When life gives you lemons, you make…a really stressful trip through the hospital and they remove your tumor. Yeah…that didn’t flow I know, but life really gave me a bucket of lemons and I guess I’ll squeeze them one by one. Today, we shall talk about the procedure.
I opted for the open procedure where no robotics were used and they got the whole tumor out in one giant lump. And it was giant – weighed over a kilo and pretty much had been impeding my bladder function for the better part of six months. Benign, so that’s a relief (apparently even the technicians thought it might not be so the result came in like 2 days instead of the usual week, surprised even my doctor). Because of anesthesia I pretty much don’t have memories of anything an hour before and apparently five hours after the surgery. My husband had to recap me on what happened – the procedure took all morning, and they just couldn’t bring up my blood pressure to stabilization for like hours afterwards. When they finally did I was rolled (on a gurney, with two dude nurses moving me – I’d be scared or bewildered had I had the energy to be any of that at the time) into my hospital room at 7 pm. I wasn’t in that much pain because they used a nerve blocker (ah the progress of medicine). I was hopped on a lot of painkiller after so in that regard, it was fine.
The hospital was really nice and all the nurses were attentive. And the food wasn’t shit. Like seriously, I mean hospital food are usually bland and horrible but it’s true that to patients like me, it’s actually palatable because eating things without wanting to throw up is a major feat. So is going to the bathroom. I had a huge blood clot afterwards that again, blocked my bladder function, so they had to put a catheter in me. And as painful as inserting a catheter is, I’ll have to say in my short, relatively healthy life the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced was the sensation when you want to but can’t pee. It was horrendous; I never want to go through that fucking ever again. It was so bad I think I started crying uncontrollably. I’m sure childbirth will be more painful but, you know it’s different. Pain I know how to handle and what it means, this thing, man, it’s a different sensation and it’s just so bad.
That was the first day. After that my blood pressure was super low so they had to do a blood transfusion. Well, guess who has really small and deep veins that’re dehydrated because, you know, surgery shit? So they had to put the IV on my hand instead of my arm, and boy did the blood transfusion hurt. My entire hand and up to my elbow felt like someone’s pumping 5 thousand liters of water into a small 1 cm tube. The nurse had it on the slowest setting and I was on a lot of painkillers and it still hurt like a bitch. It worked; I’m alive, my blood pressure stabilized, the blood count went up, I didn’t have any allergic reactions and to my current knowledge no weird diseases, all that good stuff. So yeah, another prop to modern medicine?
It was less eventful after that. I got up and walked (because they force you to walk around because apparently that makes you better quicker – there’s actual research about it) a bit. I had to keep the catheter in until after I get home because the swelling wouldn’t have gone down that quickly – a whole new situation which I will talk about next time. The nurses all had different shifts so I’ve probably seen like a dozen people during the time but I only vaguely remembered people in the last day and a half – the first two I was too out of it to recognize my caretakers. They were all very professional and nice and attentive so props to them! Sorry I was so bad at remembering – too many drugs going on at once.