For those of you that have been following my cancer blog you will undoubtedly know that I was going to have surgery to take out my kidney. I had my right kidney, right adrenal gland and a handful of lymph nodes in that area taken out. This past wednesday October 14th I went into Shands Hospital in Gainesville Florida and had that surgery. Today October 20th I was able to come home. Here is a small timeline of events of how these things happens so that others going through this might be able to see approximately what they may be looking forward to. Now before I go into this schedule I want to remind everyone reading this that recovery times WILL differ. In my case I have been very lucky when it comes to pin management and everything going just right so far some people may have it worse but this is what I went through.
On 5am Wednesday I checked into the hospital for an 8am surgery.
By 6am I was dressed in a surgical gown and laying on a gurney answering questions.
By 7am I had an IV started and a epidural put into my back and before I knew it I was out cold.
From what I am told around 2pm I came out of the surgery I’m not sure when I woke up though.
Normally you stay in the Recovery area for a few hours maybe and then whent hey know you are good you go to a room, however this day was SO busy for Kidney surgeries and problems that the special Shands floor for patients like me was full as was most of the rest of the hospital. I ended up in the Recovery room for 2 nights only getting put into my normal room on Friday the 16th
Sometime Thursday night I got the treat of getting out of bed for the first time to sit in a chair. While my pain levels have not been high during this whole experience the only real word I can use for this first real experience in moving is OWWWWWW DAMN HELL SON OF A….. (the rest in censored). For me this was a very painful experience, it got better swiftly afterwards but it was always odd. Still is in many ways.
By Saturday the 17th in the morning my bowels started to wake up a little…this is a fun little time that causes you to fart and fart and fart. Loooooong almost minute long farts. This is one of the few times you will be glad for farting and no one will truly care if you do and will infact applaud you for it. On Saturday I also got to do my first bit of walking that day. It wasn’t much but I sat for 30 minutes in a recliner so I wasn’t just still in bed and then I walked down to the nurses station and back holding onto my IV pole. This was an exhausting experience. I’ve told several people already that while I am not in much pain the things like walking and such feel like I tried to run a 5 mile marathon with 20 pounds of equipment strapped to my back.
By Sunday my bowels had woken up a little more. The night before they had started me on some laxatives and stool softeners because pain meds can constipate you and the bowels having been asleep will make it harder to go as well. I will explain more about this in another blog all about the bowels waking up and my experiences with this later. On Sunday my Physical Therapy person came in and we did another big walk to the nurses station and back and I sat in the recliner for almost 2 hours. I had a very embarrassing thing happen during the walk but I’ll be mentioning that in another blog as well. I later in the day did a second walk that took me around the whole urology floor that I was staying on. On Sunday I was having a clear liquid diet but told that Monday I would start in on some real food.
On Monday morning I had my first bit of real food with cereal. Everything was waking up more and I took a stroll that had me do the circle of the floor as well as a long hallway down to where the elevators were, this was my longest walk yet and I made it with flying colors. On this day they also took away my Epidural and Catheter giving me a little more freedom of movement than I had had before. I also had my first shower which for now is just a sponge bath given by my wife since I don’t quite trust myself standing for that long nor am I supposed to get the incision site too very wet and considering it is a 15 inch incision it’s best not to take chances in my mind! I was also released eventually during this day from the rest of the IV and IV pain meds.
Tuesday the 20th marked my 7th day in the hospital and also my last. Tuesday morning they sent me out to the north tower and their special discharge area which gets you out faster than if you were discharged by the nurses and such on the floor where you are at. By noon I was on my way home.
Things to me seemed to move a lot faster than they did but that’s probably because I spent a lot of time asleep at the hospital catching some naps whenever possible, since it’s impossible to sleep at night there with people waking you every 4 hours. Now I am at home starting the long road to recuperating in the relative quiet and comfort of home. Things still hurt and feel odd but so far I’m doing good. I’ll be keeping everyone up to date on my facebook page and here as to how I am progressing and whatever new challenges I come across as they happen.
Thank you to all who are following and supporting me through this hard time and as always remember no matter how hard something may be: