Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday May 22nd 2008 - Radical Prostatectomy

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 up but dozed till 7, then got up and showered.

I saw the anaesthesist around 7.30. He said that I'll get a general anaesthetic and an epidural type, which will put me out after about 30 secs. When I wake I'll be numb from the waist down - "like a dentist's anaesthetic".

BP 110/62 (more normal than the night before), pulse 50.

10:30 (approx)
Surgery. I was wheeled in, then transferred on one of these "transfer thingys" - swopped from bed to operating trolley. They got me sitting up over the edge of the trolley and the last thing I remember is the anaesthesist talking to me, clearly I went out quite quickly.

My notes read that I had block level T11, whatever that means, along with a battery of 7 drugs.

Sats: Pain 0, Resp 14-17, Sats 99-100, Temp 35C, BP 105/57

Abdominal discomfort (like duh! I've had a male caesarian!)

Saw the surgeon for 4/5 min. He seems very happy. He remarked "You're a very. very fit man". I got the impression that he said this in relation to the op, rather than a comment on my physique (built like a lath!). No additional digging was required (thank God!) I got the impression that we're doing pretty ok.

My family, D, A & B came in around 18.40 and stayed for around 10 min. It was great to see them! They also seem happy and said that I had a bit more colour than before - We cracked a few jokes. B & S will be in early tomorrow before travelling home to Cork.

I was given this Spirometer "toy" to use; there are three compartments, with a ball each, 600, 900 and 1200 cc/sec. I'm supposed to do 15 sucks every hour, to exercise my lungs.

Still can't sense feet yet. I have some sensation above knees, but can't do anything below yet.

Ballyandreen 5: Missing this race for the first time since my first run there in 1987.
They're streaming around the cross right now! Way to go Eagle!!

I'm feeling quite sentimental/emotional right now. Thinking particularly of my Aunt Nora, who was particulary good to me and my family, especially during many, many difficult times. She died, aged 94, on Tuesday May 12th 2008, after a full, well lived life. May she rest in peace.

Sensation is coming backinto my legs now. Tried scratching my balls, but with care.

Morphine 120 & Zifane 4. BP 104/59, P48, Reaction L4 (was L3 at 19:00)

15 knee bends each leg and 15 reps on the spirometer, each hour on the half hour, for the past few hours.

Day one over - Thank God!

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