428) Another Hospital Stay

March 21, 2012

Checked in at NAMC at 2:30 pm, after working for a couple hours.  A couple of interesting things during prep... my anesthesiologist found some irregularity in my EKG
and showed me my EKG charted, pointing out the abnormality... a slight dip right before one of the spikes... The tech was able to find an EKG from 2009 that looked exactly the same, so the anesthesiologist felt better about approving the surgery.  

She also questioned how long it had been since I'd had my thyroid meds checked, since my thyroid function today is about 7.2 where it is supposed to be 6.  I told her that I am not even completely sure who the doc was who originally put my on synthroid, but that I know that it was checked back when I had hyper-parathyroid problems in September, 2010, and Dr. Moore checked it.  She was surprised that that Dr. Moore told me to take one synthroid a week out of my dosage way back (see Post #402).  She recommends that I go back to taking it everyday and get a thyroid test in the near future to update my synthroid. 

By 5 pm they finally took me down to the operating room for the procedure and all I remember about that was rolling into the operating room and moving over to the table.  Then I was waking up and very hazy as Dr. Lewis explained that my stone was actually a BLADDER stone, not a kidney stone!  He showed blurry me a pic on his I-phone of this black rock that looked to me like a meteorite beside a ruler on a field of blue... 1.1 centimeters (similar to the picture I made here).

This evidently means something but I am just waking up so I only know that there is an important fact or idea out there floating around and there is no way I am going to catch it at the moment.  I return to dozing off and on for some time and at about 8 pm I am awake enough to realize we are not going home tonight.  Liz is staying here overnight; John is staying with Shayna; and I am aware that I am not going to do my training in New Braunfels tomorrow morning.

I am moved from recovery to a room back on 4th floor (again) where Monette is my nurse overnight.  I don't need any pain meds and seemingly am urinating without pain throughout the night.  Early the next morning Dr. Lewis comes in to check on me: irrigates my bladder and the liquid looks clear and not too pink.  He wants an x-ray of the bladder with and without contrast and then one of my peeing the contrast out to ensure that there were no tears or nicks when he dragged the stone out.  He explained that he couldn't break it up so just had to drag it out.  Thru the day I feel okay and am up and around in my room.

At 2:30 pm I am wheelchaired down to radiology where Alan the tech gets me prepared for this procedure, explaining that the prep takes way more time than the actual test.  Alan and I get to talking about various medical topics, including cost of treatments, insurance, social work, dialysis and diet.  He is married to a social worker over at MHMR and they are vegans... etc.  The supervising doc is Dr. Michel, a pretty redhead who expertly guides me thru the test: we shoot in the dye, let my bladder fill up while I watch on a video screen. Then she pulls the plug on my catheter and it drains a bit.  Dr. Michel goes off to check the x-ray shots on her computer and Alan and I watch them line up on the screen like a slide show, get 'em all correctly contrasted for the best silouette views, and numbered and labeled and I watch.  These shots remind me of pics of egg sacs of Black Widow spiders. Then they move the x-ray table up to an almost standing and direct me to pee the rest out into a collection jar.

Well, guess what?  It ain't easy to pee in front of a pretty redhead... even tho she is a doctor.  So she shoots outa there back to her office and Alan and I talk while he fills me up with cups of water (about 6 or 7) and I try to relax enough to do the job!  I'm semi-standing there between a hard steel bed and an x-ray machine leaning on it with my left elbow... like being in a water bar yacking with a guy... and sooner or later I know I'm gonna hafta pee.  Alan is asking me about the people I met in dialysis... how many worked versus those who were completely disabled by their condition...

And suddenly I gotta PEE! Alan rushes off to get the doc and I grab the head of my penis and squeeze hard to keep it from exploding before we can get the pics.  Dr. Michel gets there, maneuvers the x-ray machine around to get the clearest view possible and I let go.

She gets the shot and goes back to check the views on her computer while Alan and I wait... Alan  exclaims, "Wow; that was so cool to see your urethra bulging up like that and then when you let go it just whooshed out!" I had missed that on the screen unfortunately, since I was the actor holding the bulge... but I shared his elation at that observation.  Mostly, I was happy it was over and I had performed the function adequately.  

So, it was back to my room to wait for the results.  Before I left radiology, Dr. Michel shared with me that it all looked good from her perspective.  Later Dr. Lewis came up and had a final report and prescription for me.  All the tests look good to go!  He is prescribing Proscar for me to help with shrinking my enlarged prostrate.  He sees no sign of cancer, thank God.  He referred me to a Dr. Bruce for a cyctometrogram and uroflow study and  set an appointment for his own followup in a couple weeks.  But, he concluded, my prostrate will continue to get bigger  and he will eventually want to go in there again to "shave it" at some point.  Oh boy, I thought.

Paul the day nurse, who looks like an Asian Paul the Beatle (from the "Meet the Beatles" album cover), came in to unhook my"I drip and complete my discharge paper work, and give me a pneumonia shot (which will last 5 years).   "Is this one of those that'll be painful?" I inquired and he smiled and replied, "Oh yeah!  For a couple days..."

Great.  It couldn't be worse than the pain I've had in the last few I thought.

Note: More info at http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/prostateenlargement/

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