Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Surgery

Pretty much the last thing any patient wants to hear their surgeon say as they wake up from anesthesia is that they were an "interesting case".  My surgeon had originally thought that there were one or two large stones in my right kidney, but when he got in there with his tiny little laser, it turned out that I had some weird anatomical abnormality in my kidney. Tissue had formed a kind of mesh coming out of the kidney wall, and within the tissue mesh, 30-40 small kidney stones were trapped.  He was able to cut through the tissue mesh and release the stones, but there was so much blood as a result that he isn't sure that he was able to destroy all of the little stones with the laser.

The procedure lasted twice as long as anticipated--about two hours.  I woke up in the recovery room under one of those cosy warm blankets.  My vision was blurry, which they said was a side effect from the anethesia.  I vaguely remember the surgeon coming through to say that it had gone okay and that he'd see me later, and that I might be able to go home that same day.

A short time later, they moved me back to my room, where T. was waiting for me.  I spent the rest of the day in increasing pain, trying to drink water to flush out the blood from my kidney.  I have a stent in, which is intended to keep the ureter open and keep me from experiencing heavy pain from the passing of various pieces of stuff.

Side rant about medical care here:  My doctor is clearly highly qualified, with loads of experience.  I really like him, as I have with most of the doctors I have seen privately in this country.  However, the nursing/hospital care here just sucks.  As with my delivery with SB, the nursing care here (at a different hospital from the one I gave birth at) is not what I would have expected in a first world country.  And this is PRIVATE care, and not the regular socialized medicine system.  There is just no "care" in healthcare here.  As with my birth, the nurses basically never stopped by to see me, and took forever to respond to the bell when I rang it.   Thank goodness T. was with me to help me get between the bathroom and the bed during those early post-op hours, when my bladder was in rough shape and I felt I had to pee every two seconds.  I was on an IV, but the IV pole couldn't be rolled into the bathroom, so it had to be carried with me.  I can only imagine what I would have done if T. hadn't been there.  And pain med's. . .don't even get me started.  They basically gave me two options, Ty.lenol and morphine.  I didn't want the morphine, because it's not compatible with nursing, and I already had to pump and dump for 24 hours after the surgery.  But, the Ty.lenol wasn't controlling the pain.  The nurses just kept saying I should take the morphine, and telling T. I should take it.  Finally, I got a nurse who said that she's noticed that NSAID's control stent pain better than Ty.lenol, and she arranged for me to be prescribed some.  The only problem with that was that it took HOURS to get the prescription. Apparently at night there was only ONE DOCTOR on staff at the hospital who could write prescriptions.  How crazy is that?  So, I told them I needed more pain medication at 7:30pm, and didn't get anything for hours after that.  The pain wasn't well controlled until the NSAID finally kicked in at about 6am.  It was a rough night.

Funny note about private medical care here:  although it seems you can't get decent nursing care, the catering service at both hospitals I've been to has been excellent.  There are elaborate "room service" menus, and the staff stop by your room 834 times a day to ask if you want water/tea/cookies/lunch/can they take your order for the next meal, or the one after that, etc.  The room service menu at this hospital even had a quite extensive (and excellent!) wine list, if you can imagine!  T even commented that he couldn't believe how often they stopped by.

So anyway, I came home yesterday.  I'm still peeing blood, which is disconcerting, but the surgeon says that's to be expected.  I have his personal cell number in case I have any problems (wouldn't see THAT in the U.S.!).  I'm still on the NSAID's, which are controlling the pain, as well as antibiotics "just in case."  It was so good to get home to my own bed, and to my kids.  What a rotten way to spend my first night away from SB!  Last night, my first at home since the surgery, went okay.  I went a bit too long without pain med's, and paid for it in the middle of the night.  My stomach is also a bit irritated from all of the med's, but there's little I can do about that, given that I've been taking them with food.

I'm supposed to talk with the surgeon on Monday about where we go from here.  I'll need to go back under anesthesia in a week or so (boo), so that he can look around once the blood clears, and do any additional work necessary.  I'll also need the stent out.  I'm pretty bummed about the fact I'll need to go back in the hospital, and worried about how to schedule it around work (I'm supposed to go on a two day trip that is kind of a big deal).

And of course, I can't end this post without mentioning our Murphy's law luck:  Miss M woke up vomiting yesterday.  She bounced back surprisingly quickly, and by yesterday afternoon was back to her old self.  She's only been sick twice in her life, so it figures that she would start puking when I am less than 100%.  Fingers crossed that none of the rest of us catch the bug.


Io said...

Oh damn, that is definitely not what anybody would want to hear. That is madness yo. I hope he got all the stones and you have a quick recovery.
And knowing how you feel about anesthesia, I am really sorry you are going to have to do it again, that stinks.

Heather said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend. Sorry to hear about the issues with care post-op. Hang in there!

~Jess said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to stay! *note sarcasm*

I am glad to hear that you're doing ok though.