Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tues May 27th 2008 - 5 Days Port-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke several times during the night, but managed to get back again each time. A couple of us were talking about waking during the night and it seems we're all experiencing the same 'symptoms' - once we wake, our minds start racing, thinking about trivia. i think I've got round it by telling my mind "just go away" and shutting down. Seems to work - like throwing a switch or shutting a door.

Finally woke at 05:15, when I got up and went for a 2 lap walk, after which I rested. I took a shower at 06:00.

NB: When showering on your own, particularly when using a combi-shower/bath, like they have here and I have at home, make sure that you use three point contact at all times getting into and out of the bath/shower. Three point contact is where three parts of the body are anchored, i.e. if only one leg is on the ground, make sure that BOTH hands have a firm grip of something, ideally a support bar/rail. I have a towel rail at the opposite end of the bath to the shower head and I use this.

Several weeks before the operation, I bought a support rail that I was going to install vertically just outside the bath. However, in the hospital, these rails are on the opposite wall to the side you get in from, which is a better idea - there is no turning moment, so the risk of unbalance and swinging is less.

Washing: Groin area tending to get quite "whiffy". The tubes interfere with access. I found that the best access is by lifting one leg onto the edge of the bath - careful you don't slip/unbalance - and then bring your washcloth in from behind. Same for drying.

Walked for another 2 lapper at 07:00 and got into bed for a rest afterwards.

I had, actually walloped, a big breakfast; bacon, egg, sausage, brown bread, marmalade. Now drinking a lot more (water). Laid in bed till 11:00, when I went for another 2 lapper. I'm getting a daily anti-clotting injection in the thigh. I have a choice of the thigh or the abdomen. I reckon I've had enough things done to my abdomen!

I had compression socks on till yesterday, when they were rinsed, but they haven't been replaced since. Must ask surgeon if I still need them.

Went for two more 2 lappers before 12:00, with a rest in between.

Filt like having a crap at 12:00 and stayed on the 'throne' until 12:30. It was at the gates but wouldn't come out. Ended up hot and bothered and had to pull the alarm cord. I was assisted back into bed and was borderline fainting as I got in. Felt OK afterwards but didn't really feel like eating lunch.

Dozed till 14:00 when d came in and I went for a walk with her at 15:00. I got 2 laxatives, anally, to take at 17:00 and while I was getting them, the caterers missed me for tea. However one of the nurses managed to round up some grub for me, and i walloped it.

Got a mobile call from NR, asking how I was and telling me all about the Ballyandreen 5. Apparently they got record numbers there. JW made some sort of speech about me before the race. Mentioned that it would have been my 22nd annual running in the race. It was nice of them to think of me!

Surgeon came by later and and said i was excellent, and asked would I "like to go home Thursday or Friday?" I said (later) that Thursday would be best as traffic would be bad on Friday on account of the Holiday week-end. I need to put the socks back on. He looked at the dressings and cathether and said that "the wounds can be exposed from tomorrow". He put me on a different laxative, Milpar - I had been on Duflax. He also looked at my testicles. He said that the soreness was a normal feeling, like after a vasectomy.

I walked again later, trying to get (bowel) movement. Sat down several times - no joy. I was given Milpar later and I've been quite windy. I slept from 23:00 till 05:00, but fitfully - windy and worried about crapping myself.

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