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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Ins and Outs of Les' Hospitialization

"In Turkey, you are not allowed to be left alone in the hospital. The nurse teaches the family how to do things, and somebody is always there with the patient." ~Dr. Mehmet Oz, Turkish-American Physician

   Up at 5 am, we gathered our wits and Les' belongings and trudged out the door, up the towpath and caught the 6:32 a.m. bus to Watford General Hospital. At the very next bus stop, the bus engine died and would not start again. All the passengers sat quietly while the bus driver repeatedly assured us the engine would eventually turn over. "It does this every morning." Really?? Well if that were my regular morning bus to work and it made me late every morning, Arriva bus lines would lose my business and I would seek an alternative form of transport--even walking--which is what we opted to do. As soon as we moved to get out of the bus, others followed suit. We were eight minutes up the road and the number 320 bus rattled up behind us, and threw open its doors. It did eventually start again!
  We checked in to the sixth floor surgical unit, and waited until 10:30. In the meantime Les and I traipsed in and out of the seating area to be grilled er--I mean--to answer the same questions several times about allergies, illnesses, dentures, etc. etc. etc. The surgeon reviewed Les' file and explained that he would not know for certain if Les' prostate was actually the issue or if there was a stricture of his urethra causing the problem. There were several possibilities and once they got up there and sussed it out then they would take the corresponding action. Les could expect to remain in hospital for two or three days if all went well and be home by the weekend. All righty then!
   Eventually Les was called to change into a hospital gown, Ted Hose (super support hose to discourage deep vein thrombosis), and funny frilly paper panties which the attendant insisted Les wear to the operating room even though the operating staff would soon remove them to begin the operation on his urethra. Go figure!!
   As there is no waiting room for the relatives of patients--"just go home and we'll call you when your loved one has returned from recovery,"--which makes it sound like YOUR loved one is returning from a salvage operation--I went across the street to the Spice of Life Cafe and coughed up nearly ten quid for a terrible sandwich, pretentious, overpriced Costa coffee which was dispensed from a machine and completely undrinkable. I returned to the hospital a short time later, stopping at W.H. Smith's for a Red Bull energy drink to clear the fog from my brain. As I stepped off the hospital elevators three female housekeeping staff were waiting with large bins of soiled laundry. They smiled and got all 
excited when they saw my Red Bull. One woman cracked, " We should mug for that feel good drink, we should," smiling as she went by me. 
   "I went over to the Cafe for a Costa Coffee and it was terrible."
   "Oh it's shite, it is," and they all bobbed their heads up and down as the elevator doors closed. 
   I sat in the hallway chairs facing the elevators on the fifth floor which is where Les was supposed to return to sometime after 1 p.m. I passed the time reading my Kindle. Eventually my phone rang and a ward sister (floor nurse for Americans) told me Les had just come to his room.
   I am pleased to report my best beloved was awake, alert, and alive. He was feeling no pain and wearing a hospital nightie and a big smile! Les was also the ONLY patient in the ward!! Five empty beds stood waiting for others who were even then in recovery.
   With a urinary catheter in place, Les was resting comfortably, slugging down glasses of water and filling the plastic urine bag with slightly blood tinged liquid. After two hours the surgeon's assistant, Dr. P stopped by to say Les' prostate is in great shape--small and healthy! An endoscope was inserted and allowed the surgeon to view the interior of Les' urethra. His urethra had been narrowed with scar tissue from a urinary tract infection many years ago. That in turn slowed down his urine flow, resulting in small bladder stones. Dr. R dilated Les' urethra and flushed out the stones. 
   Dr. P told Les that he would be sent home by this weekend with the catheter in place and called to come back in next week for its removal, and then taught by a nurse how to catheterize himself. He will have to do this procedure daily for two weeks and then once a week until his urethra is fully healed. The catheter keeps the urethra from narrowing again. 
   The doctor looked carefully at Les' urine output, commented on how clear it was with hardly any blood and then looked at Les intently. 
   "You look great, there is barely any blood in your urine, your output is good and the procedure went well. How would you like to go home today?" Neither of us could contain our excitement. 
   "Okay then, I'll send you home," and Dr. P left the ward. Of course it is all well and good for him to say this and then leave. In reality it took another three hours for everything to be organized--antibiotics and pain meds ordered and collected, leg bags and night bags found, paper work filled out. 
   In the meantime the ward filled up with other men who were recovering from similar procedures, and I suddenly didn't know what to do with my eyes. Les was laying sprawled in bed with PJ bottoms on and no top. The bloke across from him--a very big man--had his right leg in full bandage and propped on pillows. He fell asleep and snored, his legs relaxing and his gown pulled tight across his thighs. The man in the bed closest to me was sitting up facing me, eating dinner, and his hospital gown had hiked up to the top of his thighs while he scooted into place behind the table. Suddenly I was surrounded by male "gentles" as I call them and it was too much on view for my comfort. 
   Suddenly in the doorway appeared the floor matron--none other than the matron with whom we had developed such a "close personal relationship with" on our first visit to the hospital. She asked how we were, we joked a bit, she brought us up to date on some changes being made at the hospital, and Les told her he was supposed to go home, but it was dragging on.
   "Could you use your influence to get me out of here?"
   The matron took off and in less than two minutes a nurse appeared with all the kit we needed and hooked up a leg bag for Les. Bed rails lowered, cannula removed, Les was dressed and ready to go in a shot! We met our daughter in law Bev downstairs and arrived home soon after. HOME at last!

