In my last post I left you hanging – I had just been returned to the ward. Had the TURP worked? Would I sleep? Would I be discharged on Saturday? Would I be able to pee? Would I be able to not pee? I was obviously hoping for a good string of ‘yeses’.
I started the post before last with “TURP – a word to make any male wince.” to which I got the response “Make a man wince? Cry, scream, beg for mercy …“. Well having now had a TURP and a couple of TWOC’s if I had a choice I would go for the TURP every time because with a decent anaesthetic you feel nothing and no great wounds are left in your body. As I was being wheeled into theatre someone asked if I had been marked up (to show the surgeon where to make the first cut). For something TransUrethral there is a ready-made entry point and any marking would be a small circle. Of course the thought of this would make most males wince but the reality is much more ‘wince-less’. A TWOC however . . . I mentioned previously that having a catheter inserted (or removed) is not in my top ten list of enjoyable hospital experiences. Of course what was done either side of the TURP was done under anaesthetic.
Thursday night I was flat on my back unable to move much because of the various drips and drains and the intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices (cuffs round my calves). The cuffs cyclically filled with air squeezing my legs which increased blood flow through my veins and helped prevent blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. All in my best interests but not in the interest of a good nights sleep. Mind you I was quite dopey any way. At regular intervals during the night and next day my ‘obs’ were taken – the usual range of blood pressure, oxygen levels, temperature etc. plus a blood test and blood sugar levels. Because of my diabetes I was also visited by the hospital podiatrist who checked my feet and put me in the low risk pigeonhole.
I had leaked quite a bit of blood during the night (well it seemed quite a lot to me, but probably no more than a teaspoon) so I was cleaned up and given a clean gown. I spent the day reading, talking to the other patients and writing on my son’s tablet (no not hieroglyphics – it wasn’t a stone tablet but a touch-screen device). Eventually it was time for lights out. I was looking forward to being able to go home.
It was still dark when an HCA turned up to remove my catheter. TWOC number two. Will I, won’t I? It seems that I was too impatient – I was expecting to be peeing by breakfast, but the Staff Nurse told me she wouldn’t expect that until lunchtime and that I should try to relax. Easier said than done. It seems that me and my sphincter had forgotten how to pee (I hadn’t done it normally for four or five months) and that I was getting more and more anxious and wound up. The worse it got the less likely that we would get a favourable outcome. Eventually one of the HCAs did a bladder scan and found 850ml hiding in there. So the Staff Nurse returned with a catheter and inserted it – again relief all round (a quick evacuation of 500ml) – this was the least traumatic catheterisation I have had which may have been down to the skill of the Staff Nurse or to the fact it no longer had to bludgeon its way past an oversized prostate or more probably a combination of both. Whatever, the care and compassion of the staff was great.
So I got to go home on Saturday which meant that the answers to the questions I posed at the beginning were Probably, A bit, Yes, No and Who knows?. rather than a handful of ‘yeses’. Back again in a couple of weeks for TWOC exam part two (or is it part three) and fingers crossed for a better score. I haven’t forgotten about Sky-boshed which I started to cover in an earlier post (TWOC’d and Sky-boshed) but I have yet to put pen to paper, (or more accurately, digit to keyboard). Watch this space.