Sunday, 2 March 2014

I survived the prostate op .... a light hearted insight into what happened

Hi guys, I'm relieved to be back with you, and trust you are all well. I guess by now, and as you haven’t heard to the contrary, I survived the prostate operation, and I am on the road to recovery. I'm looking forward to being my grumpy old self soon. I would like to thank you all for the get well cards, phone calls and emails, they were a great comfort. As usual, I treated the whole thing too lightly and didn’t take much notice of what they were telling me. I thought that I would be in and out, up and running again in no time, of course, I overlooked what happens in-between.

I have always had a grip on things, as far as what happens to me. Made my own decisions, master in charge, you know that sort of thing. This time though, I had come up against something so horrible, so frightening, not encountered before and against which I had no defence. My lovely wife Vi and daughter Carole had, for once in their lives, found that they had possession of my body and mind, and that I was no longer capable of thinking or doing anything for myself, heaven help me!!!

It's like one chick being shared between two hens and each wanting a bit of the action. A day or so before the op, my bag was packed, anyone would have thought I was going away for a month, all the things I might need. Ladies panty liners and extra pairs of pants in case I dribble or pee myself!!! The rest I would rather not mention. I had to be at the hospital at seven in the morning and it was a two hour drive, so we were up, and on the road at four thirty. It’s going to be a long day.

Carole drove. You warm enough Dad?, you need to stop for the toilet? Yes and no, I said, I just sat there thinking about what is going to happen to me in a few hours’ time.

During the periods of silence, and with Vi and Carole together there were not many, I could sense their concern for me and understood their desire to be with me when they took me down, and be there six hours later, when I arrived back, and hopefully, came round.

Operation over, I was moved into recovery, with a nurse whispering sweet nothings into my ear to bring me around. My brain started to work, but I was still not fully awake. After a while I was released to my room at the far end of the hospital. I felt awful, I sensed that I was travelling but didn’t know where. The surrounding noises, bumps, and crashing of the trolley were confusing. As we moved along the corridors I thought, momentarily, that I was driving, but could not see any road.

The motion of the trolley stopped, I could vaguely hear people talking to me when I recognised Vi’s voice and turned to where it was coming from. My clouded vision was clearing and peering down at me with her come to bed eyes, was Vi. With Carole looking over her shoulder, both looked relieved, that I was still in the land of the living. Happy that the operation was a success Vi and Carole left me to sleep, and went home. Through that evening and night, until five in the morning, I couldn’t sleep. Someone visiting, doing, or checking, something or other, every hour, no serious pain, but just felt lousy.

Later in the morning, feeling a bit better, but with continuous hiccups, I knew that there was something attached to my leg, but wasn’t sure, how or where it was connected to my body and thought no more about it.

The nurse in charge came to see me, South African, a lovely lady, I want you up and walking today, she said, at the same time, turning the bed covers back, lifting and turning me into the sitting position on the side of the bed. The nurse left me alone for a few minutes, an opportunity for me to have a look to see what had been done to me. Shock horror, I looked like a badly wrapped parcel. There were five holes across my belly, already stitched up, a sixth, was still active with a pipe protruding and capped with a bag to drain fluid from somewhere. There was another pipe attached to a bag on my leg, which I traced via the pipe back to my oversized underpants. Cautiously, opening the waist band of my pants, I peeped in.

I nearly fainted when I saw the state, of my manhood. Aubergine purple in colour, it looked like a kilo of raw mincemeat, rolled neatly into a ball. I then saw what happened to the other end of the pipe. What a mess I'm in. On top of all this I wanted to pass wind, but couldn’t. I wondered if by mistake they had sewn up my rear end!! They got me up and walking and generally sorted me out. The consultant came to see me that morning. I could see that there was some concern about the continuous hiccups! He said normally I would go home the next day, but before I go, they would like to investigate the hiccup problem, and keep me under observation for another day. I had more tests and a CT Scan to make sure all the pipes were connected correctly. They couldn’t see anything wrong, but suggested that it might rectify, itself. Still hiccuping, Vi and Carole arrived and spent a few hours with me. I had tried to do big jobs on and off during the day but no luck. You know what it's like, you really want to go, but the rear end was not having any of it. Vi and Carole left once more for home, and would return to collect me the following day.

I decided to walk the corridor a few times to get some exercise. I put on my dressing gowned, tucked the pipes and bags in, to look a bit tidy, then set off hiccuping down the corridor. After a couple of circuits and at the very far end of the corridor, I felt my stomach rumble, followed by a very urgent desire to reach my room. Have you ever tried to run with the cheeks of your bum clenched tight, very difficult. My stomach noises and the pressure from the wind trying to escape, increased as I walked along the corridor holding onto my pipes and bags, cheeks clenched. I could feel the battle being lost, the highly compressed air on the inside was now getting to the outside and became a huge fart. With every step I took the noise increased, for some reason the normally quiet corridor, was packed with people. I avoided eye contact and shuffled past sounding like a badly tuned set of Bagpipes with bad breath. I reached the security of my room while rapidly releasing the remainder of the compressed air, while at the same time diving for the toilet. Sitting comfortably, enjoying the relief, I noticed that the hiccups had stopped. A bit later everybody seemed to be happy with my progress so I was given my marching orders.

I always try to make light about situations like this, I find it helps, so I hope I haven’t offended anyone. Joking aside, I was in hospital for three days, I couldn’t have received better treatment, the staff at all levels were courteous, respectful, and above all very professional. I knew I was in good hands. I was one of many men having their prostate sorted out. The word is, if you have to choose what cancer you have in your life, you choose prostate cancer. Why, because if you catch it early enough, you can be treated and cured. I did a silly thing, I knew that there was something wrong with my prostate before I left on the journey, but I kept it to myself until I got back. So far, I have got away with it. All you guys should take note, prostate cancer is as common as Breast cancer is to women. Do yourself a favour, pick up the phone, book an appointment, and have your prostate checked. Cheer up, speak to you soon Les

A passing note, I forgot to mention, when they sent me home, I still had the bag attached to my leg, and connected to my, YOU KNOW WHAT. It’s quite handy sitting typing and having a pee at the same time. They are taking it out next week HOPE I REMEMBER!!!!!

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