21 comments:

jercher said...

This is wonderful news!! Home the same day, WOW!! Sounds like all the well wishes are helping!! Such good news the prostate is okay!! Hopefully that means that he will heal more quickly. Anyway, yahoo!! from your yankee brother and sister!!

KevinTOO said...

Well that was a quick in and out how relieved you must both feel tonight :)

Anonymous said...

What a relief you must feel.....am glad it has gone 'smoothly' and hope Tigger bounces back to full vitality.......sweet dreams to you both......xxxxxxxxxA

Anonymous said...

Good

S

Tom and Jan said...

Terrific news.....And Jaq finally got to see the Chippendales!

Tom & Jan

Carol Ives said...

That is fantastic news and such a nicer experience than last time. Hope he recovers quickly. Soon you will be cruising off into the sunsets and enjoying the countryside again. Sorry I missed you while you were in London, I will definitely catch up soon. xx

Unknown said...

So glad all went well.
glad you re home.
I'll email you the latest
"dirt" from the old corralle.
Sara

Anonymous said...

Fantastic - so pleased. Was the Doc really called Mr P? (Schoolboy humour!)

Alistair

Ian and Karen said...

Great to hear all went so well. Take care both of you, much love
Ian and Karen

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all messages. What a relief after your prior experiences. Hope the getting back to normal peeing is uneventful ...that would be Wonderful!!!
Hugs from going home to Pullman on Monday - Karen

Carol said...

Fantastic news!

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Jerry and Cheri,
It is always wonderful to hear form you! Yep things are good as you know now from our two hour phone conversation!
Miss you both like a fat kid misses cake.
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Kevin,
We are doing great. We still have to stick in the Watford area as Les has appointments to keep for the foreseeable future we will move slowly north and then perhaps turn round again. It feels like the movie Ground Hog Day sometimes! Thank you for your good wishes.
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thanks Ang!
Big hugs to you from us both.
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

LOL!! Tom you are a hoot! NB Wairou must rock with laughter frequently. If anymore men had been admitted to the word Les would have had to fit me with blinders.
Hugs to you and Jan.
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carol,
Yes it is a relief I can tell you. I am sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up as well but you know where we are most of the time and you know you are welcome aboard any time.
Big hugs,
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Sara,
Thank you sister friend. Dish-dish!
Isn't it great to be a part of the free herd?!
We love you to bits.
Jaq and LesXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Alistair,
Well the Doctor's first initial was P. I've learned not to use actual names given that Freedom of Speech as a second amendment right doesn't apply in Britain in the same way as it does in the U.S.

I wanted to make a joking aside about it but I was too exhausted. Turns out you got it anyway.
Cheers my dear,
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Ian and Karen,
Thank you so much. We are blessed to have your prayers and good wishes.
Love JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Karen,
Spoken like a true, robust, frank American!! We do miss you girlfriend!! Right now with a poo bag and a pee bag I call Les my bag man.
Love JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

It is Fantastic! Love to you and George.
JaqXX

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs