The other day I was looking at a letter from my consultant that started “I saw this 71 year old gentleman . . .” and thought I wonder who he is talking about. Anyway it looks as if I am going to add another “-ology” to my list of consultants. A week or so ago I went to Ward 12C (Urology) to be TWOC’d. It is in the hospital’s newer building built on what used to be Wycombe Wanderers football ground (they have gone off to the end of an industrial estate at the edge of town). I was shown into a day room with a balcony overlooking, well, a sort of triangular courtyard and walls with spikes on to keep the pigeons off. Unlike previous hospital visits I didn’t get weighed or measured or checked to see that I still had a pulse.
The first question was “What would you like for lunch?“. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection that was on offer and when it came it was an enjoyable meal. Then I was taken off to a side room to have the catheter removed. First the balloon that holds it in place was deflated – it was full of water and there are obviously two tubes running up the catheter and by inserting a syringe into the end of the balloon’s tube it can be inflated or deflated. Then the catheter was gently pulled out – a bit of a twinge but nothing like the room shaking twitches I had when it was inserted. Now to wait. I had to drink a glass of water every hour and they would measure how much I pee’d.
There were two other people in the day room going through the same exercise. One had just had his third TURP (over a period of 10 years). Every so often one of us would disappear with a jug and reappear a little later – the jug would then be returned having been measured and emptied. So I continued to drink and wait. The third TURPer was the first to be allowed to leave, although he did hang around to finish his lunch which had just arrived. I continued to drink and wait. Then the other gentleman was given the ticket out. So I continued to drink and wait. Despite many visits to the toilet – nothing.
After getting on for five hours I was getting increasingly uncomfortable and had to keep walking around. A doctor came and had a word and said that there seemed to be nothing medical that could be done so it was surgical – a TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate) or a Greenlight Laser PVP (photoselective vaporization of the prostate). I must admit I wasn’t paying too much attention by this point and shortly afterwards went off to the sideroom to have a new catheter put in place. I must say that this is not in my top ten list of enjoyable hospital experiences although it was a little better than last time. I was told to wiggle my feet which I guess took my focus of attention further down my body. At least once it was in it soon settled down (and it was a great relief once it was in place)
By now Liz and my son had returned to pick me up so we had another discussion with the doctor. This time, although still a little uncomfortable, I was able to pay attention. She said that I could have a TURP in four to six weeks. I mentioned that my platelets had gone AWOL a couple of years ago (is it really that long?) but had since recovered. She checked my latest platelet count and said this was OK for a TURP. She also explained that when the prostate squeezes the urethra the bladder compensates by getting thicker and stronger so that it can squeeze its contents out. This in turn leads to the spasms that I have been getting. I have a pre-op assessment in a week or so’s time, all uncharted territory for me.
I had called this post “TWOC’d and Sky-boshed” but I think I will leave the challenges of talking to a real person at Sky to another time.