So on May 2nd, 2019 I went to Duke Urology for my surgical consult.
First off, let me say that the difference between dealing with the medical staff of Duke versus dealing with the urologist that was assigned to me here in Charlotte has been absolutely night and day.
Secondly, this surgery is no joke. They are using robotic assist to hopefully minimize the amount of time I’m cut open and how, but even with all their technology, they predict this to be a full day surgery. Then, depending on how much they can do robotically and how much they do manually, my hospital stay will be at least 3-7 days (in a world where they like to wrap you up and ship out) and then another several weeks of home recovery. Even after almost 2 months, they still caution you that you may only be at about 70%.
Knowing that the surgery is 5 weeks away makes it all a little surreal. I almost would have rather been whisked right in to surgery and already been on the journey back to good health. But the truth is that having some time means I can plan and prepare, so I’m trying to do that.
I’ll admit, my world has been a little small lately. Most nights, I head home from work straight in to my spot on the reclining couch where I immediately put my feet up, pull my quilt over me, and just try to get warm and out of pain. I literally live on that couch – I have slept there for the past 6 months (laying flat on the bed causes pain spikes) and have surrounded myself with all the necessary things. My side table, much like my purse, are filled with medications, toiletries, reading material, snacks, remotes, and more.
My spot on the bed has been covered with throw pillows, as SH doesn’t like sleeping alone without me. My nightstand has been a little dusty, and my bookcase and dresser top have become my dumping grounds for things I didn’t have room for in my couch biodome. I started calling the master bedroom “his room,” to which SH strongly objected.
“It is our room. You’ll be back soon, and I’m looking forward to it.”
So am I. I’m looking forward to being on the other side of this surgery, but I’m also making sure to enjoy the days between here and now. With my strength already less than it used to be, it is still more than I will have for a while. And our days are not promised. We can look forward to tomorrow, but we have to live for now.
Because, as the doctor has cautioned, there is still a chance that after all of this, I still might have pain. Some of it may be phantom pain – my head telling me I’m hurting when I’m not. Or it could be other problems that we haven’t found yet. My feet are a separate issue and will still have problems when this is over. My diabetes will still be around, and my blood pressure could be impacted. And even though we don’t like to talk about it, there is a chance that complications could arise and I could just not make it. (I’m not planning for that at all, but it is a possibility).
Whatever the case, I hope you don’t mind if I continue to share some of my experiences, thoughts, and struggles (and victories) as I go through this. (And if you do? Tough petunias!) Have an amazing day.