Again, months have passed and living has continued. I need to share. And I’ve chosen this format in hopes that those who cannot be burdened by my outburst, will choose to ignore it.
Right now, I am relieved, miserable, excited, weary, elated, and depressed. In short, I’m a mess.
After waiting for a year, and suffering through and almost continuous UTI that entire time….I finally got an appointment with a urogynecologist at the local med school campus…there are only three in the state. They are booked months in advance. So February began the adventure.
I’ve fallen, had my head examined…they did find a brain. My heart has been checked….and there is one of those too.
Then we began exploring the mess of mesh from a ten-year old bladder repair. A month ago a stone just smaller than a golf ball was found in my bladder through cystoscopy. Pain anyone? Although the video of the bladder was reminiscent of deep-sea diving on a beautiful virgin coral reef.
A week later, the culture showed malignant and squamous cells in abundance in the bladder. A consult with plastic surgery to explore the possibility of removing skin left after gastric bypass three years ago was scheduled. We were hoping that losing the sag would decrease the incidence of infection. Got approval for that.
Two weeks of abject stress and a FISH test (please don’t ask what the acronym means, I’m still clueless), I’m told everything is normal. It was a false positive on the malignant cells.
Another cystoscopy of the bladder confirms the stone has grown on mesh, but the bladder looks good.
So we proceed with surgery.
April 5…five days ago. my daughter checks me into surgery at 5 a.m. I’m checked in and taken to pre-op an hour or so later. When the anesthesiology resident hits me with the initial drug, I’m out in three seconds and on my way to surgery around 8:30. Three doctors are going to work on me.
The urologist begins. He removes the stone. There is something up with one of the ureters that had not been noted, so a stint is places. The urogynecologist is in the room and begins the process of repairing the bladder and removing any mesh that she can. Then the plastic surgeon comes in. Remember between doctors, the OR has to be reset. So 11 plus hours later I’m finally taken to recovery. And sometime after 9 p.m. I’m in a room.
I had a hangover the next morning. And I was and am trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey. Bandages and binder from ankles to boobs.
I’m FREAKING MISERABLE. Save me from mummy wrappings and irritated skin. I’m hooked up to 4 incision drains and a catheter. I finally hung everything around my waist on a belt.
I can only hope this will turn out to be so worth it.
Here’s the thing…Much thanks to my daughter for sticking it out through the surgery and losing her time off to me, my son for spending that first night with me, making me protein shakes and food, my spousal unit for picking me up and getting my meds and picking up my slack in the house and kitchen, my work family for supporting me and checking on me and reassuring me, and all the friends who have stuck it out while I waited….and waited to get this over.
Thursday I hope to lose the four drains and exchange the mummy wrappings for a more comfortable garment. With appropriate healing I’ll lose the catheter on the 18th.
And I hope I wake up. Today has been better by a smidge.
I have to study. I’m seriously behind in Anthropology and have to be completely caught up by Monday so I can take a test. And I have an Algebra test on Sunday. I’m finally on a path to complete the 3, now 9, hours I left undone 40 plus years ago for my Bachelor’s. And then I wish to do a graduate certificate in technical writing. Sounds like a fun thing to do in retirement! I have a little experience.
I have plans. I want to see my grandchild(ren?) grow up. I want to visit Romania and Dracul’s Castle, walk through a field of heather in Scotland, visit the cathedral’s of Paris, and wander the lands of Native American’s here and in Canada.
Oh, and I want Donald Trump and his ilk to disappear. (I had to say it)
Let’s get this show on the road and stop all the nonsense.