So it’s happened – my first experience of hospital as an inpatient. Although I have seen quite a lot of hospitals over the past few years it has always been as an outpatient or a “quick” in and out at A&E.
This time it was for the long awaited/dreaded TURP – a word to make any male wince. Even my long retired GP said “it’s a bit bloody” before telling us about the heart valve he had just had inserted through his groin.
Up at seven for a couple of slices of toast – my last meal for fourteen hours then one son called in to lend me his tablet so I could watch stuff while hanging around A shower, walk the dog and finish packing my bag ready for a friend to pick us up and drive us to hospital. (I won’t be allowed to drive for a week and will also be on “light duties”).
The instructions for when we got to the hospital was to go up in the lift by the Renal Unit to the second floor “and exit the building to the left” which sounded decidedly dodgy if not suicidal. However it turned out there was a walkway to the Surgical Admissions Unit. However they were stacked up and so I needed to be admitted on the ward. Back to the lift and up to Ward 12C. As we headed to the ward we saw the Urologist that I had seen back in January – “see you in 20 minutes” so we knew we were expected.
Past the day room where I failed my TWOC and to a five bedded ward where I found a neighbour in the bed opposite. He had had a prostatectomy a couple of days ago. Must be careful what I say though because he will probably read this. Actually it was good to have a familiar face to talk to.
Looked like it would be a few hours before I would go down to theatre but I had to answer a few questions first. Some of them were ones I had answered before and I have lost count of the number of times I was asked my full name and date of birth Hopefully I got it right! I was discussing this later with the anaesthetist (while the ‘apple coring’ was being done) and he said it was WHO Best Practice and had led to a big drop in the wrong people being given the wrong operation
As promised the Urologist turned up to go through the procedure and likely outcomes: of course it might not work perfectly and it was a balance between removing too much of the prostate and not enough. If all goes well I will be TWOC”d on Saturday and allowed home. Next the anaesthetist turned up and discussed the options – general anaesthetic or epidural. I opted for the epidural. As he said, he had done hundreds of epidurals and he hadn’t felt a thing.
Next was the cruel bit – lunch was served for everyone else. I was just allowed a few sips of water.
Just after three I put my dressing gown on (I had been in a hospital gown for some time) and walked down to theatre. First stop was the anaesthesia room – the HCA took my slippers and dressing gown back to the ward and I was left in the hands of three anaesthetists. I sat on the bed and had various wires and devices attached – I will be closely monitored until I leave the recovery room.
I had to sit with my chin on my chest while various thing were done to my back. All this time we were discussing all sorts of things from his children plaiting his beard to why Austin Allegros were all diarrhea brown (not true). Once the epidural was in I was allowed to lie down. The anaesthetist had two near identical spray cans one containing glue and the other a cold spray. Fortunately he chose the right one and firstly sprayed on my side where I felt the cold and then on my leg where I felt nothing. The epidural was working. He sprayed further up my body until he was satisfied that coverage was adequate. We were good to go.