sponge baths until the dressing is gone).
The nurses at Sunnybrook were amazing, taking care of my wounds and catering to my constant demands for orange juice (the room I was in was very dry). The Residents on the other hand…. whoa, they need some humbling. The Infectious Diseases Resident was fine, but the Urology Residents were complete pricks. Thank God and whatever other Deities there may be that my own doctor is a completely caring man – he went to a 4 day conference to Jamaica and when his plane landed in Toronto he rushed over immediately to the hospital to check in on his patients before going home first.
So now I sit at home in a hospital gown, amusing myself with television and books.
I would like to thank certain individuals for their visits and good wishes: Lydia, Andrew & Rebecca,
& parasubvert, my parents & brother,
, and the wonderful comics and books from
As well, the good wishes received through Facebook – Cara-Mae, Kevin, Matt, Mr MacKid, Amy and Kit.